Ashley (Lumbee) is a higher education administrator and visionary leader with a commitment to amplifying the voices of those who are low-income, rural, first-generation, and students of color within postsecondary institutions. Her experiences span admissions and financial aid, fraternity and sorority life, graduate student support services, leadership development, and diversity and multicultural affairs. In 2019, she joined UNCP to become the inaugural American Indian Liaison to the Chancellor. In this role, she collaborates with campus and community partners to identify and implement best practices and new initiatives to support American Indian students at the institution from matriculation to graduation. Some of these initiatives include working with the UNCP Board of Trustees to adopt an official land acknowledgment, establishing a proclamation to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day, and creating multiple new scholarships specifically for American Indian students. In 2020, Dr. McMillan was awarded a grant from the Department of Education to establish the American Indian Heritage Center, of which she became the inaugural Director. As Director, she strives to create a space at UNCP where American Indian students can see their culture reflected and feel a sense of belonging while also creating an avenue for non-Native faculty, staff, and students to learn more about American Indian culture.
Dr. McMillan earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at North Carolina State University; her MSW from Boston College; and her B.A in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her free time, she enjoys exploring new restaurants, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with her husband and two sons.