“I remember when I came here as a freshman, I was very much like, ‘I have to receive the training to go on to do the big things,’” said Laurel Teal ‘17.
After graduating from Hastings College, Teal had planned to be a professor and studied at Boston College for her Masters with hopes of going to Harvard for a Ph.D. But she became frustrated with academia because she noticed how closed off it was and she wanted to do more than write something for peer review.
“Here at Hastings, I was given the expectation that in order to do history, I needed to do something with it, I couldn’t just write something for other historians to read,” she said during a November 3 interview before speaking to Hastings College students about the history of water in the west as a part of the Hastings College Lecture Series Student Symposium.
She decided to forgo the Ph.D program and received another Masters in resource management at the University of Colorado at Denver.
Teal received degrees in history and political science, but she said she learned more in classes outside of her major classes that helped push her to her current career at Chatfield State Park in Colorado. “It was Dr. Beechly’s natural history courses that, I believe, actually nudged me on to the path I’m on now,” she said.
Teal credits her ability to speak at a lecture to her time on the Hastings College forensics team and her time in Hastings College media.
“Just follow what feels good and don’t be afraid to try on what the college has to offer for size,” said Teal. “You might be surprised at what fits, or at the very least you might have a fun time doing it.”