Yuqi Liu’s 2020 Crystal Crest Talent of the Year Award came as a surprise to her, especially since she had always painted as a hobby, not as a major. On the day the awards were announced in fall 2020, she received a congratulations email from a colleague at work. “‘What happened?’” she replied.
While she didn’t expect an award, her stunning art and charitable work make her the clear winner.
Liu graduated from WSU in business administration in December 2020 as an international student. She now recruits students for the International Student & Scholar Center. On the side, she has practiced oil painting and traditional Chinese watercolors since childhood. She donated her artwork to a Chinese charity established to help low-income families send children to school. Recently, she spoke with Huntsman Cancer Institute about donating artwork to display for patients.
“It means a lot to me to notice my talent in this area,” said Liu, whose art subjects range from cultural Chinese scenes to still lifes to go-kart racers.
While she expresses herself through art, she said WSU public speaking instructor Greg Larson helped her find her voice. “Because English is not my first language, the first time I came to Weber State I didn’t dare talk a lot with other people, but he was very patient, and he told me he’d like to help me to improve my English,” she said.
Liu chose WSU because she thought Utah would be a peaceful state for studying. She discovered an institution that supported international students. She made friends from many countries, including the U.S., and with them explored local culture.
“It’s a very fantastic opportunity to study at Weber State,” she said.
Liu is now deciding whether she should go to law school, earn her MBA or start a business. Whatever she decides, colleagues in the International Student & Scholar Center are happy she stayed at Weber after graduation.
“She is the kind of student that we hope to have at WSU, and she deserves to be recognized for her amazing talents and also commitment to making Weber State University GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!,” said Tiana Witkamp, administrative specialist for the International Student & Scholar Center who nominated Liu for the award. “She makes every effort to happily serve her fellow students and consciously wants to make a difference for others, especially those in need.”