During her time as a political science and psychology major, Ashley Gempp '11 studied abroad three times. In Egypt, she studied Egyptian literature, ancient history and Islam, while in Oxford she focused on political philosophy and terrorism. During a semester in Paris, Gempp took intensive courses in French language, the history of the French Revolution and conflict resolution.
After graduating from Salve Regina, Gempp took a position as assistant manager of the Elms, Kingscote and Isaac Bell House museums for the Preservation Society of Newport County. After a year, however, she itched to return to the international scene.
When an opportunity arose to complete a graduate certificate in international relations at American University, Gempp took an internship with the Institute of International Education to assist with the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs' international visitor leadership program at the U.S. Department of State. While there, she helped administer six programs, including the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, political systems and elections for members of the parliament of Turkey, international trade with South Korea, and Hillary Clinton's special initiative on civil society.
Gempp briefly left for another internship opportunity with the Conflict Records Research Center at the National Defense University, but returned to the Institute of International Education to work in international cultural and educational exchange. She began work on a special program with the U.S. Department of State's Middle East Partnership Initiative on judicial reform in the Middle East. Gempp also worked on a conference series for capacity and leadership building for Afghanistan's Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Gempp later transitioned to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars to work on one of the State Department's premier exchange programs: the Fulbright Scholars Program. The drive to work on the international scene was always there, but it was not until studying abroad several times and then taking an internship with an international education organization that Gempp discovered how to combine the things she loved: the Middle East, language, cultural exchange, international politics and diplomacy.