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Distinguished Educators group photo
September 20, 2022

On September 15, the Greater Irvine Chamber celebrated Irvine’s world-class education with its Distinguished Educators program. Irvine Valley College (IVC) Professor Emily Liu was honored with a Distinguished Educator Award, and student athlete Carlene Nhu was recognized as a recipient of the John Colvin Memorial Scholarship.

The Distinguished Educators program recognizes exemplary Irvine educators who have contributed to the educational process through direct student involvement or partnership activities. The program also honors outstanding STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) programs offered throughout the City of Irvine.

“It is a truly an honor for our faculty and students to be recognized by the Greater Irvine Chamber,” says IVC President John Hernandez. “This event showcases outstanding educators and the important role they play on our campuses and the community at large. We applaud the Greater Irvine Chamber for their leadership in organizing this event and showcasing innovation, standards in teaching, and scholarly contributions by educators who are central to the success of our students.”

IVC’s Distinguished Educator, Professor Liu was born and raised in southern California and attended UCLA as a double major in English and psychology. She then worked at the non-profit UCLA Longevity Center, running educational programs to promote life- long learning in older adults. Liu received her M.A. in the Humanities from the University of Chicago and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from UC Irvine. Before joining IVC’s English department, she taught composition and literature at UC Irvine, Mt. San Antonio College, Orange Coast College, and Saddleback College. At IVC, Dr. Liu serves as Director of the Honors Program and a Writing Course Coordinator, while continuing to teach composition and literature courses. She finds herself inspired every day by her students’ intellectual curiosity, resourcefulness, and perseverance.

Being named Distinguished Educator of the Year is just the latest in Dr. Liu’s list of accolades, which includes her recent recognition as a Teacher of the Year finalist by the Orange County Office of Education (OCDE). In May, she was surprised in her classroom with the award when she became one of six Orange County Teacher of the Year finalists. Later this fall, the educators will be formally honored at a dinner gala at the Disneyland Hotel, where they will receive cash awards from the Orange County Teachers of the Year Award Foundation. 

The Chamber’s Distinguished Educator event also recognized IVC Honors Program student and women’s soccer team member Carlene Nhu.  An Irvine resident and former Northwood High School student, Carlene received the John Colvin Memorial Scholarship which celebrates Colvin’s love of fitness, a commitment to community, and love of family.

See photos from Distinguished Educators event  »