Lauren Collins

China Instructor

PhD, Higher Education, University of Denver
M.A. China Studies, University of Washington
B.A. International Affairs & Chinese Language and Civilization

Lauren first traveled to China as a high school student, visiting Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet as part of an exploration of Buddhist practice and economic change. Spending time in these far away places expanded her world in ways she never imagined, and is what she considers to be the root of her journey to understand the many ways in which citizens of the United States and the greater world are intimately connected. As a scholar-practitioner of transformative learning experiences, she is convinced that getting people out of the bounded spaces where we form routines, and into the unscripted messiness of the wider world is the best way we grow. She has lived in Taipei as student, Macau as a Fulbright Scholar, Beijing working for UNESCO, and traveled many miles by train in-between, exploring how neoliberal capitalism is reshaping contemporary planet earth – both physically and spiritually. This journey has taken her far from the cottonwood trees and pinyon-juniper country she grew up in, taught her to savor both the crush of human beings on the move, exemplified by spaces like Guangzhou’s main railway station, and the sweetest bliss of nights when you can actually see the stars, watching constellations make their journey across the sky. When not teaching for Dragons, she teaches Global Citizenship at the University of Denver and does field research in Northern Thailand for her dissertation.