by Donna Parker
Dr. Ashley Maranich '98 is an energetic U.S. Army Captain and pediatrician whose life mission is healing sick children. In fact, Ashley just returned from a month-long journey to Thailand, where she worked in a small hospital on the Burmese border. While working at the Kwai River Christian Hospital, she handled up to 50 patients daily while supervising three 4th year medical students.
"It's a trip that cemented my decision to go into infectious diseases," says this recipient of the distinguished 2006 Army Commendation Medal.
Ashley is a brand new resident of Washington D.C. and works as a pediatric infectious disease fellow at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She recently treated two young children severely injured while playing on the trampoline, prompting her to write an article on spinal injuries, just published in Clinical Pediatrics.
"You can't set your goals too high. I learned that at Trinity and it's continued on through med school and the military."
Although her role in the military has taken her to assignments in Washington State and even Alaska, Ashley always finds a way to donate her time to the children, such as when she volunteered as medical staff at Camp C.A.M.P., a summer program for developmentally delayed children.
"In lots of ways, I'm still the same as I was when a student. I'm very hopeful that I can do whatever it is I want to do."
She credits Trinity and its professors, in particular, Nancy Mills from the department of chemistry, for instilling the confidence needed to pursue her dreams.
"Chemistry was a difficult subject matter, but Dr. Mills was so effective as to make it understandable and at the same time, was very supportive and helpful outside the classroom," says Ashley.
"Besides the fact that attending Trinity helped me get into medical school, I met my best friends there."
That reminiscence about good friends and her Sigma sorority sisters brought back great memories of lazy nights spent at Bombay Bicycle Club and Tycoon Flats and even as she acclimates to her new digs in the nation's capital, it's obvious the San Antonio influence lives on through her cat named "Taco" and dog named "Nacho"!
Ashley's commitment to the Army will be complete in 2014, but it's obvious her love of life, and in particular, her desire to heal the children, will last a lifetime.