Q&A with professional master’s student Laura Winder

Laura Winder with her children at Ferdinand's.

Laura Winder grew up right here in Pullman and completed her Bachelor of Science in chemistry education at Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2006. Now, she’s right back in Pullman pursuing her Professional Science Master’s degree in the WSU’s School Molecular Biosciences. She hopes to teach AP and dual-enrollment courses at the high school level.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

I love reading, gardening, making cards, hiking and running. I enjoy hiking Kamiak Butte. It’s close, it’s an easy hike, and it has great views at the top. I read both Malcolm Galdwell’s “Talking to Strangers” and “Blink” this summer. They were well-researched and fascinating books that prompted a lot of reflection on my part, and, interestingly, they made seemingly contradictory conclusions. 

What’s your favorite thing about WSU?

Ferdinand’s – it’s the best ice cream anywhere. 

Fun fact about you?

I like running. I’m not fast, but I do half marathons for fun and full marathons when I want to challenge myself. The biggest thrill is reaching the finish line and seeing my kids, Bennett, 11; Madelyn, 9; Jaxon, 6; and Phillip, 3; cheer me on.

What are your career goals?

I’m in the Professional Science Masters in Molecular Biosciences program. I started with the intention of continuing to get a Ph.D. and potentially doing research. However, midway through the program I decided I wanted to return to teaching. Being able to work as a TA through the duration of my graduate program was instrumental to me making this decision. Despite the change, my program has still been a great fit. I was able to shift some of the courses to be more education related and complete an internship in education research. Completing the PSM program also makes me more qualified to teach the higher AP and dual enrollment courses at the high school level. 

Do you have any pets?

Yes – Abby, a Shih Tzu, 13, and Julie, a 10-month-old cat we adopted from the humane society during quarantine.