Laura is a Lead Generation Manager here at Hostway and a former cheerleader for the San Antonio Spurs – but her passions for cheerleading and technology have far-reaching effects beyond her own satisfaction. She’s also helping the community and furthering science at the same time! Laura is what’s known as a Science Cheerleader, and what she does is literally out of this world!
The Science Cheerleaders are current and former cheerleaders and dancers for professional sports franchises who have an interest in and passion for science. They engage in a variety of citizen-sponsored scientific projects around the United States. The goal of Science Cheerleaders is to challenge stereotypes about professional dancers and encourage young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math. For Laura, participating in this event was a natural extension of her lifelong love of learning and community outreach. Science Cheerleaders also work to bring science into the lives of everyday citizens, working for a more informed public. In addition to promoting formal research projects, Science Cheerleaders collaborated with NBC Sports, NBC Learn, the NFL and the National Science Foundation to produce an Emmy -winning video series titled The Science of NFL Football. Their notable first performance was at the U.S.A. Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., in October, 2010, a presentation made possible by the support of the Burroughs Welcome Fund.
As a San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancer for eight years, Laura participated in many city-wide appearances with various non-profit groups to help support and raise awareness for various causes and promote education. She found these charitable events as a Silver Dancer rewarding as a chance to give back to the community, and she continues to enjoy participating in anything related to higher education.
Her opportunity to join Science Cheerleaders came not too long ago when she participated in a pro dance workshop. “I was introduced to the organization’s founder who was seeking a former or current pro dancer/cheerleader in the San Antonio and Austin area. I really liked the idea of the Science Cheerleaders.” And the rest is history. Or more appropriately, science.
In San Antonio, the Science Cheerleaders have teamed up with SciStarter, UC Davis and the National Science Teachers Association to help with Project Merccuri to study microbes in space! On April 12, 2013, they gathered microbes from a San Antonio Spurs game; one sample is going to be sent to the International Space Station for further study – a truly out-of-this-world endeavor.
In a recent interview with Laura, she stated that the best advice she would give to herself as a 12-year-old was to not lose sight of the importance of education. While being involved with sports and activities that you enjoy is important, it’s also important to keep your studies at the forefront as well.
Laura has a BA in Communications, Marketing and Public Relations from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and because of her work at Hostway, she is able to use that degree in a technology-related field.