It’s Graduation Time! Reflecting on 3+ Years at the Center for Asia Pacific Studies

Louise Li in cap and gownLouise Li is a first generation USF student from Saipan who graduated this May with a degree in marketing and minor in computer science. Louise has worked at the USF Center for Asia Pacific Studies as its social media and marketing student assistant since the spring of 2019 and has been an integral and indispensable member of our team. If you’ve attended any of the center’s events over the last 3 1/2 years, we’re sure you’ve seen the eye-catching graphics and social media posts that Louise helped us create. We are excited that Louise is graduating and wish her much success in her new position at USF’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Before she graduated, we asked her to reflect on her time spent working at the center.

What was the project that you worked on during your time at the center that you feel made the greatest impact?

I feel like our Lunar New Year Events made the greatest impact. These events were definitely our largest community building events and there was always a huge turn out. Growing up, I always celebrated the Lunar New Year with my family and it was always a super huge and important event. Coming to the United States for college, I always found myself homesick around this time of the year, so the center hosting this event brought me a lot of comfort. We have a large Asian population at USF, so I’m sure this event provided many others the same warmth.

Do you have a favorite memory of your time working at the center?

My favorite memory of my time working at the Center would also be the Lunar New Year Festivals! Despite it always being our most stressful events, it’s always so nice to see people from multiple different ethnic backgrounds enjoying the festivities. As soon as the lion dance started, you could always see students, staff, and faculty coming out from the buildings to watch. The lines for the dumpling food truck would always be so long! We would also see families who live near our campus come to attend the events with their children.

Is there something that you would like people to know about the center that they may not be aware of?

Given the pandemic, I feel that it’s been very difficult for students to get out of their comfort zone and attend events that they aren’t mandated or incentivized to go to so, I would like to highlight the Center’s community building events! If you’re interested in the Asia Pacific, please attend one of our community building events. It’s a great way to explore the city as well as make new friends! I totally understand how it may be daunting to attend events alone, but please know that it is a safe space, where a lot of students are in the same boat.