The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Get to know Laura Ulmer, director of student activities

Ulmer said she finds much to love about Washington and Lee, but she also has plenty on her plate
Laura Ulmer celebrates Halloween with students in Elrod Commons. Photo courtesy of Laura Ulmer

Laura Ulmer became the director of student activities in January in order to focus on the proactive side of student care.

Ulmer filled a position that had been open for an entire semester. Predecessor Kelsey Goodwin vacated the position in April 2022.

In her role, Ulmer organizes co-curricular life on Washington and Lee’s campus. She helps design logistics for on-campus events and serves as an advisor to various clubs.

Having attended and worked at both small and large schools, Ulmer knew she wanted to return to a smaller school like Washington and Lee.

The students of Washington and Lee are what Ulmer focuses on in her role.

“My position not only adds that element of fun to a college career, but it adds a really intentional development piece for students that you won’t get inside the classroom,” Ulmer said.

That element of fun means Ulmer’s day is often all over the place. She has managed a 10 foot elephant prop for Fancy Dress 2023, planned a trick-or-treat event in Elrod Commons and helped set up a stage for an on-campus concert.

Ulmer said she loves working with student organizations, and those organizations appreciate what she does for them.

“[The Rocketry Club] competed this summer and I got to help them get ready,” Ulmer said. “And then, as a thank you to me, I got to sign the rocket before it went to New Mexico.”

After working with students in crisis at the University of Louisville, Ulmer felt that she could use her skills to prevent students from getting into crisis situations by planning events and focusing on mental health.

While Ulmer got her Ph.D. in college student personnel services from the University of Louisville, her education has taken her all over the United States. She received a master’s degree from Ohio University and spent her undergraduate years at the University of Mount Union.

Ulmer has a background in crisis management at college campuses. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on helping students with suicidal ideations and other mental health issues.

She uses this background to plan events with crises in mind.  Ulmer thinks of her threat assessment skills as a way in which her past experience is joining with her current role.

Ulmer is also looking forward to Mock Con. She is excited to help organize an event that acts as a political example for other universities.

“I will always want to have fun and provide fun, but I want [students] to learn something and remember something even if it’s only for a minute,” Ulmer said.

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    Harley BrownNov 6, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    That’s my girl..