Schwarzman Scholars, one of the world’s most prestigious graduate fellowships, located at Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing, announced its fifth class on December 4, 2019. 145 Schwarzman Scholars were selected from more than 4,700 applicants and include students from 41 countries and 108 universities. The Class of 2021 will enroll in August 2020. More than ever before, this cohort expands the community of Schwarzman Scholars to include 12 additional countries and 41 new universities.
This year, three USC Scholars have been admitted for the 2020 – 2021 cohort: Christopher Carpenter, Gabrielle (Ella) Roberts, and Songzhi (Richard) Huang.
- Christopher Carpenter (’16) graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California where he earned B.A. degrees in Film & Television Production and Cognitive Science. Christopher has consulted with and produced media for organizations in Japan, Kenya, India, and others, measuring impact to inform policy. Christopher produced and directed “The Happiness Diaries,” a documentary series exploring the Government of Delhi’s Happiness Curriculum initiative. Christopher held the William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India and the Global East Asia Fellowship for Study in China, and has led service trips to Thailand. Christopher is 26 years old and is from the United States.
- Gabrielle (Ella) Roberts (’19) studied Film & Television Production and Computer Science from the University of Southern California. She founded the nonprofit, Code Your Chances, and runs coding camps for young girls internationally. At USC, she served on the executive board of Code the Change, a tech-consulting organization for nonprofits. Gabrielle studied machine learning through Oxford and Stanford University and is presenting her published ML research project at MIT’s 2019 IEEE conference. She has worked with Oscar-winning filmmakers, screened her films globally, and currently works for Los Angeles startup, Brud. Gabrielle is 23 years old and is from the United States.
- Songzhi (Richard) Huang (’20) will graduate from the World Bachelor in Business program, a collaboration of University of Southern California, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Bocconi University. During his undergraduate studies, he represented his universities to participate in business case competitions and student consulting projects in Asia, North America, South America, and Europe. Songzhi has a passion to understand how communities and businesses evolve under different city infrastructure development schemes. As a Schwarzman Scholar, Songzhi aspires to explore the topic of sustainable growth for companies and cities through the lenses of business. Songzhi is 21 years old and is from China.
These future leaders will join a global network of Scholars who have committed themselves to being a force for change, regardless of where their personal or professional passions take them. “I am inspired by these remarkable, accomplished and dynamic young individuals who will be joining Schwarzman Scholars at a time when its mission is more important than ever. I am excited to see how they contribute to both the Schwarzman College and greater Tsinghua University communities, and ultimately how they will apply themselves as people of consequence in their generation,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Founding Trustee of Schwarzman Scholars.
The Schwarzman Scholars Class of 2021 comprises a remarkable group of individuals whose talents are as diverse as they are inspirational: a Scholar from Chile who led the launch of the country’s first commercial satellite to prevent wildfires; two new Schwarzman Scholars who hold patents, including one for a process to detect diseases like Alzheimer’s via retinal imaging; an NCAA Division I athlete; a five-time Carnegie Hall pianist; a machinist and welder who built shelters for over 26,000 earthquake victims in Nepal; one of BBC’s Most Inspiring Women of the Year; and, the CEO of a company from Syria that provides 3D-printed prosthetics to refugees. “Each one of these Scholars has demonstrated excellence in their chosen field of study. We look forward to welcoming this incredible group to Schwarzman College, where I have no doubt they will impress us all with their intellectual and leadership abilities,” said Professor Xue Lan, Dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University.
The 145 Scholars were selected through a rigorous and thorough application process designed to identify academic ability, as well as leadership potential and strength of character. More than 400 candidates were invited to interview in Beijing, London, New York or Bangkok, where they went before panels comprised of CEOs, government officials, university presidents, journalists, and non-profit executives, among others.
Once admitted, Schwarzman Scholars pursue a Master’s degree in Global Affairs with a core curriculum that is focused on three pillars: China, global affairs, and leadership. The curriculum was designed by talented academics from some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Oxford and Tsinghua. Each year, the academic program is evaluated and refined to ensure alignment with current and future geopolitical priorities and challenges. Scholars also have the opportunity to take elective courses from a variety of disciplines at Schwarzman College, as well as from other departments at Tsinghua University. Scholars are taught by a cadre of leading international faculty, with frequent guest lectures from prominent global thought leaders.
Beyond the classroom, Scholars gain exceptional exposure to China and access to important relationships through internships, mentors, high-profile speakers, and opportunities to travel throughout China. Scholars are also provided with a range of career development resources to help them to make the most of their time in Beijing and position them for success upon graduation. This unique combination of coursework, cultural immersion, and personal and professional development opportunities equip students with a first-hand and well-rounded understanding of China’s changing role in the world, critically important to leadership in any field in the 21st Century.
All Scholars study and reside at Schwarzman College, named by Architectural Digest as one of the 9 Best New University Buildings in the World. The LEED Gold, state-of-the-art building at Tsinghua University was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Associates to encourage cross-cultural connections and intellectual exchange.
“The members of this new class of Schwarzman Scholars will be a vibrant part of the Tsinghua community and will play instrumental roles in deepening mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world throughout their careers,” said Wyatt Bruton, Associate Director of Admissions.