Professor Corona on writing, teaching, and learning at City

Sidney Bryant

Laurel Corona, reading and writing since the age of 4, credits her older sister for the success and limelight she has gained from being a professional writer.

“Over 55 years I have been writing,” she said.

Corona became a member of the San Diego City College faculty in 1990. She was first a dean, and then became a full-time professor of humanities and English. Corona was also a professional author when she made the transition to City College.

Corona feels her success as an author and professor started when her sister pretended to be her teacher at home.

“It was amazingly fun. My sister and I both were motivated heavily by our parents to pursue higher learning,” Corona recalled.

Corona, 60, received her undergraduate and Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Davis. She also attended the University of Chicago to receive her master’s in Humanities.

“It has been quite a journey,” she said. “My sister prepared me well for the storm, yet I give the utmost credit to my parents because without them, neither one of us would have existed.”

Corona was raised in La Jolla and attended The Bishop’s School, a private college preparatory institution. After she graduated from The Bishop’s School, Corona attended UC Davis. During her undergraduate years, Corona developed a passion for humanities and decided to pursue her master’s in it.

“As a child, I couldn’t believe I could get a degree by devouring novels and poetry in bed in my pajamas, and writing papers on ideas that burned in me as I read, but it turned out to be largely true,” Corona said.

After Corona obtained her Ph.D. in English, she became a professor, and administrator for academic programs at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and San Diego State University. (SDSU)
“My years of teaching at UCSD and SDSU were very stressful,” she recalled. “It seemed like I was only teaching to receive a pay check. The kids didn’t treat their academics as a top priority. At that moment, I knew it was community college kids I wanted to teach.”

“Corona is a great story teller, well structured, and has complete control over her classroom,” said Mellita Hayes, a former student.

Director of the English Center, Chris Baron said, “Corona has been a mentor to me during my tenure at City College. Over the years she has consistently proven herself to be a dynamic teacher, friend, and colleague.”

“I feel connected with the students here at City College. Having the opportunity to work with unfortunate students from different cultures has been a blessing in disguise,” Corona said.

The things she experienced at UCSD and SDSU drained heremotionally, physically, and spiritually, Corona recalled.

“This Corona was never for the lime-light; only for the passion. However, the energy and commitment I gave to the students at UCSD and SDSU made me feel empty at times,” she stated.

Coming soon is her fourth novel, “Penelope’s Daughter.””which correlates with the movie the Iliad and Odyssey.