Laurie Keller

MA in Higher Education Leadership

What is your background? For example, where are you from, where else have you earned a degree, and where have you worked?

I was born and raised in San Diego. I transferred to the University of San Diego from Palomar College to complete my BA in Political Science and Philosophy. Following that, I returned to the university to obtain my paralegal certification. For several years, I worked as a case assistant at a large law firm in San Diego. As my life goals were realigning, I found myself wanting to work in an academic setting, which is when I started working at the University of San Diego's School of Law.

What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?

I hope to continue working with law or graduate students. I enjoy being part of their development and creating a safe space for them to develop and thrive in. Ideally, I would like to use my degree to continue working in student affairs. 

Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time, part time, and what do you do?

I am currently working full-time at the University of San Diego's School of Law as the coordinator for law student affairs. Through this role, I have the opportunity to support law students in their development through their three to four years in school, advise law student organizations, and plan student events. I am also in charge of coordinating the law school orientation and commencement ceremony.

Which class has impacted you the most? Why?

Making meaning of the collegiate experience with Professor Jeff Bolster had a great impact on me because he was able to connect theory to practice through stories of his own experiences as an administrator in higher education. It not only made the learning process of the different student development theories covered in the course interesting, it also made them more relatable and easier to understand. LEAD 550 has also changed the way I work within the organizations I am a part of. It really took me out of my comfort zone and taught me to be more mindful of my actions and reactions. It also taught me so much about my identity and the pieces of myself that I can use to exercise leadership in difficult or demanding situations.

Is there anything specific you would like to share with prospective students?

Allow yourself to be completely open to the process. This is a chance to get out of your comfort zone and experience learning and getting to know yourself in a totally different way.