Resilience Profile: Jiayue (Joelle) Gu


Morgan Reddekopp

Jiayue Gu is a senior international student from China, majoring in clinical exercise. She is active in many campus organizations and is a peer tutor in Chinese, math, health science, geography and chemistry.

Sydney Mohr, Features Editor

Jiayue Gu, a senior clinical exercise major who is graduating this summer, is no ordinary Winona State University student.

“She has demonstrated resilience in so many impressive ways,” Subra said. “As an international student, she demonstrated resilience by learning English, going through the arduous international student application process, leaving behind her home and family to travel across the globe to pursue her degree in clinical exercise science and then committing to learning a brand new academic and social culture as a young adult.”

Gu is originally from Jiang Su, China, which is about three hours away from Shanghai. She went through the international student program and enrolled as a full-time student at Winona State in the fall of 2014.

Her uncle is a faculty member in the global studies world language department, which is how she knew about Winona State and the international student program.

Throughout her time at Winona State, Gu has become involved in campus life. She is an international club member, the secretary for the Chinese Student Society and a member of the Clinical Exercise Science Club.

Gu said she also likes to attend events with the English language program, which she is an office assistant and activities assistant for. “Last week, we went to the Timberwolves game,” Gu said. “It was very fun, but unfortunately they lost, so that was sad.”

Gu also works on campus as a student manager in Zane’s, and as a peer tutor for Chinese, math, health science, geography and chemistry. She is very active on campus, while still managing to find time to study and finish her homework.

“My favorite spot on campus is the second floor of the library,” Gu said. “It’s quiet and peaceful, and a good place to work.”

Gu said she also enjoys hiking the nearby trails and walking around Lake Winona when the weather is nice. Moving to the United States was a difficult transition for Gu, but she said she has made the most of it.

“My first semester here, it was difficult,” Gu said. “I struggled with the move here. The teach-ing styles and the learning styles are very different. But by second semester, things got better and became easier.”

Gu said the best thing about transitioning to Winona State was the help she received from pro-fessors and advisors when she was struggling.

“Here, the professors are helpful, and they want to help you,” Gu said. “They want you to learn and be successful and that is great. My advisor, Teresa Lee, was also very helpful and I was able to go to her when I needed help.”

Now, Gu said she has adjusted well to campus and is proud to call Winona her home.

“It’s a small town… everyone knows each other, which is different. But the views are beautiful and even if the winter is very cold, I still love it here,” Gu said.

And Gu’s favorite experience so far as a Warrior? Homecoming.

“I love Homecoming. All of the events on campus, and the football game, it’s very fun,” Gu said. “Last year, I was in the parade with the Chinese Student Association and we had a lot of fun, and made lots of noise.”

Gu has become so involved on campus, she was nominated for the “Student Involvement Improving Our World” award in which winners will be announced April 29.