York College Professor Doubles as Social Media Influencer, Personality Educator
Adjunct Professor of Human Services Ashton Whitmoyer has amassed over half a million followers on Instagram, where she teaches about the Enneagram personality typing system.
Ashton Whitmoyer was driving home from visiting family in North Carolina, mulling over a personality typing system she was learning about: the Enneagram. The system categorizes individuals into one of nine distinct personality types, each with its own core motivations, fears, and characteristics. It often is used as a tool for self-discovery, personal growth, and understanding interpersonal dynamics.
Whitmoyer found the information she was absorbing about the system to be transformational. A teacher at heart, she knew she had to share this golden knowledge. She decided to create an Instagram account to do just that.
New Year’s Day 2019, when she established the Instagram account @enneagramashton, marked a milestone for Whitmoyer. Little did she know that this decision would lead to the creation of a massive online community eager to learn about the intricacies of the personality typing system. It also would open the door for her to travel the country to speak about the system as her online followers blossomed from 100 to 100,000, then to more than half a million.
“There’s so much to know and so much to learn,” Whitmoyer says. “When I look back at when I was in college, I think the Enneagram would have helped me figure out why I did what I did as a student.”
A transformative power
Whitmoyer’s teaching philosophy for her social media followers and Enneagram education business revolves around being an Enneagram educator. While she engages in some one-on-one coaching, her primary focus in her business venture is speaking at large events, conducting workshops, and guiding team development. Her approach stems from her Enneagram type 2 personality, characterized as the “Helper.” This inherent desire to assist and educate others is a driving force in her career.
While many Instagram accounts focus on making the Enneagram fun and exciting, Whitmoyer goes a step further by emphasizing how the system can transform people’s lives. She believes in striking a balance between sharing engaging content and delivering meaningful insights that can impact relationships, whether with coworkers, romantic partners, or friends.
Bringing her knowledge to York College
Before Whitmoyer discovered the Enneagram, she was deeply involved in rape victim advocacy and coordination for YWCA York. While working at the Y, she often found herself on the York College of Pennsylvania campus.
When an opportunity arose to teach a victim advocacy class at the College in partnership with YWCA York, Whitmoyer jumped at the chance to be an adjunct professor. Soon, she expanded to teaching “Introduction to Human Services,” and in Spring 2024, she will teach a class for the Psychology Department about working with others.
York College students impress Whitmoyer.
“I loved the people, the students, how the students are driven for change,” she says. “I just really felt that from the start, it’s a really great group of students. I still feel like that is the case with each class that comes in. They’re just part of a generation that cares so deeply about people.”
With her passion for helping and teaching others, her transition to teaching at York College was a natural progression. She found that the Enneagram seamlessly integrated into her teaching methodology. With its focus on understanding and improving relationships, it was a valuable addition to her toolbox as she assists others.
Whitmoyer’s courses often overlap with her expertise in the Enneagram. At the beginning of each semester, she delves into the Enneagram to better understand her students, their motivations, and how they function. At the same time, the Enneagram, with its emphasis on self-awareness, influences her teaching style and methods as she helps her students understand themselves.
“If I’m teaching about the Enneagram, then talking to students about social issues, things overlap. I like to look at the Enneagram as a tool to help others,” she says.
Whitmoyer encourages her students to come to her classes with an open mind as she helps them to more effectively navigate the challenges of their academic journeys with the help of the Enneagram.
A foundation for life
As an adjunct professor, Whitmoyer finds that her most rewarding moments are when she sees her students graduate and thrive in their professional lives. She takes pride in preparing them for careers in human services and victim advocacy.
Beyond her role as an educator, Whitmoyer believes her Enneagram journey has a broader purpose. She wants to show her students, Instagram followers, and her children that it’s possible to create a life aligned with one’s passions and values.
“You will never regret learning this information and having it as a foundation for what you want to do with the rest of your life,” she says of her Enneagram teaching and her human services and victim advocacy courses. “Keep your heart open and your mind open to the opportunities it can present to you as you’re going through your education at York College.”