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Meet the LLC Faculty

McGill Faculty Member In Residence

Dr. Laurie Woods


Before coming to Vanderbilt, I spent 21 years in law enforcement in California; 16 of those years were as a special agent with the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. My areas of study include hate crime, the criminal justice system, and comparisons between US and European gun ownership and use. I am currently working on a book about America’s obsession with guns. In addition, I have been a VUcepter for five years, a Mayfield and VIP advisor, I teach a Commons seminar on hate crime, and I try to attend as many Vanderbilt activities as I can every semester.

I have wanted to live on campus with students since they first began such programs at Vandy. I feel energized by the students here and never tire of hearing their stories about their lives. Since I did not have a typical college experience when I was younger, I think I sometimes live vicariously through the students at McGill. When I hear people complaining about “today’s youth,” I often tell them, “If you think the world is in trouble, come to one of my classes or come to McGill. Your hope in the future will be restored.” I feel so blessed to be a part of the McGill community and to live on this beautiful campus.

My rescue dog Gracie (part yellow lab, part junkyard dog) lives with me at McGill. She loves students and can often be found hanging out in the lobby pestering students for a hug. She is never disappointed.

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