CBS People: Tori Lafky

July 11, 2019

This former student worker and CBS graduate has transitioned into a full-time role with the College

Tori Lafky

Where is your hometown?
Stockton, MN

What is your position in CBS? What does it entail?
I'm an Administrative Support Specialist in the St. Paul Admin Cluster. I do a little bit of everything here, but broadly, I provide administrative and front desk support to the BioTechnology Institute and to the departments of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior and Plant and Microbial Biology.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I really enjoy the people I work with! Not only are my fellow Cluster-mates wonderful, but I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by some incredible scientists as well. Everywhere you look, people are conducting groundbreaking research and literally changing the world, and I feel like I'm continuing to learn more just by being in their proximity. I'm proud to be a part of such an exciting and inspirational community, plus it's a fun bonus to keep working with the faculty I got to know in my undergrad!

You are a recent CBS graduate. Can you talk a little bit about your time as a student and your experience in CBS?
Choosing CBS was probably the best decision I've ever made! Right from the start with Nature of Life, I fell in love with the college and with biology. I was so hooked that I worked for the program in numerous roles throughout my undergrad. I went into college with an open mind and had no idea what I wanted to do, and NOL and the courses of CBS provided me a taste of nearly every major field of biology. It was there I discovered that my adoration of animals could become a career, leading me to coursework I loved and research I was passionate about. I joined the UMN Lion Center as an undergraduate researcher, which led to two unforgettable research abroad experiences in Belize and South Africa. I was also involved in the UMN Admissions Ambassadors, as a student worker in the CBS Dean's Office, as a TA in Biology Teaching and Learning, and at the new Bell Museum following its reopening. All in all, I don't think I could have found a college with better opportunities — or a better fit!

What are some of the big differences between being a CBS student and a staff member?
Definitely the amount of free time! I kept pretty busy in my undergrad, so I've been appreciating the change to a schedule where I have no homework to worry about at the end of the day! It's also still a little weird calling professors by their first names.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time outdoors: hiking, canoeing, and wildlife watching are some of my favorites! I'm also a big fan of reading and monopolizing the attention of my sister's toothless rescue cat.