Laura Nolan '11

Laura Nolan

Location: Xining, China
Major(s) and Minor(s): History and American Studies
Thesis title and/or topic/description: "Storytelling, Dislocation, and Healing: Community-Led Responses to Displacement and Disaster, Katrina to the Present"

What have you done since graduation?

After graduation, I worked in development for a mental health and social service provider. I returned to my youth development roots by then spending an extraordinary year working at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development, a tuition-free, residential high school designed for students who have not found success in traditional academic settings. I served as the Life After Eagle Rock Fellow and counseled students, taught classes, and served as a mentor.

My time at Eagle Rock helped me strengthen my practice of critical pedagogy and anti-oppression work. Most recently, I managed a college access program at a high school in San Diego, but decided to try something new and moved to Xining, China in September of 2014. I’m excited to build a stronger transnational lens and framework for understanding my Asian American identity, as well as to learn more about teaching in an international context. My students are absolutely terrific; they are bright, brave, and engaged in their local communities.

How do you think majoring in history or taking history classes has mattered to you?

I am extremely proud of my major, and I have found that my academic framework has continuously pushed me to develop as an activist. My background in history enables me to have a critical lens to understanding the world around me, and better support my students as they think critically and envision new possibilities.

Do you have any particular memories of faculty or classes that you can share?

I cherish the time I spent both in and outside of classrooms with fellow history majors, especially having radical and critical conversations. And of course, tea time!

Please contact Julie Liss if you would like to connect with this alumna.

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