Alumni Tale: Lauren Banker ’13

What did you study at UNH?

Anthropology & Women’s Studies, Spanish Minor

What were you doing 1 year out of college?

Upon graduation I eagerly jumped into roles at several different NH non-profit organizations. Given my background in volunteer management and grassroots organizing (that internships and opportunities at UNH prepared me with) I was excited to join the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England team as the NH Public Affairs Organizer. I quickly learned skills in managing volunteers and running successful issue-based and fundraising campaigns. I became the volunteer recruiter, trainer, and manager of a team of over 100 volunteers across NH. Together we rallied, organized, and made an incredible impact in our local community.

What are you doing now?

I’ll be exactly 5 years out of college this May and I couldn’t be closer to my #UNHfamily. Just this past January of 2018, I rejoined the UNH community in a new staff position on the UNH Alumni Relations Team as the Assistant Director for Volunteer Engagement. Using the skills I learned and perfected at PPNNE, I’m now leading a team of volunteers from all across the country who all have one special thing in common—they continue to be part of the Wildcat Family.

Did you have an international experience (study, research, internship or volunteer abroad) while at UNH?

I had the privilege of traveling abroad the spring semester of my junior year. The trip took me to northern Chile where I lived for 4 1/2 months with a homestay family–a real chance for me to dive into the Spanish language. I continued to expand on my knowledge and passion for public health where I learned more about the local culture and what healthcare meant to them. Not to mention I got to spend some time exploring Peru and Argentina.

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

UNH has always been a part of my life. Since I was a child I can remember spending time running around Kendall Hall where my mother worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Office of Animal and Nutritional Services. I had the opportunity to meet a legendary UNH-icon, Professor Paul Tsang, even before I turned 2 years old. Every year in September I would sneak over to U-Day and wander around the crowd, an eager Oyster River High School student, wondering if I’ll ever make my way to campus as a real college student. And finally that day came when I first stepped on campus with my family car loaded up chock full of goodies to fill my dorm room. As if we weren’t already close enough to UNH, my sister Isabelle Banker ’19 is currently an Admissions Tour guide and my father, Shawn Banker ’90, ’09G, works in the University Instrumentation Center. UNH is a part of my life and the life of my family. From the beginning the importance of education was instilled in me. I worked hard through high school and college so that I could grow to be as successful as all the mentors that I met through my connections with the university.

Why do you believe in UNH?

During my time as an undergraduate student, I don’t think that there could have been anyone who believed in me more than UNH did. All the mentors and staff members that kept their doors open for me and my many student program ideas deserve my utmost gratitude. A specific shout out goes to Dawn Zitney in Health and Wellness and Dave Zamansky in the MUB for encouraging my ideas and supporting me in my efforts to plan speaking engagements, film showings, and general programs to engage the UNH community.