As an undergraduate, Lauren minored in Political Science and majored in Interdisciplinary Business Management - Business Legal Studies. After graduation, she consulted with an interactive marketing firm, and has since decided to pursue further education in public policy and administration. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Public Administration at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs.
Lauren has had some fantastic hands-on learning experiences through a graduate assistantship with the Franklin County Commissioner, John O’Grady, learning about economic development, community garden planning, and how foreign investment helps fuel Ohio’s urban economic development.
Lauren attributes her interests and career choices to her participation in Miami’s Urban Leadership Internship Program (ULIP). As part of the ULIP, she spent a summer in Cleveland, which helped her better grasp how a city can takes on issues like sustainability while promoting healthier lifestyles for its citizens through organized, community gardens. Lauren says the ULIP experience helped her refine her interests while offering her more perspectives during her time in college.
Despite coming from a small town and feeling a little out of her comfort zone, Lauren says “Miami was a great experience.” In addition, she found the Honors Program provided everything she wanted out of her college experience: a small, focused community feel connected to a larger campus full of opportunities – and the chance to apply what she learned to what she was interested in spending her life doing. She recalls one specific honors class which looked at the concept of modernity in the Mediterranean area and enjoyed exploring how and why people from different cultural identities shared their experiences.
She greatly appreciated the strong sense of community within the Honors Program: many of her best friends from Miami are those she met through the program, despite their religious, political, and cultural diversity. Like many alumni, she feels the shared commitment to learning, common classes and experiences, and wide array of opportunities “[opens] the door for people to connect and stay connected.” As she put it: the honors community “[…] brought us together freshman year, kept us growing together, and kept the opportunities coming […], facilitating opportunities to make what you want of it.”
While Lauren is not yet sure what she’ll do next, she is enjoying the city of Columbus and the urban sustainability movement that exists there. She’ll soon begin working on a culminating project for her degree which will likely explore the role and impact of community gardens on community growth and development, as well as the health and wellbeing if its citizens. She hopes to continue exploring the field of public policy in economic development and urban sustainability, possibly in Washington D.C. either as a member of a consulting firm or a think tank that help cities grow through economic planning and development.