I graduated from Appalachian State (Spanish/History and TESL Minor) in 1999 and later finished a Masters in Hispanic Literature at UNC Chapel Hill where I taught Spanish and also began a doctoral program. I'd studied abroad in Ecuador, Mexico and Spain as a student and the travel bug was difficult to shake! I went to Havana, Cuba to direct the UNC-CH semester program there for two years as a graduate student, and also went back to Spain to act as an assistant for UNC-CH students in Seville. I stayed on in Spain when I met my partner there, and began a doctoral program in Applied Linguistics (Fiología Inglesa) which I am finishing now at the University of Extremadura. I've lived in Spain for the past 10 years. I have been fortunate enough to work in a variety of interesting fields that have taught me a tremendous amount, including even being a gender equality agent for the local government and an interpreter for City Hall to the last US Ambassador to Spain.
For the most part, however, I have been teaching and working in study abroad programs throughout this time. I most enjoy teaching, and the ¨aha¨ moment when students suddenly get a new angle on something they couldn't see before. Currently, I teach education majors how to be English teachers at a private university, and co-run a small language academy while I help raise my daughter and finish my doctorate. My research interests include intercultural competence, goal orientations and attribution theories, as well as second language acquisition beliefs. I enjoyed being back on campus this summer and spending some time with ASU language students!
Check out Laura's Interview for a local TV station in Spain (skip ahead to 22:24): http://www.canalextremadura.es/node/81261
Laura in Lanzarote
Laura with her partner María & daughter Lía
Laura in Extremadura, Spain, where she now lives
Laura speaking at town hall meeting regarding their equity plan
Meeting US Ambassador to Spain, Alan Solomont
article from Voz emérita - download the full article (PDF, 5 MB)