AshLee Smith is currently a senior at Louisiana State University, majoring in anthropology, with minors in African and African-American Studies and political science. Her research interests are in social policy, particularly the ways in which the American landscape is shaped by poverty and inequality. She is also interested in conducting research on the politics of social safety nets, race and ethnicity, child and family policy, welfare reform, and program evaluation. During her time at LSU, she has started two on-campus organizations, volunteered as a reading friend to local low-income elementary students, and presented a research paper at The 2014 National Council of Black Studies National Conference in Miami. In addition, she is a recipient of the 2014 Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship at UC Berkeley. She credits the strong and supportive mentorship of many of her professors and her partner with her success.