CHILLICOTHE — There was a time when she dreamed of being a Broadway performer or a national newscaster.
“I dreamed of being in a position of influence,” said Laurie Sheridan Lach, “and using my communication skills to inspire people. I was comfortable on stage and speaking in front of people and that’s true today. But I never imagined that I would end up working for a university.
Today, Lach is director of regional campus development and alumni engagement at Ohio University.
“I do this work,” she says, “because I believe in the power of education and know the profound impact it has on a community. I believe that the opportunity to earn a college degree should be accessible and affordable for everyone, regardless of race, gender, family background, or socioeconomic status. And I do this because I play an important role in creating new academic programs, improving labs, improving learning spaces, and supporting students. »
Lach grew up on a small farm outside of Athens. “My family,” she said, “is rooted in Athens County. My father’s family, the Sheridans, came from Ireland in 1828.”
She graduated from Federal Hocking High School in 1988 and she started at Ohio University when she was still a senior in high school. She went on to OU at Scripps College of Communication to study Organizational Communication and English Literature.
“My parents would say I was an adventurous, determined and ambitious kid,” she said. “I always had a restless feeling, I always wanted to see what else I could get myself into. Basically, I was curious and asked a lot of questions.
“I was intrigued by things like genealogy,” she added, “and did a big research project on my family, including an interview with my great-uncle who was born in 1898. I m I was also interested in genetics, and more particularly in biotechnology. On my own, I wrote and presented a nationally award-winning talk on the use of biotechnology in agriculture while still in high school. I have also sung and traveled to Australia and New Zealand as a member of the National Chorus, USA.
Fast forward. After college, she started working for a large conglomerate in Cleveland.
“Then, by fate, luck, or divine intervention,” she recalls, “the position of Director of Medical School Alumni Relations opened up at Ohio University and it seemed well suited to my skills and expertise. My efforts with the medical school have made me realize the importance of philanthropic support in the advancement of the institution. I then saw the opportunity to work closely with the deans to encourage greater philanthropic support, hence the role I have now. I work in direct partnership with regional campus deans to find ways to fund their vision and move the campus forward.
Lach started with Ohio University in January 2012.
“Laurie is one of those professionals that I call impeccable,” said Roberta Milliken, Ph.D., dean of campus and community relations at Ohio University Chillicothe. “His work ethic, his sensitivity to the task, his efficiency as a colleague and his interpersonal skills are excellent. It is a pleasure to work with her.
“The work I do comes almost entirely from my heart,” Lach replied, “with some degree of specialist knowledge and technical skills included. Truly, I have tremendous gratitude for the meaningful work and opportunities I I have had to make a positive contribution to the students, staff, faculty, alumni, and donors of Ohio University, I simply could not have designed my life’s path any better.
For more information about Ohio University Chillicothe, log on to www.ohio.edu/chillicothe.
About the series
Aces of Trades is a weekly series about people and their jobs – whether it’s unusual jobs, fun jobs, or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at [email protected] or 740-349-1110.