Ashley Owens named Penn State’s interim Title IX coordinator

Ashley Owens

Ashley Owens

Credit: Provided

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ashley Owens, director of student accountability and conflict response at Penn State Altoona, has been named the University’s interim Title IX coordinator, effective Feb. 12. Owens assumes the role following the appointment of Amber Grove as chief ethics and compliance officer, as announced on Feb. 6

“Ashley brings a wealth of experience to this interim position, from overseeing Title IX and the student code of conduct policies at the Altoona campus to prosecuting child abuse cases and advocating for abuse survivors prior to her work at the University,” said Tabitha Oman, vice president and general counsel at Penn State. “I look forward to her spearheading University-wide efforts to comply with Title IX legislation.” 

In her interim role, Owens will oversee the University’s compliance with federal Title IX policies related to sexual harassment and misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and gender-based discrimination. She will work in partnership with Penn State’s campuses and offices, including the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response, the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response, Human Resources, the Gender Equity Center, and the Affirmative Action Office, among others. Her responsibilities will include enhancing the University’s services, education and outreach for students, faculty and staff on the important topics of sexual misconduct and harassment, as well as overseeing the University’s response to Title IX reports, including investigations. 

“Acting as the Title IX resource person at the Altoona campus and as a Title IX hearing board member has provided me the opportunity to observe the Title IX process from different perspectives. Additionally, my legal background as a prosecutor and as a forensic interviewer, along with my numerous hours of training in victimization, trauma, domestic violence, sexual assault and other related topics, provide me with a foundation for success in this role,” Owens said. “I am looking forward to utilizing my training, experience and expertise to impact the University in a meaningful way.” 

Prior to coming to Penn State in 2022, Owens developed, opened and served as program director of the Center for Child Justice, a program of Family Services Incorporated, the first children’s advocacy center in Blair County, Pennsylvania, where she managed services provided to child victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation. She previously served as Blair County’s assistant district attorney, prosecuting criminal cases in the Court of Common Pleas and assisting police departments in investigating child abuse cases. 

She holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from the University of Dayton and a juris doctorate from Duquesne University School of Law. She has been admitted to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Bar.