The Kathleen Top is named after Laura's mom, someone who has been a lifelong inspiration to her and is her "favorite person on the planet".
Laura shared the impact of her mom’s permanently positive outlook on life regardless of the situation. As an Army BRAT growing up, Laura’s family moved every few years. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of Army life, her mom told imaginative stories to Laura and her brother that focused on finding the wonder and celebrating the opportunities they’d had to live and experience so many places. Laura also shared that her mom is gifted at anticipating other people’s needs, and it wasn’t a surprise to learn that Kathleen worked as a nurse for over 30 years, starting in the NICU/Pediatrics. Her unique gifts and baby whispering skills were priceless to Laura with the birth of her three children.
“One of my favorite quotes is ‘Problems are opportunities in disguise.’ When lecturing to my students in my Psych classes I focus on changing cognitive thoughts to more productive problem solving, and when parenting my children I see bad experiences as teachable moments. I see my mom’s influence in all of my daily decisions because I see her perspective of the world in the quote. When something goes wrong she laughs about it and finds a way to make it an opportunity.”