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Dustin Liu ’19

Pandemic Reaffirmed Power of Education

Dustin Liu ’19 spent the past year studying for a Harvard Graduate School of Education degree. Due to COVID-19, he was in his childhood home, but connected with far-flung colleagues in ways that revealed the value of communal learning.

“This experience of leaning into spaces of learning during this time of social isolation has reminded me the power of education to bring people together and provide the conditions for deep human connection,” said Liu, who was honored with the Intellectual Contribution Award by Harvard’s Higher Education Program.

“Dustin’s tremendous sense of curiosity and intellectual engagement, his deep level of caring, and his joyful disposition regularly informed and uplifted all of us who have had the pleasure of interacting with him. In his many roles at HGSE — student, TF, mentor, volunteer — he always brings enriching perspectives and pushes the boundaries to elevate the discussions taking place in classrooms, in hallways, and in Zoom rooms. He does so with a generosity of spirit and openness that further helps everyone feel included and welcome. I have no doubt that Dustin will positively influence the field of higher education in significant ways for years to come,” said Senior Lecturer Francesca Purcell, faculty director of the Harvard Education Program.

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