Lauren Marquis ’11MS Sets Leadership Example

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Lauren Marquis 11MS
Lauren with her husband Steve and 2-year-old daughter Dylan

Lauren Marquis ’11MS, the director of Alumni Relations for Wheelock College, is an inspiring member of the College community. One of the two winners of the 2015 President’s Service Awards, Lauren describes part of her role as a liaison between the alumni and their fellow alumni, between the alumni and other departments on campus, and between the alumni and students. She plans programs for the alumni, and she attempts to provide “customer service” so that she fulfills the need(s) of each alumna/us, whether the person wants to connect with a fellow classmate, is seeking support from Career Services, would like to plan an alumni event, etc. … Another significant part of Lauren’s role is to work with the Alumni Association Board.

Though three staff members report to Lauren, she says: “For me, work is not as much about management as it is about being a team player and a supportive person with knowledge and skill sets. I want to be a person to whom all staff members could come for advice. … I think of work as a full-team dynamic. I’m not concerned with hierarchies and titles. What matters to me more are my interactions with my colleagues. I want to be a collaborator.”

Lauren sets an example of leadership in the office, even to those who do not report to her. For instance, every year, she supports the planning of  Wheelock World Service Weekend. She rallies alumni, students, faculty, and staff to devote a weekend of service to their communities around the world, which perpetuates Wheelock’s mission. And, she contributes! Last year, she led a clothing drive for Year Up, an organization that supports young people in their career development.

This year, Lauren’s contribution to Wheelock World Service Weekend was a bit more personal. Her cousin Sophie was diagnosed with leukemia less than two years ago at 3 months of age. She had a bone marrow transplant when she was 8 months old, but, unfortunately, she relapsed and needed a second one when she was 17 months old. Lauren has been a member of the National Bone Marrow Registry for nearly 10 years, understanding that it is vital. Many people do not have matches within their family. Sophie was fortunate to have multiple matches, not within her family but amongst the people who had joined the registry. Regardless, to show support for Sophie and her family, Lauren teamed with another Wheelock College colleague and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to hold a Be The Match bone marrow registration drive on the College campus. All it takes is a cheek swab to become a member of the National Bone Marrow Registry, and, thanks to Lauren, the registry now has 20 new participants.

Sadly, Sophie passed away at the end of April. But, had she not had bone marrow transplants, she would not have lived even as long as she did. The bone marrow transplants gave her more time with her family. If you are not a potential bone marrow donor, please consider joining at bethematch.com.

Lauren received her master’s in Organizational Leadership from Wheelock in 2011. She can be reached at lmarquis@wheelock.edu.