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ID: Erika Jane Laquer

  • Erika Laquer, ID.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Erika Laquer, ID.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Erika Laquer, ID.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

Erika Laquer of Northampton says she has a strong commitment to the education and support of women of all ages. She is the director of the Ada Comstock Program at Smith College, a program of undergraduate studies for women who are past the traditional college age. She’s also a doula who helps women before, during and after they give birth. In both roles, she says, she is at the sides of women as they create new lives.

Full name: Erika Jane Laquer

Date and place of birth: January 1948, Philadelphia

Address: Northampton

Job: Class dean at Smith College for Ada Comstock Scholars, the sophomore class and some juniors

Who lives under the same roof as you? My husband, Geoff Kuter. Sometimes our children, Amy and Nina, stay with us although each has her own place

Education: Bachelor’s degree in history from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania. Also, people, books, experience

Pets: One old cat, Sox, and one perpetually young toy poodle, Mr. Snuggles

Hobbies: Quilting (well, really collecting fabric), reading and walking around spaces protected by The Trustees of Reservations in western Massachusetts with my husband and the dog

Book you’d recommend to a friend: I don’t have a favorite book but I recommend and discuss books all the time with my book group, most recently Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall”

Favorite TV show: “The Big Bang Theory” makes me laugh

Five items you can’t live without: Family, friends, humor, birth, love

Last thing you purchased just for fun: A pot of chrysanthemums

What’s at the top of your bucket list? Visiting Japan

Life-changing experience: Sitting with a woman while she labored and gave birth in the Dominican Republic when I participated in a volunteer trip with Proyecto Adames. That set me on a new path

Facebook status: Get outside and enjoy the weather

A little-known fact about you: I am a prenatal and labor doula and I am studying to be a midwife

Dumbest thing you ever did: Too many to name

One fashion you’d like to see return: Hats and gloves for fun and not because you have to wear them

What really sets you off? People looking at their phones when they are talking to me in person

If you could spend the day with a celebrity from any time in history, who would it be? Ina May Gaskin, the midwife from The Farm, a vegetarian community in Tennessee, because I admire her life’s work for women and midwives

Worst advice you ever got: You don’t have to marry him; just go out with him

Favorite place to get a bite: Moshi-Moshi in Northampton — best shrimp tempura and amazing staff

Favorite team: The Red Sox. I’ve lived in New England for 25 years and have followed their ups and downs with a combination of optimism, frustration and celebration. They are a mirror of life

What does your ideal weekend look like? On the beach with my sweetie, when it’s warm, away from any media, talking, walking and reading during the day, eating seafood at night

One thing you would change about yourself: I wish I could practice yoga more often than I do

What gives you the creeps? Scary, violent movies give me the creeps — because people pay to be scared

Whom do you most admire? Dr. Paul Farmer, for everything he has done through Partners in Health for the people of Haiti and the world

Parting shot: Tell the people you love how you feel about them as often as possible

Editor’s Note - To suggest someone for ID, email Keri-Ann Aubin at kaubin@gazettenet.com.

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