When I was a little kid, I used to think that my teachers lived at school. They were there in the morning and never left before me in the afternoon, so I just assumed they never left at all!
I’ve since learned that this is not the case, but I’ve also learned that the notion is not completely farfetched. It’s easy to assume the diligent people who spend the work-day laboring never go home to rest up. One might be inclined to believe that that is the case with our faculty in the Biomedical Engineering department at Georgia Tech. When you walk through the advising offices in Whitaker, you pass the offices that house our beloved academic advisors. These people work tirelessly to help us survive the BMED curriculum, but they also live interesting lives outside of their work.
Kristen Laquidera is a prime example of an advisor that lives an abundant life in the afterhours. Though she claims her life is “pretty low-key,” her adventures suggest otherwise.
Kristen grew up in Watkinsville, Georgia, near Athens. Despite her roots, Kristen made the wise choice to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology for her undergrad, earning a management degree. She then began working in higher education, and she worked at Kennesaw State University and Georgia State University before coming to Georgia Tech. The BME Department has been lucky enough to have Kristen on staff for the past three-and-a-half years.
I recently sat down with Kristen to learn about her life outside of the office. Perhaps the ‘grandest adventure’ she told me about is the fact that she recently got married. Kristen and her husband, Jon, tied the knot last November with a small wedding at her house. They honeymooned in New Orleans and have enjoyed the married life since.
This summer, Kristen will continue one of her favorite hobbies: travelling. She is flying to the Emerald Isle on the Galway study abroad trip. Having visited Ireland before, Laquidera already says that Galway is her favorite city. The small-town feel and pedestrian-friendly streets make it feel like a home away from home, she claimed.
Her real home here in Atlanta is a house full of laughter and love. Laquidera enjoys cooking Pinterest-worthy meals and baked goods for her husband. She keeps the Irish trend going by listening to Damien Rice. And she even brings a pride from her work back home with her, as she cheers on the Yellow Jackets on Saturdays in the fall. Though she grew up near Athens, she remains, in her words, “very interested in UGA losing”.
Next time you walk past an academic office, remember that our BMED faculty live bustling lives outside of office hours. Perspective helps us appreciate.
Finally, here’s a little-known fact for fans of Pitch Perfect or The Sing-Off: in high school, Kristen was in show choir, and loved every minute of it. We’re not sure if she’d be willing to sing you through your next advising session, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask!