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Ashley Lamb ‘24 Begins her Career in Medicine at the Wilson College of Textiles

Ashley Lamb in a lab coat and glasses

If you tuned into the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this spring, chances are you caught a glimpse of Ashley Lamb in action. 

Lamb, a Centennial Scholar, has been traveling with the NC State Pep Band for four years and had the opportunity to cheer on the pack this spring during March Madness. 

Ashley Lamb stops for a selfie during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

In addition to the pep band, Lamb has also been involved in the Marching Band, the Greater Good Textile Group, Alpha Epsilon Delta, a health preprofessional honor society, and the Honors Village at NC State. 

Following her graduation, she’ll be crossing over into rival territory as she continues her studies at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

“I think it’ll be really helpful to come into it with that unique perspective of knowing what polymers are because it’s a growing area in the medical field. I’m looking forward to applying what I’ve learned at Wilson and taking it even further.”

Why did you choose the Wilson College and PCC?

Toward the end of high school, I discovered how much I loved chemistry. It just clicked and made sense to me. Then, I was leaning toward biochemistry or some kind of chemistry and learned about PCC and what the Wilson College of Textiles had to offer through an open house. 

I learn best by doing and by application, and with PCC, I think of it as applied organic chemistry. It’s really helpful because you’re not just learning chemistry. You are learning how you use it in the real world. 

I was able to sit in on a class taught by Dr. Ormond during my senior year of high school, and that just really confirmed it for me. It was another level of fun learning in the classroom, with classroom discussions and small class dynamics that I had never seen before. 

What has been your most impactful experience at NC State? 

I would say research because research takes what we have learned in the classroom and then applies those concepts. You’re actually doing versus connecting the ideas. 

A lot of my hands-on chemistry experience has come from my time researching with the Baker Lab and the Budhathoki Research Group. In the Baker Lab, I was working a lot with lipid detection and mass spectrometry. The Budhathoki Research Group develops advanced polymers and nanomaterials for healthcare applications. Right now, we are writing a literature review on various applications, and it’s been a lot of hands-on concepts and ideas that I get to apply. 

Ashley Lamb and Januka Budhathoki-Uprety

It’s been very neat for me to see how polymer and color chemistry can be applied to the medical field and how I can continue using them beyond graduation.

Which person on campus has influenced you most during your time here? 

It’s hard to pick just one person. 

Dr. Vinueza has been very helpful in believing in me even when I don’t believe in myself. I know that he has full confidence in me. He can tell me where I’m at knowledge-wise and helps me to recognize the gaps that I need to build. 

Dr. Budhathoki pushes my limits and tests what I can handle. I’ve learned so much simply because of how much she challenges me.

Assistant Professor Januka Budhathoki-Uprety (far left), Lamb and the rest of the lab group.

Finally, I want to mention my advisor, Alyssa Jennings, because since day one of coming to campus, she has always been my biggest cheerleader. She’s been so influential in my time here. 

What advice would you give to your first-year self? 

I would probably tell my first-year self that it’s okay to make mistakes. College is about finding yourself and who you are, but also being able to learn with other people, grow with other people and expand your perspective. For me, I really think it’s just about broadening that mindset and being open-minded. Come in confident in yourself but also open to other ideas. I would tell myself it’s okay to make mistakes, grow and change. I feel like that just makes all the difference.