Laura L. Rees

DCHS 2001

From her earliest days at Daviess County High School attending honors classes and imagining her future, Laura Rees had a dream to attend Harvard University. We all have dreams...but Laura is an individual with the determination to make her dreams come true!

Even as a teenager she confessed, "I enjoy school, I enjoy learning, I enjoy the stimuli and the activities, I enjoy the interaction and the camaraderie."

The gentleman who interviewed her for Harvard reported, "She has too much academic horsepower to set her sights any lower." And so...with 14 DCHS Advanced Placement classes behind her, a College Board recognition as an AP Scholar with Honor, perfect scores of 36 on the ACT subject tests, and a resilient, committed approach to life . . .

This DCHS graduate did indeed attend Harvard!

Laura earned her A.B. in Economics, with honors, and a French Language citation (2005).

Humble and appreciative, Laura reflects on her days at DCHS:

"Almost anyone I've ever spoken with about education will know how adamantly I support DCHS. As a mere "public school kid" attending an Ivy League (it was the first time I ever met anyone who'd gone to a prestigious boarding school, I thought it only happened in books-and there were lots of these people!), I quickly realized that DCHS had helped prepare me in a truly excellent way for the rigors of one of the most challenging places on earth.

I still remember long hours of studying for AP exams and going to special evening or early-morning tutoring sessions led by my AP teachers. I also remember driving Ms. Koshy (chemistry) crazy with my absurd "I know you'd never want to do it, but could you...?" questions in class. I remember all the hours Mrs. Coke spent one-on-one with me in French, when there weren't full classes to continue to the higher levels.

I remember the unfailing support and belief in me that Mrs. Bouvier expressed on a daily basis-in her quiet, unassuming way she was one of my loudest supporters. I remember the fun (yes, it was possible!) we had in Calculus classes with Mr. Rue, and the sheer dedication he had to pushing us further than we thought we could go in math.

I know education faces many obstacles in this country, but I am also a blazing example of what a good public education, with competent teachers who care despite the odds, can do. Without these teachers, and without the opportunities that DCHS gave me, I would have ended up in a very different place. Appreciation for the reality of this, and of what DCHS helped me become-believe me, I am a staunch advocate of education as the great equalizer and one of the most amazing aspects of this country-is part of me every day. I don't mean to sermonize, but I can literally say that DCHS was THE difference in my life. It helped me go farther, and experience life in a way I wasn't sure was possible until I was actually living it.

Academia is a tough life, and once again I am in one of the most challenging places on earth for my area. Who knows what will happen (I'm still convinced I could run a pretty nice coffee/book shop if this whole academic thing doesn't work out!), but I have DCHS to thank for starting me on this journey. Go Panthers!"

And...what a journey:


Laura has worked in London, UK; Boston, MA; Washington, DC; Denver, CO; Minneapolis, MN; St. Louis, MO; and Ann Arbor, MI. These locations include full-time, summer, and long-term client sites. She spent three years as a management consultant with Boston Consultant Group in Boston.


Laura is a Ph.D. Candidate, Management and Organizations Department, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.


Ybarra, O., Rees, L., Kross, E., & Sanchez-Burks, J. (2011). Social Context and the Psychology of

Emotional Intelligence: A Key to Creating Positive Organizations. In K. Cameron & G. Spreitzer

(Eds.) Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship. Oxford University Press.

Honors and Awards:

  • Center for International Business Education and Research, award for dissertation research support, University of Michigan, 2012.
  • Neary Award for Academic Excellence, University of Michigan, 2011.
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, Academy of Management Organizational Behavior Division, in 2010, and again in 2011.
  • Nominated for Emerald Best International Symposium Award, 2010.
  • Presenter of a Showcase Symposium for the Organizational Behavior Division, 2012.
  • Recipient, Graduate Student Research Grant, University of Michigan, 2010.

Daviess County High School is proud to claim this young lady, Laura L. Rees, as an alumna! Certainly her journey continues . . . her list of accomplishments grows . . . her dream unfolds . . .

Laura (front center) with her students. Laura was the instructor of 78 Junior BBA students for the class, Behavioral Theory in Management.

Laura at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Laura with boyfriend, Jason, at Taj Mahal

University of Michigan Commencement Address

Laura with friends, at Comerica Park in Detroit for a Tigers Game. There are three countries and two departments represented in this photo.

Laura & friends at a University of Michigan football game; the stadium is the largest for any sport in the U.S.