Lauren successfully completed her doctoral exams in April 2015. She currently writing her dissertation, which explores ghosts in Caribbean literature and through this, investigates questions of cultures in contact, migration and borderlands, and social change. She has presented her research at the Carolina Conference of Romance Languages, the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, UVa’s Graduate Student Lecture Series, and the Return and Transgression Graduate Student Conference at Brown University. During the summer of 2014, she went to Costa Rica as the teaching assistant for a wonderful group of U.Va. undergraduates with the UVa study abroad program. She acted as the Spanish graduate student representative during the academic year of 2014-15, has taught the Jumpstart Spanish program for the International Studies Center for two years, and appeared as a guest on the international radio station ‘African Views Radio’ to discuss her experience as a Fulbright scholar in Turkey. Last summer, Lauren backpacked around Central America and then came home and adopted a dog named Hazelnut.