Post by Colin Liu
Editor’s Note: Colin is one of the Graduate Assistants at HDS Admissions. He is a master’s student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education where he studies Education Policy and Analysis.
Hi HDS! My name is Colin Liu, and I am a current master’s student studying Education Policy and Analysis at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). As a GA at HDS Admissions, I am working on some data projects involving our recruitment pipeline!
Prior to moving to Cambridge, I had been living in the fun (though weather inconvenient) city of New Orleans. There, I worked on a small research and impact team for a nonprofit, Catalyst:Ed, evaluating philanthropic initiatives in the education sector pertaining to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Networks for School Improvement, and, more recently, supporting schools and educators as they prepared for reopening this Fall.
I am originally from Oakland, CA, and I moved to New York City and London for my undergraduate studies at NYU where I majored in Public Policy with a concentration in education and income equity in the United States. My interest in education equity stems from my background as a first-generation college student having to navigate through higher education on my own (albeit with a lot of gracious and patient mentors, friends, and family). As I became more cognizant of the correlation between education and income outcomes, I decided to study income inequities as well. This led to my experiences as a community organizer in San Francisco’s Chinatown as well as the opportunity I had to conduct labor research on banana farmers in Costa Rica.
In the past year I primarily worked with qualitative data, and I found myself more and more inclined to develop my quantitative skillset, prompting me to apply to HGSE. I was drawn in by the faculty since I had used some of their frameworks in my own evaluative approach. But, I also had a lot of encouragement from my supervisors and Harvard grad school alums who believed that the program would be a good fit for my goals!
At one point, I had considered HDS, too, because I was very interested in the intersection between faith, society, and human behaviors and relationships. Although HGSE was better aligned to my goals, I am still very interested in taking a course at HDS, so please pass along recommendations!