Isabelle Pope, Staff
Emily Dorr, a junior history and religion double major, was adopted from Ukraine by her parents in 2002 and came to America by plane. Growing up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, she struggled to fit in and had trouble in school at a young age. Nonetheless, Dorr’s parents were very supportive. “My parents were always super involved in my education and I wouldn’t have gotten through it without them,” she said. Despite the struggles Dorr endured as a young child, one thing that stuck with her was the idea of service and social justice through the lens of Catholicism.
Growing up, Emily was no stranger to La Salle University’s campus. Her mother, Mary Dorr, has been working at La Salle since 1999 as the assistant dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences and has also been actively involved with the neighboring Germantown Hospital as the director of nursing education for the School of Nursing in 1990 and the chair of education for the Germantown Hospital and Medical Center in 1992. Due to her mother’s position at La Salle, naturally, Dorr spent a lot of her time on our campus as a young girl, getting to know all the nooks and crannies of campus. While many students only call La Salle home for four years, Dorr had an “awesome experience” growing up on campus and said La Salle became a second home for her. “The Brothers would walk me around campus,” said the junior.
Dorr’s passion for service and for knowledge of the world continued throughout high school. She had the opportunity to visit Haiti, which provided a whole new perspective for her. “You got to physically see the fundraising and advocacy that we did, have an actual impact on schools there,” she explained.
With the importance of service and social justice instilled in Dorr at a young age, in conjunction with Mary Dorr’s long-term employment at La Salle, it should come as no surprise that Emily Dorr continues to be directly involved on campus. Dorr continued her service and advocacy work from high school at La Salle through her participation in the El Otro Lado LIVE Trip to El Paso to learn about the immigration crisis.
As a freshman, she began to participate in the La Salle University Neighborhood Tutoring Program where she worked to mentor and tutor students in the Germantown area. Additionally, Emily has worked as a La Salle tour guide, as a budget worker in the La Salle Transfer Office and as an Explorientation general leader.
When COVID-19 struck, many had trouble adapting, but Emily adapted quickly, juggling multiple activities this year including the Histories Club, working as an AIDS Outreach Coordinator, joining the Phi Mu Sorority and most notably, leading the Students’ Government Association (SGA) as a member of the e-board, first as the deputy chief of staff and currently as the vice president.
Through her involvement, Dorr’s dedication and desire to actively participate at our University, while creating change where she can, shows immensely. In the SGA specifically, she has worked to publish content revolving around COVID-19, promote the Pass/Fail petition alongside Emily Gaboriault and organize a Trash Bash in our surrounding community.
While planning these activities, she also has diversity and inclusion at the forefront of her mind, always providing her perspective regardless of what others may think. Dorr is consistently learning and advocating for social justice on her Instagram page and within her interpersonal relationships. “She always tries her best to be there for people and help people the best way she can,” Ronnie Matos, a former La Salle student, said.
Dorr says that many of her humanities professors have strongly impacted her, but notes two specifically: professor of religion Maureen O’Connell and professor of history Carly Goodman. “Dr. O’Connell continues to inspire me to break down the barriers of creating sustainable, community-based change,” she remarked. “Dr. Goodman has really enriched my understanding of history in specific areas that I didn’t have previous knowledge in.”
In her spare time, Dorr enjoys drawing and singing and she also loves to travel, having gone to Poland, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Puerto Rico, Mexico and many other countries. In the future, Dorr would love to go to India to visit the Golden Temple and learn more about the Sikh peoples.