Lori Reesor

The key to any career is having a passion for what you do. Lori Reesor knows that as well anyone.

Lori grew up in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin and was active in music, sports, and church. The oldest of six children, she was also the first in her family to go to college, where she earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. This experience did more than teach Lori about herself and the world. It also had a lasting impact that shaped her career.

Description of the following video:

I grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee and pretty predominately white high school, and I met a boy from another high school who was African-American, and he wanted to go out, and I can remember that was the first time I remember,, not so much for me, although I was still told what I couldn't do, that I couldn't do, that that it was okay to be nice, it was ok to be friends, but that there could never be anything beyond that, and that - I was you know it was a teenager, so I didn't like any most of what my parents told me at the time, but I just really remember resenting that; that there are these rules or norms or expectations of who you could and could not socialize, or be with, or date.

 

And so I didn't listen, and still connected with that boy, and he was at another school so it never really worked out or established much although, a quick story: he ended up being my roommates boyfriend in college, so how weird is that? 

 

But I think the point for me was really about what these rules, societal rules were about who you could who you could be and who you could be with or not be with, and I didn't like it, and I still don't like it.

 

I think it's an awful feeling, to not feel welcomed or to not feel that people want you to be there. Sometimes I think we bring on those perceptions ourselves, and other times there's absolutely clear reasons where people don't help us feel welcomed. 

 

I've had students come up to me and say, "I had this this happened to me in class and I didn't feel comfortable." 

 

Whenever somebody comes up to me and shares something so personal like that I think it's a gift and that they're trusting me with something really precious, and that's about how they feel, and that's about their experience, and then it's my job to honor that, respect that, and do what I can to try to make it better for that person. 

 

So I'm not from here, and I'm not from Indiana, and I have felt very welcomed and supported on the campus, and so I hope that we do that for all students. 

 

Cut! [laughing].

 

I was going to say, I have to be careful, this is where the bloopers come in.

I worked in sales for a while after college, but then I realized I wanted to work in higher education–specifically, student affairs. I have never turned back, and I love what I do.

Since arriving at IU, Lori has spent much of her time getting to know students, parents, staff and faculty, and helping connect students to the resources they need. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs in the School of Education.

I love the energy, insight, and passion students bring to campus.