Finding joy in the midst of sorrow: Lori Turner Corzine applies life lessons to her job and volunteer work

Lori Turner Corzine is the new Program Coordinator for the WUSTL ENDURE program.

She is originally from Hillsboro, MO and currently lives in Webster Groves. She’s worked in various roles at WashU from 1996 to 2010, mostly in Film and Media Studies, where she served as a one-person office while they started the program, followed by a position in the Sam Fox School. She always knew she would return to WashU, where she hopes to eventually complete a degree and learn as much as possible about neuroscience. She hopes to use the knowledge she gains to educate people about what happens in the brain when we experience grief.

After her time at WashU, Lori spent 11 years trying out different things, including taking classes at Webster University and St. Louis University. During this time, a family tragedy set Lori on a new path.

 “My son was in the Marine Corps and passed away, throwing me for a loop. But it’s put me onto a whole other trajectory. I volunteer with an international organization called TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) that provides trips and other bonding activities to help people cope with military loss. I’m really excited to be a part of it. I believe there is more, life goes on somehow. The TAPS motto is ‘love lives on’. Eventually, I want to start my own non-profit organization to help people with any kind of loss, not just military, by leading expeditions. Through these experiences, you find out you can still enjoy life. You can find joy in the midst of sorrow,” Lori said.

Left: Bonnie Carrol, founder of TAPS, Right: Lori Corzine

Lori started the first TAPS St. Louis care group and has devoted a lot of time to organizing and attending trips. She will always volunteer with TAPS, but she missed working at WashU. She checked job listings regularly and eventually the Program Assistant position with ENDURE came up, which was perfect for her skill set.

ENDURE students come from diverse backgrounds, including underserved minority groups and the LGBTQ+ community. Lori takes great pride in helping ENDURE students have the most comfortable and positive experience possible. She found that WashU has many resources for educating staff on diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness, and signed herself up for a class about pronoun use.

The core of the ENDURE program is to help give these students the tools they need to get into PhD programs. They are working in labs, getting priceless experience with scholars, mentors and graduate students.

“Seeing them grow in leaps and bounds over four weeks since first picking them up from the airport is a gift! I’ve always been a happy, upbeat, joyful person. I’ve always thrived in admin roles where I serve students and professors. I haven’t had a chance to support the sciences until now. I’m fascinated with neuroscience and I’m having the time of my life working with these ENDURE students,” Lori beamed.

In addition to her volunteer work, Lori spends her free time performing as a singer in local bands. She also loves kayaking, riding motorcycles with her husband, and spending time with their dogs.