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March 27, 2024

Denver Airport Spokesperson Credits her Communication Management Master’s

Ashley Forest has energy to spare – a good thing, because her position as spokeswomen for Denver International Airport keeps her busy at all hours.

Forest attained this high-level position with the help of her master’s degree education in Communication Management from University College.

“I wanted to enhance my leadership skills and make sure I acquired the full skill set needed for not just my current job, but also my future communications career,” she says.

Skills for a New Communications Career

Forest was working in television news when she decided to pivot into public relations. Soon after starting the master’s degree program at University College, she landed a job as the Deputy Communications Director for the Nevada Attorney General’s office. She quickly began using the coursework on rhetorical techniques, persuasion, and strategic planning to perform better on the job. She learned techniques that helped her write talking points and speeches for the public during the health crisis of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before I even finished my degree, my University College education enhanced my leadership skills, as well as my strategic thinking,” she says. “Those teachings helped me to connect with our residents, to break things down in a way that they could understand.”

Forest found that the career-focused education, taught by instructors who were experts in the field, helped her grow as a communications professional.

“Every single instructor equipped me to apply the coursework to real-world situations,” she says. “Instructors would give examples from their own working life and how it integrated into the course content.”

Leadership in Public Relations and DEI

At the airport, Forest now helps shape outreach campaigns to publicize new developments and raise public awareness of the effects of weather and other major events. She writes and sends press releases, updates social media, and does media interviews for print, radio, and television about airport-related news.

She has also taken on leadership roles in advancing diversity and inclusion at the airport and at DU. She is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) ambassador for the airport, and serves on University College’s DEI Steering Committee, as well as becoming adjunct faculty herself.

“I realized I wanted to help support graduate students of color and help increase the diversity of the graduate student body.” Forest says. “I love how DU as a school has confronted its past and embraced change, and now I want to be part of that change going forward.”

The committee makes recommendations on things like faculty hiring practices, the inclusivity of course content, and processes for student feedback to ensure diverse voices are heard. Forest is committed to being a force for positive change on this front.

“My experience at University College was powerful,” she says. “It taught me to think proactively and get to where I am today.”

See details on Communications Management master’s degrees and graduate certificates.

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