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Employee Spotlight: Ada Woo

October 21, 2020

From her home office in Iowa City, Ada Woo, senior director of assessment sciences focuses each day on making information, time and decision processes more efficient in the Assessment Sciences Unit, which is a shared service department within Ascend Learning. She works with a variety of teams and their business unit partners to create value for stakeholders like ATI Nursing Education and National Healthcareer Association. She loves that since she’s only been on the job for about five weeks, no two days have been the same so far! When the weekend arrives, Ada is excited to spend time with her husband and six-month-old son.


Q. What is your favorite thing about the business unit or department you support?

A. I love the variety of assessment and learning products that are a part of the ATI Nursing Education and National Healthcareer Association offerings.


Q. What’s your favorite Ascend value and why?

A. Embrace change. I was impressed with how quickly Ascend adapted to meet stakeholders’ needs in the pandemic. That was actually one of the reasons why I chose to join the company about two months ago. Now as a part of the team, I am even more impressed with our agility and willingness to embrace change.


Q. What book, movie or television show would you recommend people read or watch?

A. I read Educated by Tara Westover recently. It is such a compelling autobiography! Born to isolationist parents, the author did not receive any proper schooling as a child. She taught herself algebra, self-studied for the ACT, and got into college! As a first-generation college student, a part of Tara’s experience resonated with me. Education changed her life; it changed mine too.


Q. What’s something you’ve done that most people haven’t done?

A. I moved from my hometown in Hong Kong to Alabama alone at 16 to be an exchange student. It was a wonderful experience and an adventure for sure. I love the food in Alabama. In the 90s, regional American cuisine was totally unknown in Hong Kong. Imagine the joy when I had pulled pork sandwiches, fried okra, and pecan pie for the first time. Through sharing meals and cooking together, I met many friends and learned the culture of my new city. To this day, Southern cooking still brings fond memories and it remains some of my favorite food.