"Find your passion and live it. Take advantage of everything that is presented to you, and run with it."

Laura has been many places and doesn't take her travels for granted, "I feel privileged to have traveled as much as I have. I consider myself a lucky person. I feel lucky to have experienced the traveling lifestyle that I have and wish to continue that lifestyle with my career."

Having lived in Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Ohio, New Mexico, New York, and Washington D.C., Laura thought it only natural to try somewhere new for her undergraduate degree. Laura decided on UNH, due to the Political Science & International Affairs departments. She also thought, "I can fly 8 hours in one direction and see my mother or fly 8 hours in the other direction and see my father!"

From her first day here at UNH, Laura chose to participate in many different activities. She had never tried rugby. The first time she went out on the field, she had thought it was a combination of football and soccer. Soon, she learned it was much, much more; it quickly became a passion. Her fellow teammates were welcoming, especially since Laura had never played rugby before. Laura states, "At every practice, I learn something new. It's really funny because you think that rugby players are these built, rough people. Most of our team doesn't fit the stereotype." She also keeps herself busy as the Vice President of the UNH Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. In the past, she has participated in LGBTQ Alliance meetings, as well.

Laura also has a part-time job at the Whittemore Center in Campus Recreation, where she met UNH student/resident assistant Hannah Sherrill, whom she considers a mentor. "Hannah has also lived abroad and she is so involved on campus and has such a great lifestyle that you want to do more with yourself after talking with her. She harbors a passion for using her life to do 'good' for everyone she meets. Every single one of my friends has characteristics about them that I have learned from."

When Laura first came to UNH, she was a COLSA major, wanting to be a researcher in microbiology. "I had an epiphany two weeks before coming to UNH. My passion for Model United Nations in high school won out. I have enjoyed the professors in the departments, the topics. Then, I found out about the International Affairs Major and liked the diverse opportunities that it offered. International Affairs 401 introduced me to history, economics, and science all interweaved together with an international focus. By focusing my interest in political science and international affairs, I hope to work internationally. I would like to work for the UN or NATO."

Laura has been impressed with the quality of her professors at UNH. "Both Professor Lyon & Professor Malone are such experts in their fields and have such passion. They continue to make advances in their fields." Laura took a women studies course and was astounded by how much information there was and how much people don't know. The mindset that many people go into a women studies course with, is that feminists are 'malebashers'. After taking this class, and realizing that the stereotypes are not true, she would call herself a feminist. In political science, Dr. Lyon talked about terrorism, viewing it outside of the American mindset. It really helped Laura to build a new understanding of the United States and its relationship with other countries.

Her advice to first-year students? "Find your passion and live it. Take advantage of everything that is presented to you, and run with it. Don't look back. Even though at times it may seem lonely or you may be completely lost, you will get through it. Every single person that graduates from college goes through ups and downs and is proof that it is possible."


2012 - 2013 CYOS Honorees: (left to right) Brittany Zorn, Laura Gardocki, Peter Callahan, Merhawi Wells-Bogue, Molly Hunt, Larry Rackliff, Lauren Banker, Ben Claxton, Alex Freid, Jihyon Im
 
 
“Students are the focus of everything we do.”

Dept of Residential Life
13A Hitchcock Hall, 5 Quad Way-UNH
Durham, NH 03824
last updated 10/18/2011
Need More Information?
Ruth Abelmann, Associate Director
Department of Residential Life
University of New Hampshire
Phone (603) 862-2268