• About Me

  • Hi, I'm Dr. Ashlee (she/her/hers). I am a transracial, transnational Asian American adoptee. I was born in Seoul, South Korea, and adopted and raised by a White family in the upper midwest, USA. I am a loving partner in an interracial marriage and the proud mama to an amazing multiracial kiddo.


    My life is guided by my desire and commitment to facilitate healing and liberation. My worldview is informed by Grace Lee Boggs, Gloria Anzaldúa, bell hooks, Paulo Friere, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Parker Palmer, among others. I believe that autoethnography is transformative methodology, that connection is healing, and that self-work is the first step to liberation. I am particularly passionate about cultivating community for transracial adoptees and facilitating meaningful dialogue in interracial and multiracial communities.

  • Professional Experience

    What I bring to the table...


    Education for Healing and Liberation

    I am an Assistant Professor of College Counseling and Student Development at St. Cloud State University. I teach multicultural counseling, student affairs professional orientation and ethics, group process and facilitation dynamics, among other courses.


    Advocating for Justice & Holistic Student Development

    I have dedicated my career to supporting, mentoring, and facilitating college students' learning and development. I have worked at Georgetown University, Dartmouth College, and aboard the MV Explorer on the Spring 2015 voyage of Semester at Sea. I am passionate about advocating for justice, healing, and liberation through a lens of holistic student development.


    Fostering Brave Space for Bold Conversations

    Alongside Kyle C. Ashlee, my life and business partner, I am co-founder of Ashlee Consulting. We provide empowering facilitations and interactive workshops for colleges, universities, nonprofits, and other organizations around the world interested in pursuing racial justice and gender equity.


    Centering TRA Voices and Brilliance

    I endeavor to elevate transracial adoptee (TRA) visibility in student affairs and higher education. I believe there is tremendous insight and liberatory potential in TRAs' liminal perspective and positionality. I explore this and related ideas in my scholarship and community engagement, including in my current role on the national Advisory Council for the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network.


    Gopher. Terrapin. RedHawk. Lifelong Learner.

    I earned my B.A. in Strategic Communication at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, M.Ed. in Counseling and College Student Personnel at the University of Maryland-College Park, and Ph.D. in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami University in Ohio. Perhaps more formative than any of these academic accomplishments is my love of learning and inclination to always ask questions.

  • Endorsements

    What people with whom I have worked say about me...

    Aeriel is a powerful listener, engager, and facilitator of difficult dialogues. Over the past 11 years, I have seen her confidently address hard issues through love and compassion. She is keenly aware of her own identities and fosters a warm environment to encourage people to develop their voices and passions. I appreciate her authenticity and vulnerability and how she centers stories in efforts to help people heal.

    Stephen John Quaye, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor

    the Ohio State University

    Kristan C. Skendall, Ph.D.

    Gemstone Associate Director

    University of Maryland

    Aeriel is a scholar-leader who consistently demonstrates a personal commitment to creating meaningful relationships with students, colleagues, and members of the community. I highly recommend Aeriel for her ability to build relationships across difference and inspire others.

  • Aeriel is incredibly inspiring. I just finished reading her book VITAL and I feel a new sense of motivation, validation, and empowerment as a social justice advocate. I am also a transracial adoptee and Aeriel provided me a real sense of representation that I did not realize I needed. I felt heard by Aeriel, and VITAL gave me clarity about my journey as an advocate and my intersectional identity.

    Anna Smith

    Undergraduate Student Leader

    University of Cincinnati

    Wilson Okello, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor

    UNC Wilmington

    Aeriel's writing, teaching, and communal engagement courageously confront the silences, toxicity, and pains that wound individuals and divide communities. In the long and protracted struggle for healing and liberation, Aeriel, who dares to imagine freedom, is the type of critical hope that our bruised and bleeding world so desperately needs.

  • Let's Connect

    I'd love to talk about how we might work together.

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