Maire Lanigan

Job title: 
L&S College Adviser
Social Sciences/Interdisciplinary Majors

Title: L&S College Adviser


Social Sciences/Interdisciplinary Majors

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About Maire

Joined the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising in:
June 2008

What is your approach to advising?
My approach is rooted in the teaching and learning mission of UC Berkeley, and a sincere interest in supporting undergraduates as they negotiate our large research university, a.k.a. the alien planet. I like to help students explore and identify their academic passions and aptitudes, and to value the benefits of their broad liberal arts curriculum at Cal and for a lifetime. A critical, creative, and inquisitive mind = a happier mind and a better life!

MA, History (Latin America), San Francisco State University, 2000
BA, History, St. Mary's College of California, 1992
College Admissions & Career Planning Certification, UC Berkeley, 2012

How did you get here?
I've always loved multicultural studies and teaching but wasn't sure how to combine them in a career. After managing a folk art gallery, teaching World Cultures in a Bay Area high school, and advising undergraduates in the ESPM department at Cal, I arrived at L&S and found the combo I was seeking. Advising a diverse population of wondrous L&S students in a remarkable array of majors is a career dream come true!

What's your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy participating in students' educational experiences as an adviser and guide. I love hearing students' personal histories and witnessing their current challenges. An awareness of each individual's unique background, goals, and talents is essential information for the adviser.

Most unusual job you ever had:
I was a waitress at Catch a Rising Star comedy club in Harvard Square and rubbed shoulders with comedians Bill Maher (Politically Incorrect) and David Cross (Arrested Development). I was an awful waitress but enjoyed free, cutting-edge comedy as I served incomplete orders to the wrong tables.

What's the best class you've ever taken?
Afro-Haitian Dance

What advice do you have for L&S students in general?
Despite the overwhelming number of social activities and intellectual pursuits at Cal, don't expect them to come to your doorstep! No matter how shy or reserved, be sure you take an active role in seeking out friends, visiting faculty in their office hours, and trying new experiences that appeal uniquely to you! What falls into your lap without effort is seldom going to make you happy.

About me:
I'm still truly passionate about the major I studied in college: Latin American history. I like panning for gold in the Sierras and exploring old west ghost towns. I dig Latin jazz clubs, soulful jukeboxes in ‘50s-era diners, and road-tripping through the Southwest where sagebrush makes the hills look like mounds of chocolate-chip cookie dough.