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Ashley Bigard Joins OCC as Advisor in Student Services

Ashley Bigard PhotoAshley Bigard has joined Olney Central College as an advisor in Student Services.

“I enjoy getting to talk with different people every day,” Bigard said of her new position. “Helping students narrow down what they want to do in life is very interesting.”

An OCC alumnus, Bigard began taking online and evening courses as a junior at Newton Community High School. She entered OCC as a sophomore and completed her associate’s degree in psychology in 2011.

“All of the faculty were nice and everyone was approachable,” Bigard said of her time at OCC. “It was a good transition from high school to Eastern.”

Bigard received her bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a minor in psychology from Eastern Illinois University in 2013. She finished her studies at EIU the following year earning a master’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in family services.

Before joining OCC last month, Bigard worked for three years at One Hope United in Effingham. She served as a screening assessment and support services crisis intervention worker, focusing on evaluation and follow up counseling with those 21 and younger.

Bigard is looking forward to working with OCC students guiding them along their educational journey and helping them to identify the passions and interests that will lead them to rewarding careers.

“Even in high school, I knew I wanted to work in education,” Bigard said. “I love education and have a passion for it. Helping people and working in education seemed like a perfect fit for me.”

Bigard resides in Newton with her husband, Kaleb, and children 9-year-old, Alex, and six-month-old, Adeline.

In her spare time, Bigard enjoys baking and taking Alex to his many activities, including tennis, soccer, basketball and taekwondo. Bigard began teaching piano in high school and continues to give lessons to four students.

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