Meet Your Advisor
Title/s: Graduate Assistant
Marlena is currently a graduate student in the Higher Education program at Loyola University Chicago. She was born in Pontiac, Michigan and spent the rest of middle school and high school in a small, rural town called Cherryville in North Carolina. After graduating from high school, she moved to St. Paul, Minnesota (Land of 10,000 Lakes) to begin her college journey where she learned to fully embrace her Hmong ethnic identity. As a first-generation college student and a transfer student, she understands the experiences these students go through. Marlena's college journey helped her discover her passion in helping and working with students during their time in transition to college. As an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota, she was an RA for two years and interned abroad for two months in Sydney, Australia. Of Marlena's four siblings, she is the oldest of five! During her free time, she enjoys cooking, jogging, and watching Disney movies.
"All our Dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them" - Walt Disney
First Year Memory:
I didn't take the traditional route in starting out at a four-year university; instead, I began my college journey at a local community college. Even though the campus population was small, I was still extremely nervous and hesitant to reach out for help. Joining a student group (Asian Student Association) during my first semester allowed me to gain confidence socially and academically that my entire college experience flourished from that point on. One main thing I learned from my first year was the importance of networking with my peers, advisor, and professors. It helped me land my first student job on-campus as well as discover my passion to work in higher education. With that said, I highly encourage you to build a network during your time here at Loyola! It's crazy to see where it can take you :)
A.A in Liberal Arts, Century College, Minnesota
B.A. in Communication Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities