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Laura Mead
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I started as a Program Support Assistant in September 2020 with the NLAE in Ames, Iowa. I attended Trinity College and Liberty University studying office administration and psychology. I have been a federal employee for about 10 years and have worked for the VA, the OCC and now the USDA.

Was there an event or a person who inspired you to choose your career or who inspires you now? 
When I was in college, I had a professor who taught me the power of organization. She stressed the importance of having things flow well within an organization and how that does not happen without dedicated people who work behind the scenes to make it happen. She encouraged me to hone my natural abilities and apply them to an office setting where they would be used to benefit the organization. Another professor used a phrase that has stayed with me, “Organize or Agonize”.


What attracted you to a career with ARS or the NLAE?
I had nearly 10 years of federal experience prior to coming to the NLAE. I saw a posting for a position with the NLAE and read about the agency mission and felt like I would like to be a part of it. It was a huge plus that I was able to continue my career as a federal employee.


What is your favorite aspect of your work?
I enjoy working with a cohesive team that cares deeply about the work and strives to keep things running as smoothly as possible.


If you could achieve any accomplishment in the next 5-10 years what would it be and why would you choose it?
I would love to train service dogs to work for people with visible and invisible disabilities. I have a daughter with chronic health issues, and she has a service dog that has changed her life for the better.


Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people who know you? 
I like to spend my free time with my family, playing the piano, singing, visiting folks in residential settings, reading and doing Diamond Art which is kind of like an adult playing with stickers. 😊