Lauri Mattenson

A photo of Lauri Mattenson
E-mail: Office: Kaplan Hall 126A

Lauri Mattenson has been teaching writing to undergraduates and training graduate instructors at the University of California, Los Angeles for almost 25 years. Each summer, she works with New Student and Transition Programs to represent UCLA faculty in a series of welcome speeches for incoming freshmen. As a member of the UCLA Prison Education Program, Lauri advocates for prison reform and teaches writing workshops for currently incarcerated students at California institutions and juvenile halls.

Her website,, offers motivational articles for teachers and students as well as personal essays inspired by the main theme of “Trusting the Body to Teach the Mind.” During the summer, she represents the UCLA faculty in a series of welcome speeches for incoming freshmen Orientation groups totaling over 6,000 students. Previous publications have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Mother Company, The Jewish Journal (“Finding my Place in History: A Love Letter for Father’s Day”; “Small Steps on NewGround for Muslims and Jews”), Massage Magazine, Turning Wheel: The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism, Bruinlink, and The Daily Bruin. Her ebook, BACKBONE: A BodyMind Breakthrough, illustrated by Arnel Baluyot with foreword by Darren Levine of Krav Maga Worldwide, is currently available on Amazon.

Student Quotes from Lauri’s HW65W: Body-Mind Literacy Seminar

This is the best class I have taken at UCLA. Not only is the course content incredibly interesting and thought provoking, but Professor Mattenson makes sure that every student feels comfortable and the class really felt like a safe space. I learned so much about my body-mind, became a better writer, and learned skills that will actually stay with me for life. I came in with an interest in my body-mind relationship but throughout the quarter I learned so much about myself.”

I have never been consistently challenged to be a better writer like I was in this class. I have never felt so open sharing my thoughts and knowing I would be listened to. This has truly been the best class in my four years at UCLA, and I have become such a better person for it—not only in understanding my own body-mind but also how that relates to the larger more social body-mind that we all inhabit from our environment and cultures and spaces.

Although the class could not be in person, Lauri did a fabulous job bringing this class to an online format. I really enjoyed the meditative/mindfulness exercises we did at the beginning of class because I felt like I could really focus on the class in the present and not worry about other things. I also really appreciated all of the feedback Lauri gave for each writing assignment and with her help, I was able to improve my writing and express my voice in a genuine and open way. It was really different from any other class I have ever taken in my entire education, and it completely changed my view of my body-mind in this world. Thank you, Lauri, for everything.”