This is Laurie Hatch. She is an Associate Professor of English at Vanguard.
Born and raised in Fresno, California, she is “nearly” a first-generation college student; her mother graduated while Laurie was still an undergraduate. Laurie also remembers having a large extended family who would be in and out of their house. Her parents came to know the Lord in their early adulthood; her father became a Christian when she was in the second grade. She remembers growing up encouraged in her studies (“My father was so proud that both of his daughters were in college”), but she did not always plan to pursue English.
"In high school, I had it all planned out: I was going to major in bio-chemistry/ pre-med and attend Stanford Medical school," she remembers. "As a freshman, I was in honors classes, pre-med and realized that I was finishing the English homework months ahead of time. I figured that this was what God was leading me to pursue even though I was excelling in my other classes. I always enjoyed the fact that literature uses all of the disciplines—science, math, history, philosophy—and does not always have just one right answer."
Laurie grew up reading and hearing classic literature stories around her family dinner table. Her father would read Mark Twain novels while she later fell in love with the Victorian novel. During her time as an undergraduate, she had the opportunity to study abroad in England where she saw different historical sites and immersed herself in British literature.
"Although this is a gross simplification, British novels seemed much more community-centered. They examine the consequences that actions might have on the entire society and consider how the individual is connected to and responsible for the larger community. I think a lot of American literature is centered around championing the individual—the individual’s choice and identity is celebrated, and the larger consequences may not be as deeply examined. This idea of the individual seems deeply engrained in our culture."
After completing her undergraduate studies, Laurie would go to Claremont Graduate University, completing her PhD in English. She worked at many different universities as an adjunct during her graduate studies, including Azusa Pacific, Westmont, and Biola. During this time, she also started dating her future husband whom she got to know when they started taking swing dancing lessons together.
Today, Laurie enjoys spending time with her family, which now includes her two sons (and two cats and one snake). Vanguard is so thankful for Laurie's experience in higher education and her heart in providing a quality education for our English majors.
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