Today's Featured Biography
Laura Frey Horn
After leaving BCC, I left for upstate NY and Union College. Union had just gone coed (after about 180 years of being all male), and it was interesting and challenging to be in a school where many of the male students and professors had not wanted women to attend. I made many great friends, including many of the guys who didn't want women at Union, and supportive, wonderful female friends. But, there were two men who had significant, life changing impacts on my life.
Clare Graves, a professor of psychology and my advisor, had developed a theory of human (adult) development, which he backed with substantial research. His theory, now known as Spiral Dynamics integral, presents human development as "ever emergent...an open system, not a closed system...that evolves by...quantum-like jumps...that man's values change from system to system as his total psychology emerges in new form with each quantum like jump to a new steady state of being." (Graves, 1970)
Graves' theory made so much sense to me that I adopted it as the framework from which to view and understand human life. It has served me well and I recently completed my doctorate at GWU using Clare's work (and the work of his "mentee" and later research partner, Don Beck) as the foundational theory in my research. I knew back then that Clare Graves had a life-altering impact on me, but perhaps didn't realize the strength or importance until many years later.
I also met a musician, introduced by one of the other waitresses I worked with as I worked my way through college. Jim Horn was quiet and talented and had graduated from SUNY-Albany the same year we graduated from BCC. After many months of chats and coffee, we began dating and married when I graduated from Union. This year, we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.
I adopted my first dog (or he adopted me) while at Union. Dutch saw me through some tough times and lived almost 17 years--long enough to be with us during the birth of our first child, Jacki. She is now 21 and a student at University of Mary Washington.
When Jacki was 2, we moved to our first farm in Loudoun County, VA. I jokingly refer to the move as my dream and Jim's nightmare--and they both came true. When I was a child, my family had friends with a farm in Loudoun County that we visited on our way to or from hikes/picnics in the Blue Ridge. It had, since I could remember, probably spurred my dream of having a farm "where all the unwanted animals and people could come, because I would want them." It was while we lived there, almost 5 years after Jacki's arrival, that our 2nd daughter, Michelle, was born.
The farm was small, not big enough to take in too many horses needing homes, so when Michelle was 2, we moved farther west--with a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge (Mount Weather, in particular) and 10 acres. A few years later, our son Jameson was born.
With the rapid growth in this county, we realized that the opportunity to protect the existing rural atmosphere was quickly becoming limited. We bought a farm with 36 acres, but no house.(The farm had been divvied up over the years.) Jim thought I was joking when I said, "Don't worry, we'll live in one of the barns." I wasn't joking, and we now live in the former bank barn, small but cozy. We designed the barn to meet our needs, but to still have the sense and feel of a barn. I took time out of my HR and Organizational Development consulting practice to be the "know-nothing" general contractor. It's a great place to raise our family, provide final homes for animals who need us, and to protect the habitat and environment for the wildlife who live here. We watch the sun rise over our hay fields and the sun set over the mountains.
While at Union, I began a non-profit training program for disabled adults in 2 local communities. When I graduated, I rolled the program into new programs for one of my former clients. Following that, I became an administrator at Union. I was recruited by a large pharmaceutical company, which offered the chance to return to the DC area. Jim balked at the DC area on his first visits to meet my family in '74 because of all the traffic, but he quickly came to love the area and was delighted to move here in '78. He left the music world and returned to the business world, putting his business degrees to good use. We've never left, we've simply moved into VA and farther out. What a great place to raise a family!
I love my work in organizational research and consulting. I get to serve organizations and guide individuals in developing more effective organizations that also allow for personal growth of the individuals. I'm currently working on two articles based on my doctoral research. I've also promised to write a book about my research. I'm committed to more research in the field.
My greatest joy is probably watching my phenomenal kids grow. Jacki loves UMW and seems to be thriving. She has so many interests, it will be interesting to see where she goes with it. I see her probably merging multiple fields and coming up with new approaches to work and life.
Michelle is a HS junior. She could do anything with her quick brain and wit. For years,she said she would like to be a marine biologist and was fascinated with the work that John Calambokidis (BCC '72) and his wife are doing. She's now talking about marine photography. She also love rugby and bellydancing.
Jameson just started middle school and loves it. At 11, he's currently 5'4" and wears size 10 (men's) shoes. We call him our "gentle giant". He plays soccer and lacrosse. He's amazing with animals. He also loves anything outdoors--like his sisters and his mom. I could see him becoming a vet or animal behaviorist.
Who knows what the future hold for them. In our rapidly changing world, there are many fields not yet created. My wish for them and for yours is that they create skills and work that add meaning and benefit their lives and the world.
I would love to hear from old friends. Please email and let me know how you are and where you are.
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