A seasoned professor with almost 20 years of classroom experience teaching both graduates and undergraduates, I emphasize active, student-centered learning that respects the range of learning styles. Currently I am an Affiliated Faculty at Georgetown University in the Theology...
On these pages I share links a selection of academic publications and current creative writing projects.
My research in African religions initially focused on Divination. My dissertation was a comparative study of the dynamics of divination in the religious systems of West Africa. Postdoctoral fieldwork conducted in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire explored the multiple forms of divinatory...
Experience teaching Dissertation Concept development and Coaching: The scholarly pursuit can be fraught with anxiety, judgment and competition, but it also presents an opportunity for self-transformation. I believe that is what most students are truly after. I regularly advise...
With a talent for analyzing organizational effectiveness and producing highly effective assessments and reports, I have provided consultancy services in the following areas of expertise: Institutional Assessment and Accreditation Specialist & service as Consultant to the Provost...
Dr. Laura Grillo's level of scholarship raises the bar and encourages her students to go the extra mile, with rewarding results. I enjoyed every minute in her classes and would take them all over again, if I could. Laura's wealth of knowledge, insight, and poetic articulation, never ceases to amaze. I am ever grateful for her steady hand on the Dissertation journey. Her words still resonate with me today.-Phyllis Mazzocchi
Dr. Grillo is both brilliant and kind. She is able to explain concepts that were quite unfamiliar to me and she did so with clarity. I appreciate her liveliness and ready sense of humor.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
I consider myself lucky to have experienced Dr. Grillo as a teacher. She wields a combination of dynamic and engaging instruction as well as structured and comprehensive lesson plans and resource material. Dr. Grillo also manages to motivate and drive the very best out of her students with firm expectations of the high standards that she exemplifies, yet at the same time remains approachable and invested-Emma Woods
Thank you for all the years of mentoring you have so generously given me. I hold deepest gratitude for your teaching, your support, your enthusiasm, and especially your high standards for intellectual work. ...-Rebecca Diggs
Laura's experience with dissertation writing and compassion for us as students, [provided] safe passage through the process.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
I have not met a woman more amazing. You are a mentor that walks that talk, a warm mother (allow me to call you a mother because I am a Yoruba woman and in my culture, anyone with a heart as beautiful as yours is automatically tagged "a mother"), you challenge me to be a better scholar and I am thankful.-Oluwabunmi Bernard
Dr. Grillo is an exceptional, enthusiastic and generous, teacher.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
I can't thank you enough for all your support and guidance. As an educator, your are exemplary. ...You taught us how to read between the lines of an argument and gain an understanding of the implied as well as the overtly stated argument. These skills are critical to success in the dissertation process and provided a solid foundation for my doctoral work.-Karin Zirk
I now feel confident to enter a text and understand the foundation of the argument of the scholar. This gives me the confidence to enter an academic conversation - to which I am incredibly grateful.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
I had the privilege of Laura serving as my dissertation chair for the first 2 ½ years of the process. Through the whole process, I was always impressed with the combination of approachability and scholarly rigor with which she approached her students’ projects.-James Heaton
Dr. Grillo was AMAZING. She is well versed and incredibly helpful. She was exciting, energetic, and fun in and out of the classroom.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
Laura Grillo is one of the few women that I can say definitively changed my life. She challenged me to broaden my perspective, she encouraged me to identify and define the lens through which I view the world. She led me to learn how to do deep research, to ask hard questions and to seek new answers. As a feminist and a scholar, she led by example, never failing to bring powerful insights and meaningful dialogue to her classes, encouragement and support in times of need, and finally a loving push from the nest...-Andrea Slominski
Following up on meeting about starting the clock: I feel happier, lighter, and whole again. ... I haven't felt this level of enthusiasm for a long time! ...I sing your praises ;-)-Ashland Pym
Laura's love of learning is contagious, she inspires all of us to do our best and then gives us the tools we need.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
The amount of time and effort you spent with the manuscript proved vital for me to move the project forward... I don't know if I've really expressed this adequately to you, but it made a tremendous impact on me to see you devote so much energy to the draft-manuscript given the other outside factors. ... You are a true inspiration to me (always will be), and I'm so proud and grateful to have had you as my Chair.-Robert Guyker
