Division of Student Affairs

Student Spotlight: Laura Comino

Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2020 by Jolie Helton under Inside Student Affairs, Spartan Story. Tags:

Laura Comino is a senior Political Science major from Charlotte. The South Mecklenburg High School graduate transferred to UNCG after her freshman year. She currently works on campus as an Office Assistant in the Office of Intercultural Engagement. Comino plans to attend law school after graduating.

Why did you choose UNCG?

It was the perfect fit for me. I was looking for a big school that could make me feel important too, and every interaction I had with faculty and staff before coming on campus confirmed that. I wanted a school close – but not too close – to my hometown, and Greensboro was the perfect distance. The UNCG community turned out to be the perfect college setting for me, with other nearby universities, a rich city life, and the big school activities I had been looking for. It was home for me!

Tell us about your UNCG highlights, achievements, and awards.

[Transferring after freshman year] was a hard transition at first, but clearly worth it. Within a month of being here, I got involved volunteering with the Campus Violence Response Center, ran for the Hall Council of my residence hall (and won!), and started working as an Office Assistant for the Office of Intercultural Engagement. A year later, I’ve built on those achievements: I’ve hosted a variety of programs on campus, I’m involved with SGA’s Diversity and Equity Taskforce, I’m part of the KaleidoSCOPE program, and I am a member of the UNCG College Democrats. Advocating for my peers within all of my roles and responsibilities is my biggest goal. Getting to do it while also being on the Chancellor’s List is a dream come true for me, especially as I am a first-generation immigrant (Comino’s family is from Spain, and she grew up in France before immigrating the US in 2013).

What are your favorite things to do on campus?

In these trying times, I spend a lot of time in my Spartan Village apartment! However, when I need to go out, I love to go for a walk down Spring Garden and get coffee on Tate Street. However, before the pandemic, my friends and I would meet up to go to Kaplan and take an exercise class or go swimming. Either way, there’s always something fun and safe to do on campus!

Where is your favorite place to study?

The third or fourth floor group spaces in the Library! I love the fact that they’re on an open floor plan and let me study with friends or classmates (while properly social distancing nowadays!). I’ve written great papers from there; the liveliness of the lower floors of the library puts me in a good mood to study, and I really enjoy it.

Who is your favorite professor?

That is such a hard question! I have yet to meet a UNCG professor who I do not genuinely like, particularly in the Political Science department. Everyone there was so helpful and caring in ensuring a seamless transition for me coming into the major, and they all make class truly interesting. My favorite professor all around, however, would have to be Dr. Andrews in the Religious Studies department, because of her ability to make very complex topics accessible to everyone. Her teaching style makes the class feel engaged and lively, and she truly cares for the success of each of her students. I took two classes with her before I asked her if she’d be willing to take me on for Independent Research, to which she said yes! I have been studying Hindu American Political Involvement with her for a few months now, and it has been a wonderful experience.

“If I knew I could not fail, I would …”

… try everything on campus! If I knew I could have the time to try every single activity, club, and opportunity, I would try it all. From Sky Yoga and Meditation to the club Quidditch team, I would sample all 360 student organizations at the G. There is so much to explore, and too much to ever get bored!

What is your passion, and how are you committed to pursuing it?

My passion is advocating for human rights. I really want to study international law after undergrad, to be able to work for an international organization like the United Nations. To pursue it, I’ve made a commitment to learn about cultures outside of my own as much as I can. This led me to work in Intercultural Engagement, to studying Hinduism and other South Asian cultures with Dr. Andrews, and to focus on Global Affairs with my Political Science major. When it comes to intercultural competency, UNCG has awesome resources, and I’ve very glad to have access to them as a student here!

“The one UNCG experience I will always remember will be …”

I will definitely always remember the Meet and Greet with faculty and staff in the Political Science department my first semester here. In the first week of classes, the department brought cookies and refreshments for their students and invited faculty to welcome us. Being new in the major, this was such a nice way to get all of my questions answered and find my way in the program. I was able to meet a lot of my current professors through that event, and everyone there was incredible welcoming and ready to give me any resources I could have needed as a new student!

Are there any particular Student Affairs offices that have made a significant impact on your time here?

That’s an easy answer: the Office of Intercultural Engagement! Working here as an Office Assistant, but also just being able to come into the office as a student, I’ve been part of so much. I’ve attended lectures on various cultures, open dialogues, and a variety of events through the office. From a panel on Mental Health in the Black Church, to LGBTQ+ inclusion workshops, to movie showings, the office has something for everyone. It’s easily been my favorite place on campus, because of its awesome staff and its community spirit. Being able to work here has been incredible and makes me happy to be contributing to UNCG!

What does student leader mean to you?

Being a student leader means encouraging other students in every aspect of success. Whether it’s inviting them to study with you, letting them know about interesting opportunities on campus, or helping them succeed with friendly support, being a student leader is about caring. Any can be a student leader; it does not take tremendous responsibilities or a huge following. It’s about caring for others and setting an example for success at UNCG.

How do you think your campus involvement and student leadership experience has prepared you for life after UNCG?

It’s prepared me in incredible ways! My work in Intercultural Engagement has developed my customer service skills, allowing me to assist various identities and students with unique situations. Helping as a volunteer in the Campus Violence Response Center lets me connect and network with many resources and officers around campus. As a Political Science student, I’ve been taught crucial interview and resume-building skills that I’ve been applying ever since. There is something to learn from every aspect of my life at the G, and I am very grateful for it!

How would you describe UNCG to a prospective student?

UNCG is like Playdough. This means you can mold your experience into what you want it to be! This university is full of opportunities, as its big campus and student body allow you to explore your interests and almost anything you can imagine. UNCG is the ideal place to create the university experience that you’re looking for, or find the one that fits you! The university slogan is “Find your way here,” and it fits so well because UNCG is the perfect place to find the path that best fits you.

In what ways have you experienced UNCG’s Culture of Care?

When I was still getting adjusted after transferring, I had a hard time understanding how to apply my past Political Science from my previous university to my current degree. I met with Dr. McAvoy, the department chair, who walked me through every class I had taken, looked at each one of my syllabi, and took time to determine which classes I could apply to the Political Science program. He was very thorough and attentive and spoke to the Registrar on my behalf to make sure I got as many credits applied as possible. It made me feel listened to and supported and convinced me that I was in the right program for me!

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

Look out for student newsletters! Your UNCG email will receive so many fun opportunities for you to attend events, workshops, and all sorts of awesome stuff around campus. Go out and experience it! Bring a friend and take advantage of all of the programming at UNCG, especially the great events tailored for first-year students. That said, once you do that, make sleep a priority! There will be so many interesting things on campus that will keep your attention going on top of classes, so make sure that you get good rest every night!