Lauren E. Shumaker

lauren shumaker

Assistant Teaching Professor
Assistant Director
Thorson First-Year Honors Program
University Honors and Scholars Programs


Thorson first-year honors program

The Thorson First-Year Honors Program (TFYHP) is a collaborative effort, pulling on the widely varying expertise and passions of our faculty team, rockstar TAs, and student cohort to create a vibrant educational community. The heart of our program is the interdisciplinary IDEAS course (Innovation and Discovery in Engineering, Arts, and Sciences), where we teach engineering design fundamentals rooted in context. We help students identify the interconnected systems at play in the great challenges facing the world, and give them the tools to tackle these wicked problems and enact positive change.

As Assistant Director of TFYHP, I ensure the day-to-day and week-to-week operations of IDEAS run smoothly, whether that’s supporting the faculty team in developing new curriculum, coordinating TAs to throw social events on and off campus, or sitting down with students to help them thrive in Thorson and at Mines. As a teaching assistant professor in IDEAS, I strive to create environments where students can share and discuss their ideas without fear of judgment. I hope to impart my perspective as a geologist and artist, so students can draw on the scientific method, critical reasoning skills, healthy skepticism, and a sense of wonder in their approaches to problem-solving. I am particularly passionate about helping students develop better communication skills in all modes – written, verbal, and visual.



  • BA in Earth Sciences & Anthropology, University of California – Santa Cruz
  • PhD in Geology, Stanford University


1700 Illinois St
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401