EPIC Spotlight: Lauren Weems

LaurenWeems

“In TLOG, you have so many opportunities to learn things you wouldn’t learn otherwise.”

The devastating scenes of Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haitian earthquake that were broadcast on the nightly news caused Lauren Weems to change the way she thought about her life. She not only worried about the people’s welfare, she thought about how supplies, such as food and first aid, would be delivered.

Moved by the dramatic events from those natural disasters, Lauren, then a freshman at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, began encouraging people to donate to a student organization she created called Young Generations Need L.O.V.E. (Let’s Offer Valuable Education) and the American Red Cross, which was on campus at the time taking donations. Though her organization is now inactive, she says the experience got her to thinking about logistics and the supply chain, which is necessary when providing relief to those who are suffering. “Disasters happen all the time,” she says.

That’s when Lauren knew that Transportation and Logistics was the right major for her. Often referred to on campus as “TLOG,” she realized its potential for innovation, she says. For example, the field needs people to find ways to make the supply chain more environmentally friendly and to transport more health conscious products. She says she began thinking seriously about these concepts after attending a Leadership Delta conference, sponsored by Lauren’s sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and General Electric Co. But she says her main interests are relief and international logistics. Lauren says she likes the challenge of finding solutions to shipping goods to other countries where the laws are different from those in the United States. Plus, she says it suits her talents. “I think I’m just a literal, analytical, straight-to-the-point person,” she says.

Lauren, who is from Little Rock, says she always knew she would pursue a career in business, though she briefly thought about going into journalism when she was in high school. She says that before college studies took over her free time, she used to enjoy writing, including penning a poem or two. Yet, she says she feels she has made the right choice to pursue a business degree, adding that the education at Walton College is “second to none.”

“In TLOG, you have so many opportunities to learn things you wouldn’t learn otherwise,” she says. “I dove in head first and I love it.”

The opportunities don’t end there. Lauren serves as first vice president of her sorority where her duties include assisting the sorority’s president and being the chairperson for multiple committees that implement scholarship, sisterhood and service. “I love it,” she says. “It keeps me busy. I love to be busy.”

And she is. Lauren also serves as a Walton College Student Ambassador, where she meets with prospective university students, as well as an ambassador for the Department of Supply Chain Management, which oversees the transportation and logistics program. As a supply chain ambassador, she meets with other University of Arkansas students who might be interested in the program. She says she also enjoys mentoring students, which she does through Connections, Razorback Bridge and Silas Hunt Scholarship mentoring programs, all with the UA Multicultural Center. She also served as a mentor at the Business Leadership Academy’s two-week summer program at the university and is currently on the Dean’s Student Advisory Board at Walton College.

Spare time, when it occasionally happens, is spent with friends, listening to music, eating and sleeping Lauren says.

“I’m a really relaxed person,” she says. “I love to chill.”