Hello! My name is Laura Lucas, and I am excited to join the Office of Information Technology at St. Edward’s as the new Learning Spaces Manager. I describe myself as a higher education professional and enthusiast who thrives on collaborating with other educators to innovate new ways to promote active engagement, curiosity, and deep, long-term learning in students. I hold a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Rice University.
Prior to taking this position, I was an instructional designer at Austin Community College (ACC), where I worked to support student success at all levels within the college, from individual course redesigns to the development and implementation of strategic college-wide initiatives. I have extensive experience in designing and facilitating faculty development on a variety of topics, including successful integration of instructional technology, exemplary online course design, culturally responsive teaching, competency based instruction, and open educational resources. At ACC, I was an active participant on numerous college councils and committees and recently served as president of my employee association. I also have a teaching background, having taught courses in sociology, Mexican American studies, learning frameworks, and cultural foundations at UT Austin, ACC, and here at St. Edward’s (and yes, I am thrilled to be back!).
As the Learning Spaces Manager, my charge is to help build and implement a university-wide vision for learning spaces – formal and informal, physical and virtual – that promote technology-enhanced active learning. I will work to achieve this goal through consultation and collaborative design with faculty, research, experimentation, data-informed analysis, and advocacy. A critical aspect of this work will be to partner with faculty to develop awesome learning experiences that, through effective use of university learning spaces, elevate levels of student engagement and promote successful mastery of learning outcomes. I will also be looking more holistically at university-wide practices to help maximize the use of current high-tech and active learning spaces and provide evidence-based input on the development of future campus spaces. I approach this work with a desire to contribute to the culture of excellence in teaching and learning at St. Edward’s.
My husband and I moved from Houston to Austin in 2000 and immediately knew this was the city for us. We are loyal patrons of the Austin music scene and enjoy exploring the never-ending array of new restaurants in town. I am also a certified Jazzercise instructor, avid reader, knitter, and DIY enthusiast.