Laura grew up in Evanston, IL and is extremely grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community that was so supportive of her interest in science. She knew she wanted to pursue astronomy in particular after her first real observing experience -- imaging clusters of stars with an optical telescope on Kitt Peak as a freshman at Dartmouth College. That sense of discovery is one of the many thrills of astronomy, and science in general. After college she traveled for some time, teaching English and computer skills in the Czech Republic and then India. She then obtained her Ph.D. in astronomy at UW-Madison, working to understand the properties of the material flowing into supermassive black holes in the centers of distant galaxies. She is now a CIERA postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, investigating how these supermassive black holes impact the evolution of their host galaxies.