Laura allows entrance into the space of dissertation research. I am now situated with a strong platform from which I may begin the dissertation process.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
Dr. Laura Grillo is an educator whose rigor is only matched by her enthusiasm and knowledge. From studying ritual theory to West African/Diaspora traditions, on to her work in our doctoral dissertation formulation class, Dr. Grillo was always welcoming and completely engaged.-Shiva Kumar
Laura is an amazing instructor -- inspirational, knowledgeable, caring.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
I think of you as an academic adventurer, out there learning great things, and then sharing what you've learned with your students. I truly miss sitting in your classes and listening to your reconcile the unusual readings into a very clear, cohesive, and fascinating thing. Thank you for all you've done for me as my instructor and [dissertation] advisor.-Kat Kiefer-Newman
It is a joy to receive Dr. Grillo’s instruction. Eloquent and learned, at the same time spunky and amusing, she manages to present difficult and often dark material with pluck and vigor. What is more, the feedback she provides each student is supreme. She is a gem!-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
I want to thank you for an extraordinary adventure in scholarship. I believe we are all learning much from your generous spirit of teaching.-Kathy Makeyev
[The course on Methods & Approaches] has been, without doubt, one of the most important courses I have taken...It was stimulating and empowering; certainly nourishing for my voice and understanding of the materials to unfold. [It helped me to] innovate, and not only reiterate. Very inspiring indeed!-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
As a beneficiary of Dr. Grillo’s depth of knowledge, research skills, and teaching methodologies, and personable communication style … I am eternally grateful-Joyce McCart
We are full of angst. Laura fielded that angst and offered us embodied outlets of meditation to meet this stressful process head-on.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
You challenge me to do my best work.-Tracy Marrs
[Laura's course] gave me the confidence of an expansive view; a whole new enriched vocabulary with which to approach academic texts; it gave me better focus, and a wider understanding; it gave me a way to analyze critically and in depth the texts I come across; and it even gave me permission to trust myself when I dissent from the established perspective!-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
Please do know that you were very present while I wrote my dissertation, and have without a question have been one of the most influential professors I have ever had. Thank you for that.-Gustavo Beck Urriolagoitia
Wow! Thanks for such thorough feedback [on the Dissertation concept paper]. I can see how helpful your comments will be for furthering this project along. Really valuable, thanks again!-Kathleen Warwick-Smith
I so very much appreciate the kind feedback you have written me. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study with you. ...Being in your class opened my mind and vision in a way that I, still, am looking for words that could best describe the experience. It was a fundamental piece of my education that was missing for far too long.-Kate Sulzer
This course is challenging and strengthening, and I feel better prepared to enter into the dissertation phase as a result. Dr. Grillo pushes us to do things we don't think we can do, and then, surprise!, it turns out we can do them!-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
Not sure how much I would have accomplished without you, My light, my warrior of academia and beyond!-Michelle Bitting
Laura is a remarkable scholar and human being. She is dedicated to her field of research and that is demonstrated by her depth of knowledge implemented by discussion, the readings, her allowance for creative discussion, and the manner in which she teaches; confident, reflective, humorous at times. She urged us to think critically and was able to guide the class and keep us focused without stalling the creative process that was being birthed in the discussion.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
Laura's mentorship was invaluable, on the practical level and the psychological-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
Dr Grillo was my steadfast and intuitive dissertation advisor and I can’t thank her enough. She opened the door to “Ah Ha moments.” Dr Grillo is a thinker who sparks creativity yet inspires disciplined argument. Any writer would benefit from her gifts and such wise and unbridled consultation.-Elizabeth Stewart
Dr. Grillo is so engaged that she makes learning enriching and rewarding. She is also very attentive generous in her feedback.-Anonymous, Official Evaluation
This course opened up a new way of thinking for me that I find incredibly valuable, especially for entering into the process of dissertation research and writing. This course provided a new set of tools that I will use in every aspect of my education in the future. I cannot stress enough how important I found this course. I wish I had it ten years ago!-Anonymous, Official Evaluation