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Elementary education student follows family's passion for teaching, WVU

Inspired by her family, rising sophomore Lauren Marquart's decision to attend West Virginia University and major in elementary education was a relatively simple one.

Marquart, a native of Wheeling, W.Va., is heavily involved in numerous activities despite being on campus less than a year. She serves as a student ambassador and is involved with student government, and gave a talk at the TEDxWVU event in April.

Why did you choose WVU?
I chose WVU because it’s home. I am a third-generation Mountaineer who chose to follow in my family’s footsteps. I have always had a love for the Mountaineers and the state of West Virginia.

Why did you choose to be involved in student government and as an ambassador? 
I chose to become involved with these organizations because I love being able to be a voice for others. As a College Senator, I am a voice for the students I encourage to come here, as well as the students I work alongside every day. As a student ambassador, I am a voice for our university.

What was the TEDxWVU experience like?
I got involved with WVU’s TEDx event by seeing the application come through one of our SGA group chats. In high school, I was the captain of my school’s speech and debate team, so I thought, “I could do this!” and applied the next day.

My experience with TEDxWVU was a phenomenal one. I was given the opportunity to use my voice to inspire others through a platform that could reach thousands of people. As a future teacher, I have only become more passionate about the world of education. Sometimes I think it is helpful for teachers, current and upcoming, to hear from students about what works and what doesn’t.

Who are some of your mentors at WVU?
So far in my career at WVU I have had a handful of mentors. Brittany Stout is a recruitment specialist for CAHS and my boss and was my first mentor on campus. I met her the day before classes began and she has encouraged me to turn my passions into reality. 

I have also had the incredible opportunity to work with fellow students as mentors through SGA. Sohan Daniel and Olivia Dowler have both been strong voices in my life pushing me to become the best version of myself.

How do you think your experience at WVU will help shape the professional you will become? What, perhaps, is unique about the WVU experience?
I believe my experiences at WVU will help shape me as a professional because every experience I have had here at WVU thus far has allowed me to grow as a person. My job as an ambassador and college senator has taught me how to lead and work with others, as well as how to strengthen my personal qualities.

WVU works diligently to make sure every student feels like they have a home here among the hills. In doing this, students are better able to find what truly inspires them. I have found that in the education department here at WVU through my job as an ambassador and through the elementary education program.

As of right now, what are your plans upon graduation?
As of right now, after graduation I plan on teaching in West Virginia for at least five years. As an Underwood Smith Teaching Scholar, I have been given the opportunity to pursue my degree in education with financial support if I dedicate time to teaching in-state after graduation. This program has greatly helped my higher education experience. One day I also hope to become a Superintendent of Schools.

 What are a few of your favorite spots around Morgantown?
In Morgantown you can probably catch me hanging out at the Mountainlair or Chipotle with friends. I also love spending time on the Mountainlair green during the warmer months. A few other notable spots would be the Downtown Library and Woodburn Circle.

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