Categories: News, Newsletter Issue 2023:2

Interview with Michelle Avaroma, the New ASHEcon Program and Conference Manager

By Preeti Pushpalata Zanwar

I interviewed Michelle Avaroma, the new program and conference manager for ASHEcon, to understand her role and introduce her to our members and readers.

Preeti: Congratulations on your new role as ASHEcon’s new program manager. Can you tell me what the ASHEcon program manager does?

Michelle: In my role, I serve our members by helping coordinate programming and activities for ASHEcon and the annual research conference for ASHEcon members. This includes logistics, scheduling, making hotel arrangements, conference registration, and managing abstract submission calls for the AEA/ASSA conference in collaboration with iHEA.

Preeti: Thank you for walking me through your responsibilities; there are a bunch.

Preeti: Is this the kind of work you were doing prior to ASHEcon? Where were you working before you took over this role?

Michelle: In a way! I was coordinating conferences and programming but for the international education organization, PeaceJam. Their curriculum connects youth with the life and work of 14 Nobel Peace Laureates. Students developed community service initiatives and projects that they would present to a Nobel Laureate at our events. It was truly remarkable and I enjoy inspiring young people to action.

Preeti: You bring wonderful experiences to ASHEcon and we are lucky to have you.

Preeti: What is your academic background? What do you see as the key strengths that you bring to the role?

Michelle: I have a Master of Public Administration degree with a specialization in non-profit management. My key strengths are that I am a friendly, people-oriented person who is looking to support in-person gatherings organized by ASHEcon. I have the passion, desire, and energy to connect people together from all over the globe.

Preeti: Excellent.

Preeti: What do you like to do in your free time?

Michelle: I am a music and art lover! I love to attend concerts, theater, and ballet.

Preeti: Being a participant in the Nobel Prize Summit virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, I know how big the creative and music arts part of such events are. Any plans to bring music and creative arts to ASHEcon?

Michelle: I want to have good music playlist for our ASHEcon event. I hope to also have member engagement via one-on-one coffee conversations and sports. This year, some members are headed to the Cardinal games in St. Louis!

Preeti: That’s a wonderful game plan and an informal and fun way to engage and connect our members!

Preeti: Will you be at the 2023 ASHEcon conference in St. Louis, Missouri?

Michelle: Yes! I am excited for the upcoming conference in St. Louis and looking forward to meeting our members. Members, please come say hello!

Preeti: What is the best way to get in touch with you for those who may have additional questions?

Michelle: Members can contact me by email at

Preeti: I enjoyed getting to know you, Michelle. It was a pleasure to connect with you virtually. I hope our paths cross in-person some day! Thank you for taking the time to interview for the ASHEcon newsletter.

Michelle Avaroma (right) with 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Tawakkol Karman