Lauren Speer (Phillips-Thoryn), B.A. 2006

Virtual Event Production Manager, Abt Associates, Rockville MD

B.A., Cultural Anthropology, minors in History and Religion (2006)

How has being a Cultural Anthropology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"Yes! I started my career in creative marketing agencies and have had a chance to travel the nation managing large format events (conferences, roadshows, educational meetings, etc). During the pandemic I transitioned to virtual and hybrid event production and work for an amazing public policy agency. Most recently I have produced large format public hearings for OSHA, the EPA, and other government agencies."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Cultural Anthropology programs? 

"Don't hesitate to reach out to professors and build a relationship with faculty. I did not do this and regret it -- it would have been amazing to have had a mentor going into my early professional life."

Lauren Speer (Phillips-Thoryn)