As a student at the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning, Laura Lambert was able to explore creative interests such as ceramic arts, learning technical skills while engaging in larger life conversations around family, philosophy, and culture. Today Laura is a senior director of development for UC Santa Barbara, building and sustaining meaningful relationships through educational philanthropy.
Who: Laura Lambert
Profession: Senior Director of Development for UC Santa Barbara
How long were you at SBCC? 2005-2011
What was your focus while at SBCC? Ceramic Arts and Ceramics through the Center for Lifelong Learning. I also took sewing and knitting classes as well.
Best Memory? Meeting my ceramics instructor, Norm Hendry, and becoming friends with him and the wonderful regulars in our weekly class. Norm taught me technical pottery skills, but always within the context of larger life conversations about family, philosophy, culture, music, food. And there was always food…class was sustained by an elaborate rotating pot-luck meal that everyone contributed to weekly. Everyone in our ceramics class was multi-talented, and I was touched when my friend Paige from class made a quilt for my son when he was born.
One year we organized and had a pottery sale up at Norm’s home on Mountain Drive. Classmates donated pieces and the proceeds went to the Ceramics program. It was fun to help mobilize our potters to give back to a program they all loved so dearly.
How did the SBCC experience influence your professional path? My professional work is defined by building and sustaining meaningful relationships through educational philanthropy. My experience as a ceramics student helps me to personally share with and relate to the donors and beneficiaries with whom I work.
What are you doing now? I’m a senior director of development for UC Santa Barbara. I’ve been working in the higher education advancement field since 2004, and fortunate enough to have grown my career through various opportunities at UCSB. I received my master’s degree in education from UC Santa Barbara in 2012. Through my experiences at SBCC and UCSB, I benefited enormously from California’s incredible public system of higher education.
How are you making an impact on the world? I get to help people explore, identify, and invest in their philanthropic passions. I also assist the recipients of philanthropy in articulating their gratitude.
Why is SBCC an important educational institution for the Santa Barbara community? In terms of lifelong learning, there is nothing I have seen that compares to the program at SBCC. The array of courses and the accessibility make it a true community resource available to everyone!
Are you proud to be a Vaquero Alumni? Yes! Hopefully sharing my experience at SBCC will help other lifelong learners identify as alumni and feel a part of the Vaquero community.
Author: Jessica Tade