Semester at Sea has been an impactful part of Lauran’s life since she was nine years old. She’s sailed on four voyages as a child, student and later the Assistant Field Office Coordinator. Lauran attributes her love and passion for different cultures, people, languages and meaningful travel to her experience on Semester at Sea. It shaped her character and helped pave the path towards pursuing a career in educational travel. She still gets a kick out of reading her journal from her first voyage as a kid in 1996.
After graduating from Gonzaga University with a BA in Sociology & Communications and a minor in Italian, Lauran went to work for Backroads – the Worlds #1 Active Travel Company. Over the course of 11 years Lauran guided and designed trips for Backroads all over the world, connecting people to new cultures and new places, with a focus on educational connection and human-powered exploration (hiking & biking). In addition to leading trips, Lauran managed the trip design, subcontractors and quality of several regions including Glacier National Park, Montana and Tuscany, Italy. While living the nomadic lifestyle out of a suitcase for years was appealing and romantic (most of the time), what really struck Lauran’s passion was teaching and mentoring. She transitioned to the “office life” as the Global Leader Development Manager for Backroads and spent the last six years hiring, training, coaching and mentoring Trip Leaders to provide exceptional experiences to guests. She is thrilled to bring her experience to the Field Office on SAS and help students, faculty and staff experience meaningful and educational travel.
Salt Lake City, Utah is now home for Lauran and her husband. She spends her free time in the outdoors as much as possible: hiking, mountain biking, running and skiing in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains and playing in an ultimate frisbee league. She appreciates the simple pleasures in life: good food, great conversation, clever puns and random acts of kindness. Lauran and her husband are so thrilled to join the Fall 2019 shipboard community and can’t wait to participate in another voyage!