Norma Pastor

Norma Pastor

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Dr. Pastor earned her Medical Doctor degree with specialty in Anesthesiology. She started her medical degree when she was 20 years old and by 24, she had completed it. She got married at a very young age and had her first daughter at the age of 24.

After earning her MD degree, she competed for the anesthesiology residency, staying in the military hospital (where she already worked as a military doctor) in first place in the 2005 competition. Being the mother of a baby, wife, and resident doctor at the same time, was not easy, yet she was determined to make a better life for her family.

As a resident doctor, she managed to be the chief resident of her promotion and in 2009 she graduated as an anesthesiology specialist at the Military Hospital of the Armed Forces.

From 2009 to 2012, she worked as an anesthesiologist for the Military Hospital. As a military anesthesiologist, she participated in multiple humanitarian aid efforts such as Operation Smile and was a volunteer for three weeks in the campaign hospital when the Haiti earthquake struck.

In 2012, determined to achieve a better future for her daughter, she immigrated to the United States. Upon her arrival in the United States, she began preparing to take the Florida medical boards. Her first two years in the USA were very difficult since she had to study full time for the boards, and it was difficult for her to find a job. After having passed the first two boards steps 1 and 2, and when she was ready to apply for the doctoral residency, she became pregnant with her second baby, which momentarily prevented her from continuing with her plans to return to the doctorial residency.

In 2014 he had his first opportunity to teach at a technical college and it was there that he fell in love with education. A year later, in 2015 she applied for an instructor position at KU and was called and hired.

At KU she has seen her professional career grow. In her first year she enrolled in a PhD in health sciences and in 2016 she was promoted to chair of health programs.

In 2020 she defends her dissertation and receives the degree of Doctor of Health Science with the highest honors. In the same year, she was promoted to associate dean, and 4 months later she was promoted again to dean of the Latin division.

At KU Dr. Pastor has found her passion. As dean of the Latin Division, she feels connected to her community and has dedicated herself to offering the help and guidance she did not receive when she first arrived in the United States.

Dr. Pastor believes that, for first-generation immigrants like her, the period of adaptation to the new society is much more difficult and they must work much harder to open the way for future generations. Therefore, she is in constant communication with her students so that they feel that there is someone helping and encouraging them in the process.

Dr. Pastor is a living example that with effort, hard work, and dedication, immigrants come to the United States to succeed.