Kara Laughbaum ’19 is a December graduating senior that has served as a student board member and editor for Explorations: The Texas A&M Undergraduate Journal for over a year. Kara attends weekly board meetings during the fall and spring semesters to discuss recruitment, promotion, and editorial tasks in order to meet the journal’s annual publication schedule. Kara also helps promote the journal by hosting resource tables, presenting to classes, and volunteering at LAUNCH-sponsored events throughout the year.
LAUNCH sat down with Kara ahead of the release of Volume 11 to ask her about her experience with Explorations.
Kara, what are you studying at Texas A&M and what do you plan to do after graduation?
I am a University Studies major with a concentration in global arts planning, design, and construction. My minors are in English and new media art, and I have a Professional Writing Certificate awarded by the TAMU English Undergraduate Office.
Currently I want to attend graduate school for design, hopefully using the training I have in architecture and graphic media. I am currently in the process of trying to find a graduate program with an interdisciplinary approach to art and communication.
Have your post-graduation goals changed over the course of your time as an undergraduate?
I originally came to Texas A&M to pursue a degree in engineering. Texas A&M offers fantastic programs in so many disciplines, and while I enjoyed my major coursework, taking classes outside of my major ultimately led me to my current career goals. At the recommendation of one of my professors, I began to seriously consider a career in design. After that I changed my major and began to take classes more focused in the arts. What I love about my current degree is the flexibility offered by a university studies major. I can take the classes I need to further my career while maintaining my ability to take courses I find interesting- regardless of their relation to my concentration.
What have you learned during your time with Explorations?
Through Explorations, I have had opportunities to further develop skills relevant to my career in design. As an Explorations board member, there have been many opportunities to pursue projects that interest me personally and professionally. During the rest of my time with Explorations, I hope to expand my professional network, develop my graphic design skills, and improve my command of the English language.
What are your responsibilities on the Explorations board?
I help with board and author recruitment, screening submissions, and guiding potential authors through the submissions process. My favorite part of our process is getting to work in small teams with our final authors. I just love getting to see an article transform into its final published state.
What are you proud of from your time on the board?
I am passionate about Texas A&M University and think the research pursuits showcased in Explorations are the best ways to exhibit the university’s strength in a wide range of fields. Through the privilege of working with Explorations, I hope to become connected to the scholastic fabric of our university as well as help others advertise their strengths.
How do you think your time on the board will help your goals for the future?
My time as an Explorations board member has provided me with a unique interdisciplinary outlet to pursue my passions for design and writing. I have gained unparalleled experience that has opened my eyes to the importance of research in all disciplines. Human knowledge is a tapestry which together we all weave. I joined Explorations because I value the exchange of ideas across disciplines, and I wanted to be a part of the effort to help students share their work with the Texas A&M community and beyond.
For me, learning has never been about rote memorization, but rather about the thrill of discovery and creative exploration. This is why I joined Explorations– to see the work that undergraduate students here at Texas A&M are doing to produce a more complete picture of the world we live in. New Media is fast becoming a bridge that connects disparate disciplines. The interdisciplinary exchange of ideas is vital in our increasingly interconnected world, as a wider breadth of knowledge allows for more creative solutions to the problems we face.
To read the 10th volume of Explorations please see our journal here. You can also explore our interactive website here. Interested in publishing with us? You can find our publication timeline, requirements, and synopsis submission pages on our website here.