Alumni Profile: Pay it forward
Ashley Solomon ’05 vividly recalls then-President Dan Curran entering her house at 107 Evanston while holding her crying roommates in her arms as they mourned the loss of a close friend. He sat there silently supporting Solomon and her friends, witnessing their pain.
Solomon said, “I think about that night and what that meant when I consider how important a person’s presence can be. It’s powerful just to sit and listen and bear witness, even without saying anything at all.”
While at UD, Solomon continued to bear witness to others by writing in newsletters for the Women’s Center. It was through this opportunity that she found a passion for hearing stories and helping others.
Solomon went on to pursue both her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology. During her pre-doctoral residency in Philadelphia, she was able to work at a hospital treating patients with eating disorders. And during a fellowship, she focused on developing programs and doing research on eating disorders.
After serving as the director of eating disorder treatment at the Insight Behavioral Health Center in Chicago, she wanted to return home to Cincinnati and make a difference locally. Two years ago, in 2014, Solomon opened the Eating Recovery Center of Ohio and is currently the executive director.
In her work, she remembers the way Curran comforted her roommates and attempts to make her patients feel the same way. Her mission is to not only give her patients support and guidance but, as she said, to “restore them nutritionally, physically and psychologically.”
Solomon said, “UD teaches us that we are blessed with so many gifts and opportunities, and it is our responsibility to give back and support each other.”