By Tessa Castor
Student reporter


When Ashlee Mayo, coordinator of new media and assistant designer, found out about the opening for her new position in the Office of Marketing and Communications, she was working at William Newton Hospital as a marketing assistant. After three years at the hospital, Mayo joined the SC office on July 5, and she said she has learned a lot since becoming a Builder.

In a normal day, Mayo keeps the college’s social media accounts up to date, allowing her to “hold the megaphone” to the college’s audience.

“It’s a really cool job,” said Mayo. “I get to do the social media for a really fun college. I’m in the know of what’s going on on campus, I get to be around young people, and it’s a fun atmosphere.”

Mayo said she believes marketing is crucial to the success of a college.

“Future students wouldn’t know about us if we didn’t brag about the place and its awesomeness,” said Mayo. “I love bragging about all the cool stuff we do.”

Mayo, who is from Winfield, graduated from Kansas State University in 2013 with a bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis in photography. Her first job out of college was at William Newton Hospital. Mayo worked for Kaydee Riggs-Johnson, vice president for marketing and communications.

After the former coordinator of new media and assistant designer, Kenna Morrison, resigned in the spring, Riggs-Johnson encouraged Mayo to apply for the position.

Mayo and Riggs-Johnson were both on the yearbook staff at Winfield High School, the first time the two worked together.

Riggs-Johnson began her work July 20, 2016, with the office of marketing and communications. She said she tries to share Southwestern events and values with those interested in the college.

During her work with Mayo, Riggs-Johnson said Mayo’s great energy and excitement about working with students and on other projects impress her, as does her creativity.

“My favorite part of working with Ashlee is her creativity,” said Riggs-Johnson. “She’s all in. You can tell she already loves Southwestern College and wants to highlight it and hold it up in the way she should.”

Aside from her work, Mayo said she enjoys the time she has spent with her coworkers, such as Susan Burdick, senior designer and branding coordinator.

“The people here are cool,” said Mayo. “We always have fun, and the creative vibes are always flowing because we’re having fun. I have gained a lot of new skills being under a fabulous designer. My mind is a sponge in this office. It’s good to be around other creatives.”

Burdick has been with the marketing and communications department since Oct. 2008. She said that Mayo brings daily entertainment to the office, and that Mayo is not afraid to learn new skills.

“Ashlee is bubbly and fun,” said Burdick. “I like the singing. I just like the humor she brings to the office. Her best quality is her willingness to jump in, try it and learn stuff.”

While not at work, Mayo enjoys playing with her 2-year-old dog, Clementine, making leather wallets and purses and taking photos for her 7-year-old photography business, Amay Photo. When she is at work, however, she said there is never a shortage of things to do.

“There’s always something going on,” said Mayo. “There’s always excitement. There’s always energy.”

Since joining the staff in July, Mayo said her favorite part of Southwestern College is its family feel, even with alumni, one that she said she didn’t get at K-State.

“It’s cool that it’s so small,” said Mayo. “Everybody knows everybody. It’s like a family that just forms so quickly, and it’s just magical.”

In moving forward, Mayo said she would like to improve her videography skills and make sure that students know she is willing and able to help with their marketing needs.

“In the beginning, I was afraid students thought I was another student,” Mayo said with a laugh. “I’m approachable. Don’t be intimidated by all my gadgets.”

Riggs-Johnson also stressed Mayo’s approachability for students, saying that Mayo is another resource for students on campus.

“We want people to know who Ashlee is,” said Riggs-Johnson. “Part of the reason she’s so great for this position is that she’s approachable, she’s friendly and she wants to help. We want students to feel comfortable coming to her to ask for help.”

Tessa Castor is a sophomore majoring in English. You may email her at

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally published in Volume 130’s 1st edition of The Collegian. To see past Collegian archives click the following link: