Faculty Spotlight

Laurie Earp

Laurie Earp

Laurie Earp has been teaching at San Francisco State University since 2011. We recently spoke with her about why she loves event planning and being a part of the College of Extended Learning.

How she got into event planning…
When I graduated I didn't know what I was going to do. I traveled the world for a year. I did a lot of other things and ultimately got my master's degree in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College which is now called a Master's Degree in Nonprofit Management.

Why she loves her job…
I love working with my diverse client base in the nonprofit sector that address issues on the planet from the environment to refugees to cancer to education to restorative justice.

The challenges and joys of event planning…
As opposed to working with nebulous time lines, there's a beginning date and an execution date which is the event. You start with a seed and it totally becomes a forest in terms of its complexities, the textures of it and the subtle nuances of the event that achieve the goals of the client.

What students can get out of her class…
The class empowers the students with enough information so they can go back to their job or client and say that's a great idea let's move forward – or I have concerns. They actually do plan out an event, so they get the theoretical and the practical. Over the years, several of the events that they were doing in class were actual events that they were taking back to their organizations.

Why she loves teaching at San Francisco State University…
Every time I'm asked to come back, I'm there. I love the diversity, from international students, to people right out of college, to stay at home moms coming back to the workforce. They're people who are going from high tech to a more value based organization. It's been really wonderful. I love to mentor people so to be able to work with people making that shift is incredible.