Laura wears many hats: mother, physician, and professor. She commutes to work at the University of North Carolina where she teaches medical students and residents, and provides medical care for underserved patients in a rural emergency department where she is the Medical Director.
Laura is the child of a military family, and graduated from high school at Jakarta International School, in Jakarta, Indonesia, where her father was assigned to the American Embassy. She then attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, majoring in Psychology and completing her pre-med requirements, all while working off-campus 40 hours per week. Upon graduation, she deferred medical school for a year to accept the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship which supported her as she studied traditional medicine in Indonesia and China.
Her world travel slowed down a bit as she headed to medical school in North Carolina and completed her Family Medicine residency in South Bend, IN. She was in private practice there for 5 years while her husband, Chris Peterson, completed post-doctoral research in Mathematics at Notre Dame. In 1999, she and her family settled down in Fort Collins, CO and her husband joined the faculty at Colorado State University.
Along the way, she has helped to launch her first 4 children, as well as their Indonesian exchange student, into their college careers at Stanford, Duke, Yale, The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and The University of North Carolina in Asheville. She has one child remaining in high school, and is beginning to prepare for an empty nest. Her eldest son is married and works in banking in Seattle, and her second son just began graduate studies in Mathematics at The University of Michigan.
Laura and her husband enjoyed their own educational sabbatical last year, spending a semester in Bali, Indonesia where their two youngest children attended The Green School and the entire family became certified scuba divers.