Penn GSE CMSI

Paola "Lola" Esmieu

Associate Director for Programs

Paola “Lola” Esmieu serves as the Associate Director for Programs at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. She is a native of Hawthorne, California, which is a part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Lola graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in September 2010 with a B.A. in Sociology and Chicano/a Studies and received Undergraduate Honors at graduation. While at UCSB, she coordinated a state- and city-recognized program called College Link Outreach Program, which provides outreach and college support to 120 at-risk youths from the greater Los Angeles area.

Upon graduating, she began service with City Year—an education-focused AmeriCorps program that works to combat the national dropout crisis by assisting students in K-12 low-resource schools improve their attendance, behavior, and course performance—where she served from 2010-2012. Her AmeriCorps experience combined with her undergraduate involvement inspired her to pursue a graduate degree in higher education so that she could continue to work closely with students and help them create meaningful, holistic, and positive collegiate experiences.

Lola obtained her M.S.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in May of 2013. Promptly upon graduation, she began working at University of the Sciences (USciences) as a Residence Director. Lola served USciences for a total of two and a half years and was able to gain direct experience as a supervisor, student advisor, event and program manager, and gained broader experience within the field of student affairs. Lola is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education at Penn, while simultaneously completing coursework to obtain a master's degree in Law.