96.1 FM | 780 AM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

Laura Collins, Program Director

For Laura Collins, living in Alaska isn’t just an adventure: it’s the fulfillment of a goal.

Laura spent two years of her early childhood in North Pole, Alaska (outside of Fairbanks) while her father was serving there in the Air Force. Although she lived for the rest of her childhood in Newport News, Virginia, she aspired someday to return to Alaska. Ultimately, she did just that, with a few adventures under her belt.

After graduating from Virginia Intermont College with a degree in photography, Laura headed south to Mexico to volunteer for Global Vision International, an organization promoting environmental conservation and education. In the city of Mahahual, she earned her PADI Rescue Diver certification and collected data on the life of the coral reef.

When she returned to the US five months later, Laura remained eager for another volunteer opportunity. She discovered the KNOM volunteer program, applied, and soon found herself back in Alaska, where she served as KNOM’s volunteer music director from 2007 to 2009. Laura stayed in Nome for a year following her volunteer service and kept close ties to the station, serving as a community DJ on Monday nights.

After a year of traveling, working and living in the Lower 48 – especially in Asheville, North Carolina – Laura moved back to Nome with her new husband, Jeff. She rejoined the KNOM team first as our mission’s outreach coordinator, overseeing recruitment for the same volunteer program she’d participated in just a few years prior. In 2015, she became our mission’s program director.

Laura says she’s glad to be back for another chapter with KNOM. She loves the quiet time Nome offers, as well as baking, knitting, and playing guitar. She enjoys exploring the country near Nome with Jeff and their dogs, Parker and Emmylou. Whether hiking, biking, or cross-country skiing, she’s happy to get out and soak up the fresh air and wide open skies of Alaska.