New Staff Q&A with Ashlin Amano, MBE, Administrative Coordinator

January 25, 2024
Ashlin M. Amano, MBE

Welcome to the Division of Ethics, Ashlin! Who are you? 

I am Ashlin Amano, an individual whose small-town upbringing has very much shaped her outlook on life. Where many traveled to for vacation, I had the privilege of calling it “home”. Growing up on Oahu, Hawai’i was a unique experience in which I was always surrounded by a mix of different cultures, beliefs, and traditions. The excitement to share aspects of who we are and as we colloquially say, “talk story” were regular, everyday occurrences. Who I am is very much rooted in not just my own stories, but also in those which were shared with me to impart wisdom and life lessons. 

What are you most excited about in joining the Division of Ethics? 

In general, I love how collaborative and multidisciplinary the field of ethics is. It is very similar to my upbringing in which different points of views and perspectives from all walks of life are invited. From there, these shared experiences can result in some sort of change, which is really exciting to me. Ultimately, I look forward to learning all that I can from the amazing individuals within our Division. 

What led you to this position, what was your academic/career trajectory? 

I graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles in 2022 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Social Work. After writing my Honors Thesis and Senior Biology Thesis, I became passionate about the intersection of my major and minor. This led to me obtaining my Masters in Bioethics (MBE) from Harvard Medical School, which was the perfect blend of both subject areas. In a few years I plan to attend medical school, but it was personally important for me to experience the working world and other aspects of life first before continuing with my education. I am grateful to be working in this position and providing support to a field that I am so passionate about. 

What is one bioethical issue or topic that interests you? 

It is difficult to choose one, but currently, I am very interested in the ethics behind health inequalities and the enactment of social strategies that can address them. While researching the connection between Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease in a wet-lab, I was concurrently researching socioeconomic factors that could minimize the risks for both diseases in marginalized populations. Among many things, aerobic exercise was a point of interest, specifically dance. It would be amazing to see an increase of accessibility to these recreational activities in historically-ignored communities, especially since it can have such a lasting impact on health. 

Outside of work, what is something you are passionate about?

Outside of school and work, I love to dance. From the age of four, my parents enrolled me in dance classes and I have loved it ever since. After graduating there have not been many opportunities to be on stage, but I am very excited to be in NYC where the possibilities are endless. I look forward to bringing out my dance shoes again on the weekends, as well as being in the audience for countless shows I have dreamed of seeing since I was just an island-girl!