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Home > Author > Laura M Hoopes
Laura M Hoopes

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Member Since: Jan, 2011

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  Laura M Hoopes           

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Married DNA scientist with children who writes memoir and novels--muses love a busy mind!

Background Information

 After years of teaching bright college students and researching the problems experienced by molecules during aging, with a five year break being Vice President for Academic Affairs at Pomona College, Laura L. Mays Hoopes began to write her memoir about the barriers she had to overcome entering her field, those who encouraged and mentored her, and how she managed to end up "having it all."  As she wrote, she began to take writing classes.  She moved on to receive a Certificate in Creative Writing from UCLA, having both essays and short stories published in the process.  Then, she began the MFA in fiction Creative Writing at San Diego State College.  Meanwhile, her husband and her daughter have also gone back to school in various fields.  This family loves to learn!  

Laura has tried to get them all involved in watching wading birds stalk around swamps and rivers, but only her husband Mike has shown much interest.  He agreed to go to China with Laura to photograph how the Chinese Nature Reserves were protecting cranes.  At one point, they feared they might stay in Qiqiha'ar for the rest of their lives.  But between Laura's rudimentary Mandarin Chinese and the belated efforts of the tour guide who didn't meet the Hoopes at Qiqihaar until they had been there a couple of days, they looked at Zhalong Marsh and took a train back to Harbin.  It was March, but the ice castles had not melted.  Snow on the Confucius Temple was ethereal.  

Laura is very involved in encouraging women in science to persevere and in attracting more women to science careers.  Her memoir, Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling, shows that a woman need not give up being married and raising children to be a productive scientist.  After years of teaching diverse college students in the Los Angeles area, Hoopes is almost finished with a novel based on inter-racial friendships among college students helping them to overcome adversity.

Birth Place
Richmond, VA USA

Certificate with Distinction, Creative Writing, UCLA, 2009
Norman Mailer Writers Colony Biography Workshop scholarship, 2010
First prize in Creative Nonfiction, Byline magazine, 2008

Additional Information

Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling will be released May 2, 2011. Laura is at work on a biography of Joan Steitz and Jennifer Doudna, two women of the RNA world who entered science 20 years apart as well as novels.

Contact Information
Pomona College Biology Department
175 West 6th Street R Seaver Laboratory
Claremont CA 91711   USA
Contact Author: Laura M Hoopes
Favorite Links

Laura L Mays Hoopes
Abour women in science, the memoir Breaking Through the Spiral Ceiling, and with links to some of Laura's shorter publications.

West Coast Writers
Blog with author interviews, writing tips, thoughts about writing and nature.

Women in Science Forum
Sponsored by the journal Nature, a place to discuss issues faced by women in science, their triumphs and trials.

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