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Welcome to HGSE! I am thrilled that you have chosen to become part of our community, whether as a student, faculty or staff member, or a partner in our work. One of the first things you will discover is that all of us here share the mission of improving education. We know that the opportunities afforded by a good education are critical to fostering thriving individuals and communities as well as addressing pressing challenges in the U.S. and around the world.
Among its values, HGSE hold two especially dear, and I have seen these principles strengthen our community during my 20 years as an HGSE faculty member. First, we are an institution that believes in the importance of education for all. We believe in the worth of each person regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, political views, immigration status, ability, socioeconomic status, and other identities or characteristics. Building from the first point, at HGSE, we see diversity as a strength, and we understand diversity must be joined with equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging for all members of our community. When those with differing backgrounds and perspectives are supported to engage in rigorous and shared inquiry, the results lead to excellence and innovation. Including a diverse set of individuals is essential to our ability to engage in meaningful teaching and practice, conduct relevant and pioneering research, and have a positive impact on the larger field.
During your time at HGSE, we will help prepare you to become the future leaders, scholars, and innovators who will expand educational opportunity, enhance academic achievement, improve student supports, and advance our understanding of how children and adults learn. You will be exposed to rigorous research and innovative ideas by our faculty and engage in discussions and debates of how to best to achieve the goal of educating all students. With each step we take together, we move closer to meeting the aspiration to help all learners reach their full potential.
You came to HGSE with a passion to contribute to the world through education, and during your time here, I encourage you to bring your ideas, observations, and questions. You will leave here with the knowledge, skills, and relationships that will empower you to make meaningful change in the lives of students of all ages. I hope this is only the beginning of what will be a long and fruitful relationship — one in which you will stay connected long after you have left Harvard Square.
Onward as we all work towards improving education for all!
Bridget LongDean Saris Professor of Education and Economics