Lauren Fleming

When I visited the campus for the first time, I fell in love. I felt at home.

Lauren Fleming BA '19



Degree and Class Year

BA ’19

Current City

Seattle, Washington




Political Science and Ethnic Studies

Job Title, Organization

Bookseller, Third Place Books

Continuing Studies

AA in Film and Media Studies from Santa Barbara City College; MLIS from the University of Washington

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Historical Project Runway

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

When I visited the campus for the first time, I fell in love. I felt at home. Growing
up in Southern California, I was so used to sunshine, heat, and beaches, which is
paradise to many, but the campus was like stepping into a fairytale. I was also
drawn in by the small class sizes, personalized academic planning, and the
freedom provided by the ratio of required courses to electives–major, elective,
and general education requirements being split into thirds.

What have you been doing since graduation?

I took a year between undergrad and grad school to study film. At the beginning
of the COVID-19 pandemic, I moved to Seattle to begin my library science
degree, which I finished in June 2022. I currently work as a bookseller at Third
Place Books. As of this moment, I spend all of my free time reading, learning
about the publishing industry, and planning my wedding!

How did Lewis & Clark prepare you for grad school?

LC gave me the skills to critically analyze information resources and sort through
them to present clear, thorough research. Being able to parse through large
amounts of information has really helped me through my library science degree.
It will certainly help me in any future library or archiving position I hold in the
future in order to help patrons and community members find what they’re looking
for (or what they didn’t know they were looking for!).

What would you say is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark?

This may sound cheesy, but I learned that developing a well-rounded education
is much more than learning science, math, history, etc. and being able to write, research, and present. It is all that, but much much more. I learned how to truly
develop lasting relationships, engage with the community, and explore the world
around me as well.

Why did you major in History?

I had known that I wanted to study history since I was in elementary school. The
history department at LC does not require a concentration, which gave me the
perfect opportunity to spend time exploring different periods and regions that I did
not get to explore previously. Being able to explore different regions, topics, and
periods also allowed me to get to know my peers better and learn about their
interests, which helped me to better develop my own interests.

If applicable, why did you minor in ethnic studies and political science?

I felt that both political science and ethnic studies complemented my history
degree. The three fields put together help me to be able to contextualize the
world around me, from the past to the present, to the people, institutions, and
infrastructures around us.

How do you stay connected to Lewis & Clark as an alum?

I like to keep up with the professors I worked with at LC, whether it be through
social media or following their current research.

What was your favorite class? How did it expand your

It is truly hard to pick a course, but I would have to pick Perspectives in
Environmental Chemistry with Barbara Balko. I have always been fascinated by
how the world works, so this was such a great class to dig into the details. We
learned about renewable energy, air pollution, mineral extraction, and measures
to prevent climate change. This class was also incredibly fun because it was so
hands-on both in the classroom and in the lab.

Where did you find your community on campus?

I found my community with my neighbors in my dorm. As the years went on, we
stayed in the same dorms and lived next door to one another all the way through
graduation. The group of friends I made the first week of college are my closest
friends to this day.

Who was your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

My mentor is Renee Orlick (Assistant VP of Institutional Research and Planning).
She was the staff facilitator of my Pioneer Success Institute cohort and we
bonded pretty quickly. The following year, I was her student co-facilitator for PSI.
Renee had coached me through all the ups and downs of college, had given me
advice for grad school and potential career paths, and has been a really great
friend to this day.