The Gustavian Weekly

Gustie of the Week: Pa Ying Lor | The Gustavian Weekly

By Grace Worwa - Staff Writer | March 6, 2020 | Gustie of the Week, Variety

This week’s Gustie of the Week is Junior Pa Ying Lor, an Elementary Education major from St. Paul, MN.
Coming from a large, diverse city such as St. Paul, Lor appreciated how Gustavus’ welcoming community eased her transition into St. Peter’s small-town setting.
“The scenery is very welcoming, and the people who work here are very welcoming too,” said Lor said.
“I really enjoy working with the professors in the Education Department because they are super helpful, so they make it really easy for me to go out into the field and do the work that I want to do.”
Lor maintains a high level of involvement on-campus, including her service as a Diversity Leadership Council representative for the Asian Student Union as well as her work as co-president for Hmong American Cultural Outreach (HACO). HACO is open to all Gustavus students, and its members organize outreach events in order to educate the community about Hmong culture.
“We do a lot of outreach to other orgs on-campus and off-campus,” Lor said, “just to do a little bit of activism for our people because there’s not a lot of Hmong people here, and we want people to know and understand where we come from.”
Back in November, HACO organized a celebration event that Lor is particularly proud of.
“Even on the day of, we still communicated and worked together to create a celebration of our culture and share that with the campus, and to me, that is something that I have never been able to do before,” Lor said.
In her hometown, Lor was never able to share and celebrate the Hmong culture with her community in the way that she can at Gustavus through HACO, so November’s celebration was
particularly special.
“We didn’t really celebrate those things at my [high] school, but coming here and being able to
share that with the people on-campus is very heart-warming to me,” Lor said.
In addition to her duties with HACO, Lor also works as a Gustavus Collegiate Fellow (CF). She decided to become a CF in order to get to know more people on-campus.
“During my first and second year, I didn’t spend a lot of time outside of my room. I was very focused on my education and stuff, but I feel like I wanted to be a part of this kind of community and get to know other people,” Lor said.
Now in the midst of her CF experience, Lor feels like she has already learned a lot.
“[I have learned] mostly how to be a better educator, a better peer, and a better friend,” she said.
In addition, Lor feels that balancing her duties as a CF with her other involvements on-campus has sharpened her time management skills.
“With being a CF, there comes a lot of responsibilities, and [it’s] just being able to manage my time so that I’m able to do a lot of the things that I still enjoy on my own time,” Lor said.
After graduation, Lor hopes to earn the Fulbright Scholarship in order to teach English abroad in Singapore or Malaysia.
“You basically get sent to the place where you want to go, and they put you in a school and give you a whole bunch of resources, and you just teach,” Lor said.
After her time abroad, Lor plans on attending grad school.
“If I do get the Fulbright internship I’ll be gone for a year after graduation, and then hopefully when I come back, I want to apply for grad school, maybe at the U, and I want to get my license for teaching ELL and Special Education.”
Looking back at her first-year self, Lor would encourage her to be more engaged in the on-campus community.
“The best advice I could really give is to really get out there and meet other people instead of staying holed up in your room and doing your homework all the time. It’s good to take a break
and just have a little bit of fun,” Lor said.

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