Ashley Marie Cooper
Ashley Cooper is an aspiring psychiatrist, who strives to work dually as a mental healthcare provider and musical theater practitioner (lyricist, librettist, and actor). She recently graduated from Harvard College in 2021 with Highest Honors in Neuroscience and Anthropology. She holds an MPhil in Health, Medicine, and Society from the University of Cambridge, where she served as the Lionel de Jersey Harvard Fellow as a recipient of the Harvard-Cambridge Scholarship.
A Mellon Mays Fellow and John Harvard Scholar, Ashley aims to increase equity in mental health care dispersal, and especially to foster increased accessibility to mental healthcare for the Black community. Her interdisciplinary honors thesis entitled “Racism’s Health Harm on Black Youth Mental Health: From (Neuro)Scientific Orthodoxy to Neuroscience as a Vessel of Visibility,” was the first-ever analysis of how perceived discrimination impacts the functional network connectivity of Black youth. For this work, she received the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for outstanding undergraduate research, as well as the Anthropology Department’s Clyde Kluckhohn Prize. During her time as an undergraduate, Ashley was awarded the Harvard Foundation Insignia Award, the Julia Shaffner Memorial Prize, the Science Club for Girls Catalyst Award, Le Prix d’Excellence, and a Congressional Recognition from Senator Elizabeth Warren, in acknowledgment of her leadership and academic achievements. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, on NBC’s The Today Show, the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), The Lincoln Financial Field, Cambridge Junction, the Kimmel Center, and most recently at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.