Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students


Build your own and make a difference…

Hey! Lisa posting here, again.

woman blowing bubbles

A carefully reconstructed representation of me creating my personal bubble

I spent most of Friday the 13th inside my personally-constructed bubble.  

I was doing the things that I needed to get done. Most of the time I was listening to albums (yes, played in the LP format!) on my headphones. Listening to Black Sabbath's Black Sabbath & Paranoid, Cream's Disraeli Gears, and The Stone's Let It Bleed--my playlist from Friday--just never gets old.

In some ways, it seems to re-center me.  I compare the me that existed when these songs were new, to the me who exists now, and realize I still have the same core ideals.  I still want to make a difference in the world.  I still want to speak for those who can't. I still stand up to bullies. I still believe in equality.  I still want to save the wolves, the whales, the earth. I still reduce, reuse and recycle.  I think globally, act locally.

person silhouette milky way

Simulation of what the Lisa Bubble Universe looks like to an onlooker

I am still an idealist, but one who has been tempered by ennui, pragmatic and harsh realities and real world mundanities.

Later that night I left the Lisa Bubble Universe. I ventured onto the interwebs, and discovered that on the evening of 13 November, all hell broke loose in Paris.  I began reading about the horrific acts of terrorism. The simultaneous attacks in six different locations around Paris was called an "act of war" by the French President. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the carnage.  The eight suicide attackers, all had explosive belts, were sent in to the pre-selected targets in retaliation for France's air strike campaign against the IS in Iraq and Syria. Estimates given on 14 November, place the number of dead at 128, with over 300 injured, and 80 of those in critical condition.

Harsh reality, indeed.

It is the idealist, optimistic me that came back to school. I still want to go forth and do good, thinking globally and acting locally.    However, we all live in the real world, and the pragmatic, realist me dictated my choice of classes. Because I was pursing a second degree, my general education requirements had been met already.

I would be able to customize the emphasis in my degree, because I had electives I could take and still would fulfill the degree requirements for my BFA. The idealist wanted to take the studio art courses. The pragmatist took courses like Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Public Relations, and Web Design, so I would be able to combine the knowledge and skills gained from those courses with those from my past work history.

Another great opportunity afforded to William Woods students is the "Internship."  This semester I have had the opportunity to work as intern with the social media strategist for William Woods. I am gaining invaluable experience and course credits. In addition to "job shadowing," I also am learning, by example and from research, methods and metrics for engagement in social media channels. While I may have worked as a web server administrator in the past, none of my past job duties included these kind of activities.

SunnyPoliceStation-Banner1I also have a social media project. The Show Me Innovation Center is a non-profit entrepreneurship and innovation center that fosters the development of home-grown businesses and encourages the spirit of entrepreneurship in Callaway and surrounding counties.  It makes startup capital, business services, mentorship, and training resources available to community entrepreneurs.  My challenge is to enhance the website, develop and update content, increase its visibility, and to increase engagement and readership via social media channels and its Internet presence.

I am already making a difference, going forth and doing good things. I have the guidance of a seasoned, generous WWU staff member, who encourages me and is my safety net.  I get to work independently, and I get the benefit of benevolent oversight.

How great is that?!




Trust The Process

Hey, this is Lisa again.girl silhoutte jumping

So... Have I mentioned taking the path not followed is a little terrifying? Even when you know you have the right school, even when you know you have the right classes that will transform you for the next phase of your life cycle, even when you have a supportive spouse--stepping into the abyss is scary.

Trust the process.

I could assail myself with self doubt. But why do that, when lit-er-ally (see clip below) everyone else can do that for me, usually without trying.  When I begin to question my decision to quit my job and attend a university full-time, I think about what Professor Jane Mudd says when students begin to be hypercritical of their art work.  "Trust the process."

She's right.  As we grew into adulthood, we learned how follow-through is important. It is what distinguishes success. The feeling of pride when you stick-to-it, that feeling when you push through the challenges and see that the light at the end of the tunnel is not the train coming toward you, THAT is what we are working toward.

