Faculty Profile: Dr. Laura von Wallmenich
Laura von Wallmenich knew Alma College was the right fit as soon as she stepped on campus for her interview.
The assistant professor of English and chair of the American Studies program earned her undergraduate degree from Colby College, so she knew she wanted to work in a small liberal arts atmosphere.
She joined the faculty in the winter of 2002, after completing her graduate work at the University of Washington – Seattle.
“I liked that faculty outside my department actually cared about my research,” she says. “I value interdisciplinary work, so crossing between department lines is very important.”
To her, the students are what make Alma stand out from other colleges.
“There’s something really satisfying about working with the kind of student who comes to Alma College,” she says. “The students are willing, open and interested in new ideas and opportunities.”
She also enjoys chairing the American Studies program because she can work with a variety of students.
“The program creates space where you can ask questions that don’t fit into defined disciplines,” she says. “It’s a good example of a liberal arts education.”
Her research field is early Puritan and Indian contacts, specifically captivity narratives and Puritan/Indian warfare.
In her spare time, she enjoys cross-country skiing, spending time with her children and reading.