Member Welcome: Lauri Luosta
By Josh Weiner, Pi Sigma Alpha Intern
Frigid though they both may be, Minnesota and Finland are nonetheless worlds apart. Yet for Helsinki native Lauri Luosta, the decision to leave his homeland and head to the United States for college has proven to be fruitful.
Currently a junior at Winona State University, Luosta has chosen to major in political science and global studies, with a minor in economics. He describes these as meaningful fields of study, given that they position him for a career in which he will be able to help people around the world to improve their own lives.
“Political Science is a meaningful major and an important subject to understand if you want to help create a fair, equal and free world,” Luosta said. “Coupled with economics, you’ll learn how power, resources and values are distributed around the world, and why.” He already intends to further pursue political science in graduate school after finishing college next year.
This spring Luosta was awarded the Outstanding Student Leader Award from Winona State University for his work with the school’s Amnesty International Chapter. Along with his peers, they founded the chapter his freshman year. Currently serving as vice president and student activist coordinator, Luosta has been busy organizing on-campus events and guest lectures designed to bring the suffering of global citizens to greater student attention.
One of the most significant of these events came this past fall on Human Rights Day. With North Korea actively testing nuclear weapons during this period, two speakers whom Luosta had helped to recruit– a North Korea expert from Amnesty International, and an elderly woman who had fled her homeland upon the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950– shed light on the human consequences of such an aggressive regime.
Luosta described this event as stemming from Amnesty’s goal of “promoting the rights of refugees and prisoners of conscience” across the student body at WSU. He is also thankful for having successfully teamed up with his school’s UNICEF chapter, a group which shares his “passion for human rights,” in order to make Human Rights Day a success and raise funds for those negatively affected by global refugee crises.
His is hard work in the classroom has been rewarded: Luosta was just recently selected to join the Rho Alpha chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha at WSU. Dr. Kara Lindman, advisor for the chapter and a professor in the Political Science and Public Administration department, applauded his achievement.
“Lauri is an excellent student and a welcome inductee to our [chapter],” she said, after Luosta and five of his classmates were inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha on April 20th. She particularly highlighted Luosta’s work this past year with the American Democracy Project, as well as the “outstanding editorial” he wrote for the Winona Daily News, in which he argued that “debating is a horrible way to discuss politics” and that “deliberating is a much more productive and less polarizing way” to go about this process.
Luosta’s achievements in college are already impressive. Now that he has become a new member of Pi Sigma Alpha, his dedication to political science will only become further established throughout his final year as a WSU student.