BA, Pure MathematicsIn six years, Jian Liu went from a young immigrant with limited English to an ace student whose aptitude in math would earn him a $100,000 fellowship and a ticket to New York University.
The story begins in 2006, a year after Jian and his family arrived from China. Still polishing up his English, Jian took part in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) summer program at City College. That experience would prove to be a defining moment.
"I learned a lot of more in math and physics than my other high school friends and because of the support and great experience I had, I decided to study math at CCNY," he said.
Fast forward to 2011. Jian is graduating with a BA in pure mathematics, minors in secondary math education and physics, and a bushel of awards. The list includes the 2011 Zitrin Scholarship and 2009 Eber Scholarship, from CCNY's Student Support Services Program (SSSP), and membership in the Chi Alpha Epsilon national honor society's Beta Theta chapter since 2010. In addition, Jian is a 2011 fellow of the CUNY Graduate Center's Pipeline Honors Program and a 2011 Ellen Knowles Harcourt Scholar at the CUNY Teacher Academy at CCNY.
The pick of his honors, however, is a Math for America Fellowship (MfA), which comes with a $100,000 stipend. The highly selective, five-year MfA program is for talented students committed to teaching math in public schools. In Jian's case, it is the Brooklyn resident's ticket to graduate school at NYU this June en route to a teaching career.
Jian said was inspired to teach by President Kennedy's clarion call to service 50 years ago: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
"These words inspired me as a young immigrant," he explained. "I have learned that when we help others, those experiences benefit me, as well."
He, in turn, is thankful to Dr. Lorraine Whitman, former director of Teacher Academy Program at CCNY and Dr. Elizabeth Thangaraj, SSSP director at CCNY, for mentoring him.
"I have learned that when we help others, those experiences benefit me, as well."
- Jian Liu