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Lauren Emenaker

Coming from a close-knit Colorado skiing town near Aspen, Lauren Emenaker felt right at home with Dominican’s gorgeous neighborhood campus and low student-faculty ratio. She was taken by the University’s personalized attention from her first visit to campus.

Everything fell into place.

“I also knew I wanted warmer weather and didn’t want snow in May!” remarks the 2010 class valedictorian at Basalt High School.

Lauren earned her BA in Graphic Art in only three years. She packed plenty of art and activity into that span, from carrying 19 units for three consecutive semesters as an honors student to making an extraordinary effort to be the event chair for Dominican’s “Relay for Life” for the American Cancer Society in April. She also participated in “Making Strides For Breast Cancer” in San Francisco.

The extra effort and extra-curricular activities created lifetime bonds.

“It’s been rewarding,” Lauren says of her Dominican experience. “The connections you make between small classes and faculty. I feel like I will be in touch with my advisor for the rest of my life.”

Lauren’s mentors include Steven Polacco, director of Graphic Art and Design, and Lynn Sondag, chair of the Department of Art, Art History and Design. Both worked closely with Lauren when she created her senior thesis art project that appeared in Dominican's San Marco Gallery.

“Lauren has engaged with the Dominican community to achieve her ambitious goals,” Polacco says. “She exemplifies the Dominican student: caring, determined, curious, and active.”

Helping others has long been an attribute of Lauren. She has worked with Sopris Therapy Services, helping children and adults with disabilities learn to ride horses as a form of therapy and rehabilitation. She also did peer tutoring in high school, participated in a food drive for Thanksgiving and the Roaring Fork River Conservancy Clean-up.

Between her thesis and her free time spent organizing “Relay for Life,” Lauren was incredibly busy her final year at Dominican. She has been involved with helping raise money for the American Cancer Society since 2005 when her grandmother died battling the disease.

“That’s always been part of my passion,” Lauren says. “My goal was to be event chairperson after I graduated.”

Lauren achieved her goal a year early. Just like college graduation.

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