Lauren Lukkarila, PhD (she/her/hers) is a Senior Professor of Practice in the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement. She teaches in both the Humanities & Social Sciences and Teacher Preparation & Certification programs of SoPA. She also serves as the Academic Development and Resource Specialist for the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Dr. Lukkarila’s teaching career in higher education has spanned 25+ years and included teaching domestic and international students at both graduate and undergraduate levels of study. Dr. Lukkarila is passionate about developing culturally responsive educational approaches and practices that center learning and learners. She prioritizes the development of confidence, autonomy, and voice in her approach to teaching because she believes that learning should result in learners feeling more empowered and more emboldened to become the highest vision they have of themselves.
She joined Tulane from Georgia Tech, where she was the Assistant Director of the Georgia Tech Language Institute. Her work there included developing courses and workshops for domestic and international graduate students, pre- and in-service ESL/EFL teachers, and professionals who do not have English as a first language but work in international academic/business contexts where English is the primary language of the workplace. She has developed on-ground, hybrid, and online courses and workshops on topics like academic research writing for graduate students, strategic reading, strategic listening, public speaking, oral communication, pronunciation, intercultural communication, personal leadership for effective teaching, preparing and planning for effective learning, assessment and evaluation, and learner-centered teaching.
One of Dr. Lukkarila’s favorite quotes is the following: "The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become" (Charles DuBos). She believes that the true purpose of education is or should be to support teachers and learners in developing the ability to re-think and re-organize who they are on a moment by moment basis so that they are always becoming someone more and hopefully someone better than who they were. To that end, she also believes that developing and committing to a practice of lifelong learning is essential in a 21st century world that challenges all of us to embrace and lean into change.