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It is a pleasure to introduce Laura Tadd, September’s Faculty Spotlight! Laura is a faculty member in our online programs and offers a wealth of knowledge and worldly perspective to her students. As an internationally known astrologer, Laura works in a consulting capacity with people around the world. Laura teaches and lectures on astrology in-person and online. Laura loves supporting her clients to realize their resiliency and how to live an authentic life. As a social scientist, Dr. Laura Tadd has found that an astrological perspective to be unmatched as a tool for healing from the past, access our potential and lead fulfilling lives. Intrigued? Keep reading to learn more about Laura and how she found her career path …
Tell Us About Yourself?
I live about 40-mins south of Atlanta, GA, in an eco-development community focused on wellness. I sometimes refer to it as an intentional town. For although it is a development, there are close to 700 people living here, with the population growing every week. There are also a handful of restaurants, shops, an organic CSA, an elementary school, and a day spa. There is an inn, an artist in residence program, as well as a theater company. So, most days there is some activity or another to attend.
In addition to teaching at Casa Loma College, I am also a Psychological Astrologer. I love to travel, which is convenient, given that I have family members scattered across the globe. I grew up in New England, surrounded by a combination of mind, body spirit philosophies for as long as I can remember.
Tell Us About Your Educational Background.
My educational background has been a bit of a circuitous one. I went to college right out of high school, with the idea of going into environmental law. But, after a year, the combination of an ill-fitting school, and feeling disenchanted with politics, I dropped out. Moving to Burlington, VT, I began working with young children and became the director of a daycare. I soon found myself increasingly interested in psychology and early childhood development. Soon I was missing the mental stimulation of school. And so, I attended the Community College of Vermont (CCV) for a year, intending to transfer to the University of Vermont (UVM), as CCV is a feeder school for UVM. But as is often the case, life took me a different direction.
After a year at CCV, I moved across the country, eventually completing my Bachelor of Art (BA) in Liberal Studies at Antioch University Santa Barbara (AUSB). Soon afterward, I started a Master of Art (MA) degree at AUSB in clinical psychology. But again, I found myself in an ill-fitting program. While I wanted to work with people in a counseling capacity, I was unsure if the clinical route was one I wanted to take, and I dropped out, yet again. A few years later, while attending a conference put on by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, I found Saybrook University. (Although it was called Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center at the time). Their Human Science program offered me the hybrid of psychology, sociology, philosophy, and cultural studies I had been seeking. Initially, I had only intended to get my MA, but yet again, life had other plans.
As a child, I had observed both my parents try to bring innovative philosophical ideas out into the world. Unfortunately, their limited higher education (my dad has a BA, and my mom dropped out of college after her first year) made it challenging. Had they more credentials they would not have run into as many obstacles. Armed with this first-hand knowledge, it became clear I would need a Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) to have the scale of impact I felt called to. Since completing my PhD in Human Science, this has proven to be the case, as it has fast-tracked my career. It was easier to get published, get speaking engagements, and teach to a wide variety of individuals than it has been for my parents.
What Inspired You to Pursue This Career Path?
Like all of my degrees, my career is a hybrid. I teach, write, and work in a consulting capacity on a variety of interrelated topics. I am happiest and most fulfilled when my work has this kind of diversity embedded into it. With regards to the teaching aspect of my work, I have always loved sharing knowledge and bearing witness to someone becoming interested or inspired by something new. In some ways, it is like a contact-high to witness someone’s excitement about a new thought, topic, or idea. It can be infectious and re-inspiring when my enthusiasm has waned. Overarching, all of the ways my work manifests, is that I love helping people realize their capacity for resiliency. And that all of us have something to contribute to the planet.
What Areas Within This Field Are of Interest to You?
I am always fascinated about interpersonal relationships, in all their many forms. Within this, I have always felt pulled to having my work have a higher purpose to it. That is, helping people at a deep level. For instance, with the Personal Myth class, I teach; on one level, students are learning about transpersonal psychology, but on another, they are learning about themselves, and ways to enrich their lives.
Is There an Area You Are More Focused On?
The parent-child dynamic has fascinated me for years. This can manifest as exploring child-rearing; teaching and supporting parents to understand their child. It has also been profoundly rewarding to work with adults to understand and heal their relationships with their parents. I believe everyone we meet has something to teach us, and us them. Challenging times are also opportunities for growth. When this can be reframed, as hard as that can sometimes be, life is so much more rewarding. The imprinting that occurs as a child bleeds into other relationships. When that wounding heals, there is a systemic impact on other relationships, in all their many forms.
