Phone: (206) 592-4037
Please call me Laura. 😊
I’m from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, though I’ve lived in Seattle for the past 30 years. I love both places. I also love teaching, and I freaking love Highline students.
I discovered Communication Studies when I was looking for graduate programs to go into to escape a life of moving from one meaningless job to another. Communication Studies is such an amazing discipline! I love that because I study communication I have the language and theories at hand to analyze why people misunderstand each other, how we can create and deliver more powerful messages that have the effect we want, and how we can work better together as partners, friends, families, colleagues, and communities. I earned my Master of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Washington back in the day, spent a lot of time chasing and escaping from a PhD, and I've been blessed to be teaching at Highline since 2000.
I've been lucky to be involved in lots of cool things here at this College. I helped lead our Whites on White accountability group for several years, which helped me wrap my head around the fact that I'm white (already an obvious thing to everyone else but me), and also helped me begin to develop my ally and accomplice skills, and sparked my enduring commitment to always be learning more about how to effectively promote social justice. I'm proud to be an unofficial Auntie supporting our remarkable Umoja Black Scholars program. I also helped lead our Learning and Teaching Center for a number of years, working with the inestimable Dr. Darryl Bryce and other teachers to make our teaching better. I've gotten to help develop student orientations, and coordinate and emcee numerous conferences on and off campus. A joyful highlight for me was the honor of announcing students' names at graduation. I was also honored to be awarded Highline's Teacher of the Year one year. Through all of it, I've been so grateful for my really useful Communication Studies background!
A little more about me: I have a cat named She-Ra and a husband named Bryan. Bryan and I love playing board games and old-people games on my iPad. I love cooking and baking – and eating – and watching cooking shows and collecting and reading cookbooks. I lived in Shanghai for a bit teaching there twice, and I really love Shanghai and Chinese people -- and dumplings (making and eating them). These days I'm (mostly) vegan-ish and grateful to have finally found a decent plant-based dumpling recipe in lieu of my beloved pork and shrimp one [https://theplantbasedwok.com/vegan-sheng-jian-bao-pan-fried-dumplings/]. And owls – omg, I love owls. I also love reading, endlessly watching NCIS on Netflix, and taking pictures of pretty things -- especially pretty food. 😉 I'm starting to find my way back to learning to play my guitar and piano, and to sing too. (My dream career is being a back-up singer ... for anybody.)
One of my favorite quotes is from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "I can believe a miracle because I can raise my own arm. I can believe a miracle because I can remember. I can believe it because I can speak and be understood by you." Another one is: "Relationship precedes learning."
So looking forward to the miracle of connecting and learning with you.