Alumni

James L. Westbrook, Jr. and Ashley Westbrook Turton Scholarship 

 

The Westbrook-Turton Memorial Scholarship honors the lives and accomplishments of the late James L. Westbrook Jr. and his daughter, Ashley Westbrook Turton.

Westbrook had a long and successful career both in public service and in the U.S. Army.  He served as the city manager of Asheville, from 1994-2005, the town manager of Cary from 1988-1994, as well as numerous other positions in local government finance in North Carolina and Virginia.  Westbrook served in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm and retired from the U.S. Army reserve having attained the rank of colonel.  He received the Bronze Star, a Meritorious Service Medal, and various other awards and decorations.  Westbrook earned a B.A. in political science from UNC-Chapel Hill, an M.A. in political science with an emphasis in public administration from Appalachian State University, and certificates in executive leadership from UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia. This scholarship reaffirms his belief that continuing education for local government staff is fundamental to providing excellence in public service.

Turton graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Political Science in 1997 determined to make a difference on the national level.  She entered into political work as an Assistant for NC Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. and Communications Director for NC Attorney General Michael Easley.  In 2000 she was honored as one of the “Top Five Young Democrats” in North Carolina.  Moving to Washington, DC, she served as Press Secretary, Communications Director, and Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) and for three successive years was featured in The Hill newspaper’s honor roll of “Top 35 staffers under 35.”  At the time of her death Turton was Manager of Federal Affairs for Progress Energy Service Company.  While in Washington, Turton befriended and became an important mentor to many young women interested in government careers.  The scholarship celebrates her determination and pleasure in helping other women achieve success in the complex world of government and politics.