Ashley Hebert Is the New Bachelorette
updated 03/15/2011 AT 08:05 AM EDT
•originally published 03/15/2011 AT 01:05 AM EDT
Hebert, a fourth year dental student at the University of Pennsylvania, vied for Brad Womack's heart but was sent home from South Africa just shy of the season finale.
"I feel like this season taught me so much about myself," Hebert, 26, tells PEOPLE. "It primed me for a new relationship. I'm ready to meet 25 new guys. Bring 'em on!"
Production for the new season of The Bachelorette, which will premiere May 23 on ABC, is already underway.
"I'm open hearted and interested in meeting the guys," Hebert says, "and hopefully fall in love."
The announcement was made during Jimmy Kimmel Live!.