Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Erin moved to Grinnell in August 2014 when her partner, Mark Laver, started in his role of Assistant Professor of Music, Jazz and Popular Music, at Grinnell College. Erin and Mark have two daughters: Nora (4) and Mary (7 months). She started coming to UCC when John Rommereim invited her to sing, and felt immediately welcomed and at home among the community here.
Erin has always been passionate about social justice issues, starting in high school when she worked as a peer education coordinator talking to other students about drug use and abuse, racism, sexual health, and other issues. She worked with her friends to advocate for LGBTQ students in their small, rural community, and lobbied her school administration to found the region’s first gay/straight alliance. As her work in the arts community became more specialized, Erin focused her efforts on arts advocacy, education, and accessibility. Since she has been working at home looking after Nora and Mary, Erin has become active in the local “Grinnellians for Change” effort and has collaborated with others to organize postcard-writing campaigns to elected representatives. Together with Rev. Wendy Abrahamson, she recently coordinated the “Iowa Multifaith Rally for Muslims” which aimed to show solidarity for Iowa’s Islamic community in the wake of the 2016 election and the rising tide of Islamophobia. Erin is excited to have the opportunity to channel those interests in her new role at the Grinnell UCC.
In her spare time, Erin still enjoys singing and hopes to have more performance opportunities as the girls get older and she has more time to practice. She loves her book club (and occasionally reads the whole book in time for the meeting!) and is training for a 5km race this summer (her first since before Nora was born).
While Erin and Mark never could have anticipated that they’d end up in central Iowa, they immediately sensed something special about Grinnell and feel so lucky to have ended up here. Having grown up in an agricultural area (Erin’s grandparents owned and operated an apple orchard, and the farm remains in the family), Erin drew many similarities between her hometown and Grinnell – though she misses the ocean air! In Summer 2016, Erin and Mark moved to their home on Manor Circle and hope to spend many happy years raising their girls there.
Erin’s office hours vary but she is typically at the church Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am-3pm. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 641-236-3111.