Staff Spotlight: Pearl Lo

Pearl Lo is a full-time Ph.D. student and Research Associate at the Center for Minority Serving Institutions and the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Institute for Leadership Equity and Justice.

Lo received her bachelor’s from the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Communications and Cinema Studies. Following that, Lo received a master’s degree in Higher Education also from Penn. After working for a bit in Residence Life at her previous school, she came to Rutgers to earn her Ph.D. in Higher Education.

What attracted Lo to the GSE was the community and the opportunity to grow with the new Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions as it was new at the time. Furthermore, she appreciated that many of the professors have high-level administrative backgrounds, which provided illuminative insight into the field. Lo shout-outs Higher Education Law professor and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Barbara Lee, as a faculty member that has inspired her. Class is Lo’s highlight in the program because there is an opportunity for enriching interaction.

A little prior to Lo’s doctoral education, she debated between Sociology or Education programs. Due to her interests in practical implications, Lo opted for the education route while also being intrigued by learning about specific student populations. Working firsthand with students allows the effects and impact of her research to be more tangibly seen.

“In the end, I care about the students. Specifically, in Higher Education. My time in college has been some of the most transformative years of my life. It’s been where I’ve learned the most academically as well as personally as an individual. I think it’s a really special age and population to learn more about.” – says Lo

In addition, Lo hopes her research will help mitigate the inequities within education. Research is great, but she finds it particularly rewarding when there are meaningful effects.

To destress, Lo enjoys jogging and “arts and craftsy” things. Specifically, she likes decorating eggs (but not just the typical ones for Easter). Lo enjoys this traditional style of Ukrainian dip-dyeing, called Pysanky, which features very intricate designs and coloring using melted wax.