Click to access the LWC Homepage!
Laura Nissley First Day August 2011
print e-mail

LWC Alumna Laura Nissley Returns to Alma Mater as Biology Professor

Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 [12:46 PM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Laura Wheat Nissley thought she would never get to experience a class in Lindsey Wilson College's Jim and Helen Lee Fugitte Science Center.

Nissley graduated from LWC in May 2006, three months before the Fugitte Science Center opened.

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, Nissley finally got to experience a class in Fugitte Science Center - but it was as an LWC assistant professor of biology.

Nissley's first class as an LWC professor was "Human Anatomy & Physiology I," which met for the first time at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on the first floor of the Fugitte Science Center.

Nissley arrived at her campus office a little after 7 a.m., then around 8 a.m. she began to set up the classroom for her 20-student class.

She said she was more nervous for her first class as an LWC professor than as an LWC student.

"If I don't do my job and do it well, there is a room of 20 people who will suffer the consequences," she said a few minutes before the class got under way.

Although a rookie professor, Nissley didn't exhibit any nervousness during her first class. She exuded confidence as she smoothly reviewed the syllabus with students and fielded questions about the material that will be covered in the sophomore-level course. In reality, however, she said she was both excited and petrified.

"I was terrified," she said. "I was just hoping, Please don't let me forget something important. For a minute, I went blank, so I just kept talking. I've been trained by the University of Louisville not to sweat."

After she graduated from LWC in 2006, Nissley spent the next five years at the University of Louisville, where she studied physiology and biophysics. Her area of concentration was studying how environmental pollution, such as second-hand smoke, affects the cardiovascular system.

During her five years as a UofL graduate student, Nissley realized that she wanted to become a college professor. So she began to "stalk the Lindsey Wilson website" for job openings. Shortly after finishing her doctoral work, she was hired by LWC in early summer.

"It was just like a miracle," Nissley said. "I had been stalking the Lindsey Wilson website. When the job was posted, I was all over it. I said, This is a miracle, it's meant to be."

Nissley is one of 18 new LWC faculty hired this school year, bringing the college's total number of full-time faculty to 113.

Although LWC alumni have taught before at the college, Nissley is the first LWC baccalaureate graduate with a doctorate in science to join the faculty full-time.

Nissley said it was especially nice that her first class as an LWC professor was held in the building she never got to enjoy as a student.

When the Fugitte Science Center was being built, "I was so aggravated," she said. "Of course, I'm getting ready to graduate and leave, and they build a new science building. I thought, I'll never get to go in this building. And then here I am today."

Feedback and CommentsSite MapDirections  
Every Student, Every Day
2008 Lindsey Wilson College
210 Lindsey Wilson St. Columbia, Ky 42728
Local: (270) 384-2126
Fax: (270) 384-8200
Toll Free: (800) 264-0138