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Laura Holveck '14 M.A.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology
"The I/O psych degree is aligned with leadership development, which is a constant and ongoing challenge for any organization, especially in the military."
Laura Holveck

About Laura

I received my bachelor’s degree in operations research from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2001. Since also getting my commission in the Coast Guard, I have been stationed as a deck watch officer aboard USCGC Spence out of Boston, Mass. I earned my Naval Flight Wings at Naval Flight School in Milton, Fla., in 2005 and was stationed as an H-65 Dolphin Helicopter pilot at Air Station Miami from 2005-2008. My last duty station before attending UNH was as an H-65 pilot at Air Station Atlantic City from 2008-2012. I am currently stationed back at the United States Coast Guard Academy, serving as a company officer for the Corps of Cadets as they earn their degrees and commissions.

Why did you choose UNH and what attracted you to your graduate program?

I chose UNH because I was drawn to the close-knit community created by the professors and students. The University attracts lots of diverse graduate students who are also working full time. The I/O psych degree is aligned with leadership development, which is a constant and ongoing challenge for any organization, especially in the military. This was an ideal program to apply directly to the cadet leadership development that I am helping to lead.

How have your experiences at UNH helped prepare you for your desired career path?

Attending a civilian university helped me to broaden my perspective as a Coast Guard officer. The lens that I was able to view organizations, psychological theories and leadership theories was unique due to my history in the military. Viewing the courses from a civilian perspective allowed great reflection with respect to the military and myself. For me, it was a great chance to "round out" myself as an officer for future roles. The wonderful benefit to the I/O psych degree is that it can be applied to almost any scenario in a positive and constructive manner.

Tell us about a memorable hands-on learning experience such as a class project, applied research or an internship that you have participated in.

The moment where all the courses came together occurred in two instances. One took place during the tests and measures course in which I was challenged to improve upon a current selection method process for an organization. The second instance occurred when working on my practicum, which was a project proposal for the United States Coast Guard Academy pertaining to peer assessments and nominations. These two challenges helped to fuse all the pieces together and allowed me to apply the knowledge into actual feasible initiatives. The simplest idea takes lots of research, preparation and presentation to ensure it is successful. All of the courses gave me a solid base to succeed in a variety of different concentration areas after graduation.

What are your post-graduation plans?

As a company officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, my job is to be a role model for cadets who will one day join the fleet. We help them develop leadership and management skills and learn how to uphold the strenuous expectations of the Coast Guard core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. It is imperative that we engage them early because one day they will be working with us in an operational setting.