Ashkon received his Bachelors of Arts in Global Studies and Economics from UC Santa Barbara in 2013. After graduating, he travelled to Iran to solidify his grasp on Persian language and has since worked on attaining further education in the Arabic language and Political Science. Having taken extensive coursework in accounting, he has worked in management within the accounting sector in the Los Angeles area. His time spent out of university has been instrumental in preparing to continue his academic career and clarifying his academic areas of interest and research topics. Having an extensive background in topics relevant to Iranian politics and society, Ashkon hopes to expand his research into the greater MENA region and Muslim majority societies and understand the relationship of religion and the state in the Middle East its implications for subject formation and civil society in the region. As of the summer of 2017, Ashkon has undergone a full immersion Arabic program in Rabat, Morocco and will continue his Arabic language study abroad in the Summer of 2018.