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College of Education and Professional Studies

Young Alumni Spotlight: Dan Liu, Class of 2022

A person standing in front of green foliage holding their name badge in an Amazon office building

CWU alum, Dan Liu, at Amazon's The Sphere's office building

The College of Education and Professional Studies, in partnership with University Advancement, is proud to announce the debut of the Young Alumni project. In an effort to engage with and inspire current students, CEPS Alumni Engagement Coordinator, Xiaoyin Zhong, will check-in with CWU alumni who have graduated in the past one to five years. With them, she discusses the impact of their time at Central, how it helped them gain employment, and where they are at today in their careers. CEPS is pleased to feature 2022 ITAM graduate, Dan Liu.

“CWU has offered me a second chance to live the life I want,” said Liu of her experience at Central.

CWU Alum, Dan Liu’s goal of pursuing a master’s degree dates back to 2015 when she was working toward her bachelor’s degree in Spain. Originally from a small town in China’s Jiangxi Province, Liu was studying as an exchange student. Because she was working her toward her bachelor’s in Spanish at the time, Liu had her sights set on studying for her master’s degree in Spain as well.


After graduating and spending a year in the work force, Liu realized she wanted to acquire more skills than knowing a foreign language. Having grown aware of the booming tech industry in China and the United States, she set her sights on a career in tech. Liu began searching for opportunities to change her career path and build more of the skills necessary to shift her focus in work. In 2019, Liu’s boyfriend enrolled in a master’s program in the ITAM department at CWU. This led Liu to research master’s programs in ITAM offered by various universities including CWU.


What Liu discovered at CWU was an affordable program that takes just one year to complete and provides a bridge for those who want to work in tech but don’t have the appropriate background. Better yet, there are several kinds of scholarships available to international students who may be on a tight budget.


In September 2021, Liu began her first quarter as a wildcat and found that Ellensburg is a great place to take things at a slower pace and enjoy the beauty in life. Liu took up tennis and swimming as well as skiing in the winter.


A young couple standing outside of Tomlinson Stadium at Central Washington University

Dan Liu and her boyfriend at Tomlinson Stadium


“CWU has offered me a second chance to live the life I want,” said Liu of her experience at Central.


During her time in the ITAM program, Liu participated in projects that helped her develop a variety of skills—particularly in project management. In one such course, Liu and her peers collaborated with the City Mayor, City Engineer, and the CWU Sustainability Coordinator to promote Ellensburg’s sustainability via electric vehicle charging stations. The project’s team worked together to research government policies, plan and develop feasible solutions, and project plans to help support the City of Ellenburg’s move toward aligning with the sustainability goals of Washington state.


Liu graduated in summer 2022 and has kicked off her tech career with a new role as a Business Intelligence Engineer at Amazon. The project management skills she built in her time at CWU, such as time management, scheduling, budgeting, and resource management, have enabled Liu to successfully complete projects more quickly and easily while producing higher quality output.


Dan Liu's advice for current students:

  • Stay calm and work hard
  • Reach out to your peers and professors for help
  • Learn and be curious
  • Sleep well and work out

Congratulations to Dan Liu and her successful transition toward her career of choice! Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat!