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Laura TownsendProgram Director, Innovate Living-Learning Community (LLC)

    Laura Townsend currently serves as the Program Director for the Innovate Living-Learning Community (LLC) under the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs. Innovate brings together a diverse group of committed students into a high energy, experience-driven, learning environment.  Innovate provides transdisciplinary students the opportunity to gain insights into the entrepreneurial process, interact with successful entrepreneurs, and learn from Virginia Tech faculty and community partners with expertise in areas related to developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

    Laura, through the support of Apex, has been able to design, promote and execute programs related to entrepreneurship and innovation for undergraduates via a mentorship program, community building activities, providing students with local treks to various start-ups and tech industries, and host “Fireside” chats with diverse guest speakers/entrepreneurs.  She has developed and executed LLC calendar and annual program roadmaps, recruiting and retention plans via future calendar planning, project plans, as well as meetings and discussions with students & staff around personal leadership development within the LLC.

    “My vision for Apex Center for Entrepreneurs is that we would become leaders in the Entrepreneurship education community.  I believe this can happen through well proven and practiced programming. In order to establish ourselves within this learning environment, we must find a balance of risk, pace, and innovation through deliberate and thought out programming which remains consistent in order to build a solid foundation within the community.”

    Laura has an Undergraduate Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to working in Student Development, she worked in a technology start-up as the Marketing Director, and in several non-profit, socially-oriented organizations. Laura is a passionate advocate of community building and student development at the collegiate level and is especially interested in issues related to gender and neuro-diversity. In the free time she has, she is an avid reader of fiction, aspires to be a writer, is an amateur decorator, complacent housekeeper, reluctant cook, activity planner of four rowdy sons, and wife of a dashing (but messy) professor.  Laura is a native of Austin, TX, and recently moved with her husband, four boys, and two dogs from Raleigh, NC to the Blacksburg area.

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