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Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award Recipient: Lizzie Adelman, IEP'08

Lizzie AdelmanAfter working in Chile for five years, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Adelman, Ed.M.'08, found she needed a change. The Concord, Mass. native knew the change would come at graduate school. She chose the International Education Policy (IEP) Program at the Ed School because of the many professors who work on various projects in Latin America and Chile.

"Lizzie Adelman exemplifies well the leadership and service orientation that is characteristic of students in the International Education Policy group, and their skills and creating effective networks for distributed thinking and learning," says Professor Fernando Reimers, director of the IEP. "In addition to her scholarly dedication and prowess, Lizzie has spent time with her peers in the program, and collaborated in a number of student-led initiatives designed to sustain inquiry and reflection about critical topics in education and development. Lizzie understands well that effective leadership depends in part in active participation in a supportive community of colleagues and has demonstrated skills to sustaining and nurturing those."

Upon being honored with the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award for the IEP Program, Adelman took some time to answer questions about her time at the Ed School and beyond.

Any advice for next year's IEP students? I would advise students to try to focus on the big picture and try not to get lost in the details. I let a lot of interesting things pass me by because I was always fixated on getting my work done. I would also tell incoming students to make good friends with the teaching fellows. They were huge support in each of my classes this year and I am not sure if everyone realizes how great a help they are and how hard some of them work to ensure that the master's students don't go crazy. But I think my biggest suggestion would be to make use of the great resources that are around you, most of all your fellow students. I have had such a great time getting to know my cohort and enjoying being with great people.

What thing that you learned at HGSE will you take with you throughout your career in education? I learned that there is nothing more rewarding and enjoyable than having the time and the opportunity to talk to people who are excited and interested in the same things that you are interested in. I have learned so much from the people around me and have had the great opportunity to get to know some unbelievable individuals. I am going to take all I learned from them with me throughout my career and hopefully I will have the opportunity to keep learning from them as the years go on.

Did you have a favorite class? This is the million dollar question. I think that S30 and Microeconomics were in some way my favorites because I thoroughly enjoyed learning about subjects I had never been exposed to. Education in Displacement was also a great module since we were discussing issues that the international development community is currently grappling with. However, this year I felt like all of my courses exposed me to something new and each was great in its own way, especially when the last paper was turned in.

What would you change about education today? I guess I would change the idea of education itself, as shocking as that may sound. I think we are so trained to think of education as school and school as a building with walls, teachers, boards, and books. Education needs to be a life-long process which has many shapes and forms, not an event that occurs between 8am and 3pm. Therefore if I could change one thing, I guess I would allow for the possibility to change everything.