Michael Liu is one of three international Harvard College students earning Rhodes scholarship

January 8, 2019

Three earn international Rhodes Scholarships

They’ll join two American winners in studying at Oxford next fall

On the heels of the announcement that two American undergraduates from Harvard had been awarded Rhodes Scholarships, three international Harvard College students have been informed that they too will head to Oxford in the fall.

The Gazette talked with Michael Liu, Mattea Mrkusic, and Olga Romanova about their interests and their plans.

Michael Liu

Senior Michael Liu has a passion for helping others, and for finding creative solutions to complex medical and societal issues. It’s something he has worked on both in and out of the classrooms at Harvard — he volunteered at a nearby shelter in his spare hours — and at Oxford he hopes to find ways to help vulnerable populations.

“Throughout College, one of the most rewarding things I have done is directing at the Youth to Youth Homeless Shelter, and a lot of the work I have been doing has been really focused on social advocacy and social justice,” Liu said. “I’ve come to understand that the experience of homelessness, similar to the experience of sickness, is very different for each person. And among homeless youth there is a disproportionate representation of BGLTQ youth and racial minorities. I’m interested in understanding how early adversity and trauma affects development over time, and I’m interested in looking at this from a very interdisciplinary perspective.”

Liu is currently applying to medical schools and wants to create a connection between his two fields of interest: public policy and global health, science, and epidemiology. He said he looks forward to helping prevent some of the struggles he saw at the shelter.

“The solutions to these issues are not going to be just based on coming up with the best medical intervention. It has to be in parallel with dialogue on how we create the best affordable housing policies, and best deal with issues within families to prevent youth homelessness in the first place,” he said. “These are complex health and social problems, and I want to bring [to them] the rigor of basic science and the research illuminating what the health needs are for vulnerable populations, and how do we then use that research to inform better medical intervention but also better social policies.”


Find the full article here.