Get to Know: Lauren Braun

Hey Oxford!! I'm so excited that you all are back right before finals, but let's introduce you to someone who will make your lives a lot easier next semester if you're a sophomore! You'll be seeing Lauren a lot more next year, so let's get to know her a little bit!

HC: Can you introduce yourself a bit?

LB: Hi my name is Lauren Braun! I’m the assistant director for the Advising Support Center. My role is new to Oxford College, as I am also the integration and transition specialist. I hope to work with all students with matters relating to academic advising and ultimately assist them as they make their journey to the Atlanta campus. 

HC: How did you find yourself coming to Oxford College?

LB: I was offered the opportunity to come to Oxford by the team in Academic Affairs. Prior to Oxford, I served as the assistant director of Academic Advising in Emory’s Office of Undergraduate Education for well over 2 years. And not to sound too much like a geek, but I know Oxford and Covington are part of the Hollywood of the South—Vampire Diaries is a guilty pleasure, and yes, I’m aware this will be posted online.

HC: So what does your job exactly entail for the students of Oxford College? 

LB: In short—ACADEMIC ADVISING! I hope to provide academic advising support for students, connect them with resources on both campuses, and this Spring, I plan to introduce a new “Transition Series.” The "Transition Series" will offer various events and information sessions that target specific themes about the undergraduate experience. I’m very excited about the programming, and I look forward to collaborating with campus partners both here at Oxford and Atlanta.

HC: What’s the difference between working at Oxford and working at the main campus?

LB: Honestly? Aside from the commute? The size of the campus and the overall community. Oxford is truly a living-learning community, not only for faculty and students, but staff as well. I attended a small liberal arts college as an undergraduate, got my master’s degree in liberal studies, and Oxford reminds me of each of those academic experiences.

HC: Are there any exciting projects coming up that you’re involved in and can give us some info on?

LB: The transition series to start. I also created a document called "Oxford Start"—the hope is that students and faculty can refer to this document to see how courses at Oxford will affect academic pathways at the Atlanta campus. The document will be available to faculty and students, and it’ll be updated as new courses are added or majors change.

HC: What’s the hardest thing that you see students facing?

LB: TOUGH question and so many answers. I think one of the challenges for high achieving students is learning how to bounce back after a setback (for ex. Failing an exam and moving beyond it). The fear of failure (future) can be paralyzing, but it doesn’t have to be. Teaching students how to find their resiliency or use these moments as teachable moments (for ex. Realizing that a certain academic pathway isn’t the right academic fit) can be a challenge. I also think that students have difficulty navigating their decision-making processes. I remember when I was an undergraduate I would struggle to make decisions when I had so many voices telling me what they thought was best. I would get advice from upperclassmen, my academic advisor (who I butted heads with—and ironically years later realize they knew best), and of course my parents. I was trying to keep up with what everyone else was doing or wanting and not really doing what I wanted…until I finally listened to the one voice that I needed to hear…my own.  Aside from obvious questions like “What will I major in?,” students struggle with choices on personal and social levels. I’ve seen so many students overextend themselves because they want to be part of everything Oxford and Emory have to offer (which is a lot). Unfortunately, there are only just so many hours in the day, days of the week, etc. Learning to commit to the things you’re passionate about, learning how to say NO to opportunities that appear interesting, and learning to listen to their own voices…it’s all part of the learning process.

HC: What is one thing you want to say to students right around finals?

LB: Answer BREATHE! And try to get plenty of rest, eat, study, repeat (that’s my nurturing side). I also want to add, please remember to keep in proper hygiene (I’ve seen some scary things over the years). Don’t try to cram everything from an entire semester into an all-night cram-a-thon. Remember, you’re smart, intelligent, and you would not be here if you were not already those things. You’ll do great!