Is There Any Research You Are Working On?
For years I have been collecting information about the parent-child relationship within the context of astrology. I am also currently exploring how personal mythology, within the context of transpersonal psychology, relates to astrology.
What Have Been Your Most Important, Proudest And/or Favorite Experiences in Your Career?
There have been a few. One was speaking at an international conference in late May of 2018. It was a large-scale conference with close to 1300 people from all over the world. The fact that I was selected to be one of 70 speakers was gratifying. Leading up to this conference, I was on the planning committee. This too was a huge honor, as it allowed me to develop professional relationships with some of the biggest names in the field of astrology.
What Brought You to Teach at Casa Loma College?
Since graduating with my PhD, I had wanted to teach for a college or university. One of the great things about graduate school is the people you meet. It was due to this kind of personal connection I found my way to Casa Loma. Additionally, one of the things that drew me to the school was my ability to work remotely. It allows me the freedom to live in Georgia and still be a part of the college. My other work takes me to different parts of the country, and the freedom of teaching online allows me to do multiple things I love.
What Is Your Favorite Part of Working with Non-Traditional Students?
I was a nontraditional student. I understand the complexities of going to school when you have other things that require your attention. But moreover, I know what it is like to be in school when you genuinely want to be there, opposed to only following the cultural norm of going to college after high school. Typically, people have more drive and passion for succeeding when they are there for personal reasons, and as a result, students tend to be more engaged in the material.
What Attracted You to The Field of Education?
In some ways, it is the byproduct of my love of learning. I never want to stop learning, and for me, that has come to work hand-and-hand with sharing what I learn. Even the way I work with clients in my astrological practice; I’m always approaching things from a place of education. Whether educating them about different mythologies, or techniques for self-care, I could not effectively remove the educational piece of my work, even if I tried.
Who Has Influenced You the Most in Life?
Again, this is a challenging question to answer. The reality is different people have influenced my life in a variety of ways. No one person is necessarily more significant or important than another. That said, I am dyslexic, and my mother’s tireless determination to get me the support I needed as a child was enormous. Her effort is one of the primary reasons that I was able to go as far as I have academically. Other individuals were also supportive and life-changing, but for simplicity sake, I’ll leave it there.
If You Could Have Dinner with One Person, Living or Dead, Who Would It Be?
If I could have dinner with anyone who is no longer alive, it would be Helen Keller. I have admired her since I was a child. Her resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles is beyond inspirational. Language fails me when trying to describe how remarkable she was.
How Do You Like to Spend Your Free Time?
Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. But on a or regular basis, spending time with good friends, having a good conversation, going to live music or theater is up there. I don’t create music like I used to but, I do miss the days when I would perform an open-mike-nights. Perhaps I’ll pick it up again someday.
What’s something you want to do that you’ve never done before?
I have wanted to learn the guitar for years, and never seem to get around to it.
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever visited?
So far, I would have to say Italy has been my favorite place to visit. It is hard to choose just one part as I like different parts for different reasons. The overarching reason I love Italy is its tie to history, mythology and astrology, and how all of this is still a vibrant and palpable aspect of many cities throughout the country.
What is your favorite book(s) and why?
I do not even know where to begin, in my last move across the country, 80% of what I moved were boxes of books. I’ll keep it simple and look to a children’s book because I am headed to a friends’ baby shower later today.
I love Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. It is a story of a little girl, Alice, Miss Rumphius, and the three things she set out to accomplish in life. She tells her grandfather how she wants to travel the world, and when she is old, she wants to live by the sea. Her grandfather tells her that while those are noble goals, there is a third thing she must do, she “must do something to make the world more beautiful.” I love this book for many reasons. The watercolor artwork is beautiful. But more impactful is the message about contributing to the world, and that even seemingly small acts of kindness can have significant impacts.
Your favorite movie?
Again, there are so many from which to choose. And there are different reasons for loving different films. One film would be Like Water for Chocolate. I love the book too, and it is one of those rare times when I think a film has done the book justice. Typically, I am disappointed when a book I have liked is made into a movie, but this was done well.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
I heard Howard Zinn speak years ago and will always remember when he said: “If you don’t set unreachable goals, you’ll never reach them.”
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