Isabel Dorn: From shy kid to LUCC President

On Jan. 25, the student body elected their new President-Elect, junior Isabel Dorn, for the upcoming 2024-2025 Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC).  

According to Dorn, she inherently sees the role of president as a coordinator to find solutions. She views her new position as a great opportunity to take feedback from students and synthesize that into actionable items. She is aware that there are relevant complaints from students, and that it’s often difficult to transfer that information to those who can do something about it. 

Before her appointment to the role of president, Dorn was previously the vice president of LUCC and a class representative. In her campaign material, she presents herself as a strong voice for underrepresented students, sexual assault survivors and prevention, sustainability, and the student body as a whole. Once homeschooled and shy, everything for Dorn has been a learning process, she says. 

She knew that going from vice president to president was still a big step, she reflected. In helping ease this transition from VP to president, Dorn gives credit to 2023-2024 President Anders Hanhan, a senior, who laid a solid framework for her of how much work goes into the upcoming position.  

LUCC President-Elect Isabel Dorn. Photo provided by Dorn.

Dorn seeks to include her values from her campaign slogan: equity, efficiency and empowerment. For every student on campus, she wants them to have the opportunity to grow as leaders. Dorn looks back and appreciates her first experiences in leadership on campus.  

“At the start of my leadership trajectory at Lawrence, the first organization that I got involved in was the Pan-Asian Organization (PAO),” she states.  

Once Dorn got involved with PAO, the board members reached out to her, providing support and encouragement. They believed Dorn would be a great fit for the event coordinator position, which was one of her first leadership experiences. 

In all her experience, Dorn sees that her important lessons in leadership have to do with collaboration and being okay with reaching out for help. In the past, Dorn used to struggle with wanting to take on tasks by herself. Though now, she owes a lot of her collaboration skills to her experience in the Diversity and Intercultural Center (D&IC), she states. In the beginning of her experience in LUCC as VP, Dorn confesses she was anxious about asking for help in case it would make her look less qualified and somehow prove that she should not have won. With time, she has learned to reach out and maintain relationships. She acknowledges that there are many moving parts in achieving goals.  

Dorn has not always desired leadership positions, she confesses. Instead, she grew up desiring to become an author. 

“I was homeschooled and didn’t have a lot of leadership opportunities,” she states. “I channeled a lot of my energy into my writing,” she adds. 

Along with her work in LUCC, Dorn has invested her leadership skills in PAO, the D&IC and PRISM. 

 “I’m interested in working in public interest law to continue advocating for people outside of college,” Dorn remarks. “After the leadership experiences I’ve had here, I’ve found I feel most fulfilled in life when I am advocating for people. I want to continue that. I don’t want it to end just when I graduate.”