Dr. Laurie Cannady

Portrait of Dr. Laurie CannadyIn her time at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Laurie Cannady has served as a living example of ingenuity, preparation, and hard work. She is an author and teacher, who lives with a ferocity that inspires others to do the same.  Born and raised in the projects of Portsmouth, Virginia, Dr. Cannady has consistently worked to give voice to the voiceless.  Soon after graduating high school, she enlisted in the United States Army, traveled the world and received several promotions and awards for her service.  Despite the acclaim that comes with serving one’s country, Dr. Cannady’s path has not been easy.  At nineteen, she became a single mother, and struggled to maintain a balance between her responsibilities to the military and her responsibilities to her child.  After six years, she completed her service in the Army and received an Honorable Discharge, settling in Clarksville, TN. 

Despite the difficulties associated with being a single parent and providing for her family, Dr. Cannady began a new journey in her life: she enrolled at Austin Peay State University and set in motion her pursuit for higher education.  Working part-time jobs and surviving on her G.I. Bill, Dr. Cannady received her Bachelor of Arts degree in two years of study, graduating Magna Cum Laude.  She earned her Master of Arts degree in one year of study, graduating with a 3.83 G.P.A., and she later completed her Doctorate of Philosophy in three years of study with a 4.0 G.P.A. 

Since earning her Ph.D., Dr. Cannady has ardently served Lock Haven University and its surrounding communities. As an Associate Professor of English at Lock Haven University, she established Lyrically Speaking, a spoken word group, which encourages students to discuss, craft, and perform original poetry, which captures the essence of their realities.  Having served as Chair of the President’s Commission on the Status of Faculty, Administration, Students, and Staff of Color, Dr. Cannady has worked to increase awareness about issues of race and gender.  She and colleagues, Ramona Broomer and Kenneth Hall, established the Miriam B. Harris Celebration of Excellence Award, which honors students, staff/faculty, and community organizations for encouraging and supporting diversity. She served on the advisory board for Lock Haven University’s women’s center, Haven Outreach Program for Advocacy (H.O.P.E), and she serves on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.  She also co-chairs the Jersey Shore Area School District’s Diversity Committee.  In 2010, she won the IUP Young Alumni Achievement Award and in 2011, she won the Woman of Distinction Award at Lock Haven University. 

Dr. Cannady has published an array of scholarly articles and personal essays on poverty in American, community and domestic violence, and women’s issues. She has also spoken against sexual assault in the military at West Point. Her memoir, tentatively titled, Have a Little Piece of Me will be published fall 2015 with Etruscan Press. Dr. Cannady currently resides in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, Chico Cannady and her three children, Dereck, Tariq, and Sanaa.