Thursday, April 29, 2021

Zhuolun Li, UI student double-majoring in psychology and economics, hails from Kunming, China. He is the current vice president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and was also recognized for his contributions as a student employee in the Catlett Hall Market Place. Continue reading below to learn about Li’s experience as an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa.

Image of Zhuolun Li in front of the Old Capitol Building in Iowa City

Zhuolun Li 

How did you choose to attend the University of Iowa?

The first time I heard about the University of Iowa was back in my high school in China. The admission officers visited my high school and did a presentation about the University of Iowa. I was attracted by the hand-scan locker room in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC). I also learned many cultural things from the presentation like the sport of football, Iowa as the birthplace of butterfly, etc. I won a Hawkeye t-shirt by asking a question during the presentation and I was amazed by the video overview of campus. Thus, I chose to apply to the University of Iowa without any doubt and finally decided to come to Iowa City because the UI offer was the first offer I received.

Image of Zhuolun Li at the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center

Can you tell us a little bit about Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) and your role in the organization?

I am the current vice president of CSSA and I will be the president advisor of CSSA in Fall 2021. As for my role in the organization, the first thing comes to my mind is leading and operating the organization towards our goals. CSSA is devoted to promoting cultural exchange between Chinese international students and local communities. We hold various events each semester to enrich students' multicultural experience on campus. In other words, we help Chinese international students to engage in local communities—especially first-year students who experience "culture shocks.” We also help local students learn more about Chinese culture.

We understand that you work on campus through the UI Dining Marketplaces. Have you enjoyed working on campus?

Yes, I have worked at the Catlett Market Place since April 2019 and I'm a student manager. I help the full-time manager to manage the student staff, like making work schedules, coordinating new student hiring processes, or taking leadership in stations if needed. I love to work at Catlett! I meet people from different backgrounds and I have made many friends. I believe I learned not only skills but also various cultures at Catlett. Last semester I was recognized as both the “employee of the month” (October) and "employee of the semester" (December) after receiving 13 nominations from my fellow student co-workers, cooks, and managers. I was also nominated by my managers as 1 of 68 candidates of "student employee of the year" for 2020-2021. Although I wasn’t selected as the overall campus winner, I'm really grateful to everyone who supported and recognized me. I can't do anything without their help.

What are some of your favorite things about the University of Iowa campus?

I enjoy studying at the main library, I'm pretty efficient when I study there. My favorite professor is my rhetoric professor, Leslie Margolin. He is kind, warm, inspiring, and insightful. I learned not only knowledge but also beliefs, worldview, and modes of behaving from him.

How have you been doing with the COVID-19 pandemic?

I think I'm doing pretty good during the pandemic so far. Hopefully the pandemic will disappear as soon as possible, so that I can go to in-person classes without worries!