It’s been said that those who can do. And, those who can do more, volunteer. Pittsford resident Sara McLaughlin falls into the “do-more” category.
Recently retired from African safari adventures, this mother of two was born in Oswego. After college, she worked in student personnel and did graduate studies at the University of Buffalo. She married and located in Rochester in 1965, but remained active in the higher-education realm.
McLaughlin served as an adjunct professor at RIT, MCC, and St. John Fisher Colleges, where she taught English composition. Her volunteer work began when she was raising her family. She worked with the Judicial Process Commission and co-authored a textbook on the abolition of punishment.
When her children were old enough, McLaughlin worked as a teacher at Allendale Columbia for three years at the upper school, Then, at age 50, she made a career change and worked full-time as a writer in the U of R College Development Office and later, for 12 years at the Simon School.
For several years, McLaughlin was involved with raising scholarship monies for female students at Pittsford’s Sr. Bernard’s Institute, which prepares lay people for service in Catholic Church. In the retirement phase of her life, she volunteers for the Compeer organization and tutors refugee high school students.
Regarding her love of the writing process, McLaughlin acknowledges writing was the one thing she was good at as a student and so, she “stuck with it.” She finds that when she writes, she can capture, organize, and express her thoughts with clarity.
McLaughlin, who has been published in Family Circle, Volunteer Action Leadership, and The Military Review, is like Lord Byron, in her appreciation of the power of clear writing. The poet observed nearly 200 years ago that "words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions think."
Science fiction author Jack Dann once said of the writing process, “For me, writing is exploration; and most of the time, I'm surprised where the journey takes me.”
McLaughlin has explored many places, through her writing, and through her desire to know the world more fully. She is now exploring the memories and significance of her life experiences and creating a memoir for his children and grandchildren.