UMass Boston

Liza Talusan

Leadership in Education
Adjunct Faculty


PhD, Higher Education, University of Massachusetts Boston
MA, Higher Education and Student Personnel Administration, New York University
BA, Psychology, Connecticut College
Certified Professional Coach, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching

Additional Information

Liza Talusan's research interests include identity development, identity-conscious leadership, Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences, access and equity, graduate student socialization, and the K-20 context. Her dissertation "Formation of Scholars: Critical Narratives of Asian American and Pacific Islander Doctoral Students in Higher Education Programs" received the 2017 AERA REAPA SIG Dissertation of the Year Award. Liza focuses on the experiences of scholar-practitioners and the importance of collaborative work between theory and practice. Liza has served at the national level with NASPA APIKC, ASHE Council on Ethnic Participation, and AERA's REAPA SIG. She is a frequently requested speaker for conferences, and a skilled facilitator of difficult conversations. Liza's expertise is often called upon for parent/caregiver workshops, faculty and professional development, and administrative leadership teams for conversations on race and identity. Prior to working at UMass Boston, Liza was a full-time practitioner in both higher education as well as K-12, focusing on administrative leadership for diversity, equity, and inclusion. 


  • 2017 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Dissertation of the Year Award 
  • 2016 Opening Keynote speaker for the National Society of Experiential Education, Annual Conference
  • 2016 University of Massachusetts Boston Asian American Studies
  • 2015 Asian Women for Health, Boston, Outstanding Peer Leader Award
  • 2014 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Region I Mid-Level Professional Student Affairs Award
  • 2014 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Massachusetts Mid-Level Student Affairs Award
  • 2014 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Asian Pacific Islander Knowledge Community Award
  • 2013 East Coast Asian American Student Union finalist for “Trailblazer Award”
  • 2012 Brockton’s Promise “Exceptional Mentor” nominee for Community Impact on the lives of youth
  • 2011 South Shore’s “40 Under 40” Award for Professional Accomplishment, Civic Engagement and Leadership
  • 2008 Regional Award NASPA Network for Educational Equity and Ethnic Diversity Award (NEEED)