Trust the education.

When I chose WWU, I knew I was making the right investment in my future.  After I began attending classes, some 20 years after my first degree, I realized how much more fulfilling college was this time around. Having had the structure of working in the real world, now I would approach my re-education as my full time job. And as my graduation date in May approaches very quickly, I know that I will be prepared and successful. I trust the process.

Thanks for reading,




William Woods was the right choice for me!


This is Lisa, with the second part of my "origin story."  So, I began to research schools that would work best for me.

Small Size - I was looking for a small university.  I wanted a small student-teacher ratio.  With smaller classes, it would be easy to build relationships with my professors.  I already knew what it was like to be just a face among a sea of other faces, since I had already graduated from a large public state university.

William Woods University welcomes me with my name Lisa Laughlin in lights!

My name in lights!

At William Woods, each student has every opportunity to acquaint themselves with the faculty.  Every professor makes him- or herself available to students.  Every student has the option of reaching out and establishing a personal rapport with every instructor. This enhances the learning experience tremendously.  It is really valuable not competing with dozens of other students who also want individual time with an instructor.


The Right Offerings for Me - I was pursuing my dream of attending art school, but I also needed to temper that dream with the reality of competing in a Web 3.o world.  William Woods offers a BFA in both Graphic Design and in Studio Art, AND has quality Business and Management Information Systems (MIS) offerings. I could immerse myself in creative processes in the Kemper Art Center's studio art spaces. I could learn new skills in Kemper's Mac Lab with its state-of-the-art iMacs running Adobe Creative Suite software, like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.  And, I could learn the latest in web development, marketing, public relations, and entrepreneurship.

NASCAR auto racingCommute - The quality of my commuting time was also important to me.  I wasn't terribly interested in competing in the Daytona 500 every morning and afternoon. The commute on US63 between Jefferson City and Columbia reminds me of NASCAR restrictor plate racing.

Adding Central Missouri weather and transportation projects adds a unique "road course" flavor to the race. In contrast, the Fulton-Jeff City commute is a relaxing transition between my "day job" of being a student, and my other life in JC.

When the time came to select the school for me, the choice was obvious!





My First Blog Post as an Undergrad–Wait! What?

Since this is my first post, you may want to check out my bio.

Why is this my first post? Frankly, there wasn't a World Wide Web the last time I was an undergrad!

Because I am in class with students who are the same age as my own daughters, some students assume I am an instructor. But it's not a big  deal after I confess my student status--most of the students, faculty, and staff think it's cool that I am attending William Woods as a "non-traditional" student. I am enjoying it a lot!

my selfie

Selfie from a previous life as a cubicle-dweller, with pretty-grown-up-daughters in the background.

When I was contemplating what I was going to do "for the rest of my life," I really knew was I wasn't totally happy with my current situation. And the rest of my life was still as daunting as it was when I was graduating from high school.

So I broke it down into smaller decisions, with smaller time horizons. I'm a problem solver, and that's how we do it.

Here are some questions I asked myself:

Q: Can I change careers, to anything, with a quick re-arrangement of my C.V.?

A: Probably not without a great reduction in pay, since moving wasn't an option.

Q: Since I am going to have to get some kind of training, what are my most important needs? The appeal of continuing my status quo was absolute zero. So that ruled out going to classes in the evening while maintaining my full-time job.  I didn't want to continue on my current trajectory.  So, I wasn't up for pursuing a degree at night or online.

A: I needed to consider a nearby university with great faculty who work directly with students and understand their individual needs.

But wait! What are my options?  Just because I want to do something doesn't mean I can--financially speaking.  I want to go back to school. Not only that, I want to go to art school (see my bio), but is my "hubby" down with me not contributing to the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed?

Amazingly, he was okay with that, having embraced the philosophy, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

Yeah! Now to decide which "art school."   I will discuss this in my next post.

Thanks for reading!