Release Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2018

HFC welcomes its first female automotive faculty member

Ashley Smith, HFC's first female automotive faculty member, poses with a pick-up truck

Effective the Fall 2018 Semester, Ashley Smith joins the HFC Automotive Technology division as its first female faculty member.

“I’m looking forward to the upcoming semester,” said Smith, of Plymouth. “I’m really excited.”

Her interest in cars began at an early age. Her late grandfather, Jay Smith II, owned seven transmission shops in the Metro Detroit area. Watching her grandfather and her late father Jay Smith III work on cars sparked her curiosity. Not long after, she began assisting them as they made repairs. Before she knew it, she was repairing cars herself as she learned that the family passion was in her blood. She drives a 1958 Chevy Apache that she rebuilt.

“I really enjoy working on cars,” she said. “I enjoy being under the hood. I’ve always been interested in the way cars work and how they work.”

In fact, Smith and her older brother Jay Smith IV co-owned Multistate Transmission in Dearborn Heights, which they closed earlier this year as they decided to pursue other endeavors.

“I’m looking forward to introducing students to the world of the automobile,” said Smith, who will be teaching AUTO 101: Automotive Fundamentals, AUTO 140: Automatic Transmissions, and AUTO 145: Manual Transmissions.

A 2006 alumna of Salem High School in Plymouth, Smith attended Grand Valley State University in Allendale on a golf scholarship, earning her bachelor's degree in business administration. She played professional golf for a year before getting back to her first love: cars. She earned her automotive certification from Grand Rapids Community College. She later earned her master’s certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

HFC is Smith’s first foray into teaching college students.

“I’m one of four full-time instructors in Automotive Technology,” she said. “The faculty has been very welcoming and very inviting. I can’t wait for classes to begin.”