Alumni Spotlight

“Tarleton means a lot to me.  This is the place where my American dreams started.”

Huijun Li came to the United States as an international student from China in 2011. Shortly after arriving in the U.S., she noticed that Huijun was difficult for many of her American colleagues to pronounce. She decided to adopt an American name, and has since gone by Rachel.  Huijun “Rachel” Li holds several international degrees, and graduated from Tarleton in 2014 with a Master of Science from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.  

Rachel now teaches Economics at Victoria College in Victoria, Texas. There are two things she loves most about her job at Victoria College: Her fellow faculty, and the students.  She described her students as “thirsty for knowledge,” which inspires her in her career.

Rachel has been at Victoria College since the fall of 2015, and she plans to keep working there towards tenure. She also said, “I think for now it is possible. I definitely would work on my green card so I could stay in the United States for a long time. There [are] so many things waiting for me. There [are] so many things I want to learn about this country.”

Coming from a different background and culture has truly been an eye-opening American experience for Rachel. Because of this, each day has been a learning experience for her, not just in the classroom, but in daily life. Before coming to the United States, Rachel had never seen a turkey, or a drive through. She said, “Every single thing will add to my memory and enrich my life experience.”

Rachel states that the “real reason” she decided to come to the United States was to start her own American dream. “I know that this country gives us freedom, and that is one of the beauties this country has.”

Rachel advises new international students to take full use of their time in another country. “You won’t be able to take the car. You won’t be able to take the house. But you can always take the memories with you, so create as many as you can.”


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