MA '08, Ph. D '11 | Ft. Worth, TX
TITLE: Owner/Publisher; Instructor of Criminal Justice
COMPANY: Rea of Sunshine LLC; Texas Christian University
Ashley Wellman received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of North Florida and her master’s degree and PhD in Criminology, Law and Society from University of Florida. She also earned a Graduate Certification in Forensic Death Investigation during her time at UF. As an academic and educator, she specializes in the experiences of cold case homicide survivors and the impact of violent victimization with more than 30 academic publications to her credit. She routinely serves as a media expert and television commentator on a variety of criminal justice and social justice issues. Her consultant work includes partnering with multiple law enforcement agencies on case management, investigations, and victim services. Ashley is an advocate for children and families impact by crime and is as a board member for several nonprofits directly contributing to education, research and fundraising efforts. After becoming a widow in 2018, Ashley combined her professional work and research with her own personal experience, speaking on over 50 podcasts and at various events to share her message of rethinking and surviving grief, loss and trauma. In 2019, she started her own retail business, Rea of Sunshine, LLC, with the creation of her first children’s book, The Girl who Dances with Skeletons: My Friend Fresno (www.myfriendfresno.com). Illustrated by Zac Kinkade, the story celebrates self-acceptance, inclusion, friendship and love while reminding readers that sometimes our greatest friends are the ones we least expect. She believes her greatest accomplishment and role is being mother to her daughter, Reagan.
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