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Lanier Zimmer

Class of 2015-2016

About Lanier

(updated 6/2016) As a Luce Scholar, Lanier Zimmer is hosted by the newly established  American University of Myanmar in Yangon , Myanmar’s first private non-profit university modeled on the American style of higher education with a liberal arts core and a governance structure headed by an independent board of trustees.  Working directly with Rector Craig E. Klafter, Lanier serves as Director ad interim of Admissions and Financial Assistance, tasked with establishing the Office of Admissions and the Office of Financial Assistance, setting policies and procedures, and managing them in their first year of operation.  Prior to her Luce year, Lanier was Assistant Director of Recruitment and Placement for the Golden Apple Foundation, a non-profit that gives awards to excellent teachers and prepares future teachers through a college scholarship program.  In her first year there, Lanier initiated and led three major reform projects. She streamlined the application process by moving the application online and created an online job board, which resulted in 100% placement for graduating students. Recognizing that the preferred method of communication for high school students is texting, she initiated the successful use of a texting platform to communicate with them.  In January 2015, Lanier started a master’s program at Northwestern University in Organizational Change, which focuses on leadership and organizational development, to further her goal of leading an education non-profit.  Earlier, Lanier worked for three years in admissions for the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. She recruited and provided outreach to first generation, low income and underrepresented students from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and led an expanded early outreach program for underserved 9th and 10th graders. Working in CPS, she witnessed the dramatic inadequacy of education for students in poor neighborhoods and the dire need for improvement.  During her time in admissions, the University enrolled a record number of students from CPS. Lanier first worked with teenagers after college, when she obtained certification to teach English as foreign language through Cambridge University. She taught in a Basque public high school near San Sebastian.  After the school year, Lanier was invited to lead the first ever summer English program and enjoyed creating a curriculum, introducing students to Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and sharing 4th of July traditions.  In college, Lanier was the captain of Claremont McKenna College’s water polo team, perfected the skill of walking backwards as a tour guide and kept 20 freshmen alive as the leader of a wilderness orientation trip.  She spent a semester abroad in Quito, Ecuador, where she lived with a family, took classes in Spanish, and interned at a daycare for children whose parents worked as scavengers in Quito’s city dump.  Living immersed in another culture, speaking another language and gaining an addiction to  ahi (hot sauce) constituted one of Lanier’s most valuable life events.  Lanier served as Co-President of the CMC Chicago Alumni Chapter and recently joined the board of her high school alumni association.

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