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Laura Waldrep '04

What is your current job?

I am a lecturer in the First-Year Writing Program, part of the English Department, at North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, NC. I teach English 101, Academic Writing and Research, which is seen primarily as a freshman composition course.

Why did you choose this profession?

After earning my MAT and teaching at the high school level for four years, I realized that I wanted to teach at the post-secondary level, so I earned my MA and I am now qualified to teach at the college level. I enjoy the challenge of teaching and working mostly with college freshmen who are (usually) eager to learn. I always wanted to teach, so for me, the hardest part of choosing my profession was deciding which level of students to teach. I find that teaching college students is rewarding because they are more independent than high schools students and I can focus more on teaching and less on disciplining.

What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?

Eventually, I would love to go back to school for a PhD, perhaps in education, literature, or composition/rhetoric. With an additional degree, I would be eligible for more stable university positions (tenure-track) and would have the opportunity to work with upperclassmen more frequently.

Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.

My decision to leave secondary teaching and earn an additional masters degree was one of the best decisions I made, though it was certainly scary to leave behind a stable teaching career and to start over.

How has Haverford influenced your professional career?

Haverford gave me a strong foundation of knowledge and professionalism through its liberal arts classes. I really loved my English classes at Haverford and felt like my professors cared about my progress as an individual, considering who I was beyond just being a student... now that I work at a large university, I know that this level of individual attention is rare and special, and it is something that I try to achieve with my students as well. Furthermore, my English professors were encouraging and incredibly helpful as I went through the application processes for both of my graduate school programs; despite a gap of over four years between when I left Haverford to get my MAT and when I left teaching to get my MA, I still felt comfortable and confident about my professional decisions after getting in touch with former Haverford College professors.

The path that leads to the Gardner Integrated Athletic Center and Whitehead Campus Center. The GIAC opened in 2006.

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