The Ashley Hardaway Theriot Study Abroad Scholarship

Some people spread joy and laughter wherever they go and are witty, clever, and fun to be around. Ashley Hardaway Theriot was all that and more. She was a talented writer, believed in the power of citizen diplomacy, and loved a good adventure. With this scholarship, her family and the Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council hope students at UWF will use study abroad as a way to discover marvelous and amazing things around the world and in themselves.


Ashley graduated from Pensacola’s Pine Forest High School, and at the University of Central Florida she earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. Upon graduation, she was accepted into the Peace Corps and served in Ukraine for 2½ years where she learned Russian and Ukrainian to compliment her French. Her familiarity with the country brought an offer to author a travel guide to Ukraine which was published in October 2011.

Upon return to Pensacola, Ashley worked as a reporter for IN Weekly, concentrating on food and lifestyle topics and honing her first person narrative style. Her personality and ease with other cultures made her a perfect fit for the Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council where she helped organize and guide up-and-coming international leaders who visited northwest Florida on U.S. Congressional professional exchanges and the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) of the U.S. Department of State. She brought many of these groups to UWF, her mother’s alma mater.

Ashley eventually moved to Washington, D.C. where she continued her freelance writing and found an audience in the likes of the Travel Channel and Huffington Post. In 2013, she began working as a liaison officer with IVLP projects, guiding foreign visitors nationwide. She continued to have many international adventures and throughout her life traveled throughout Europe, Nicaragua, Colombia, Argentina, and East Asia. Many of these trips were taken with her best friend, her beloved husband Rob.

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