Three Yale affiliates to study in China as Schwarzman Scholars

Juliana Lawrence, Clara Ma ’19, and Nicolas Wicaksono ’19 will receive one of the world’s most prestigious graduate fellowships.
Juliana Lawrence, Clara Ma ’19, and Nicolas Wicaksono ’19

Juliana Lawrence, Clara Ma ’19, and Nicolas Wicaksono ’19

Yale medical student Juliana Lawrence and recent graduates Clara Ma ’19 and Nicolas Wicaksono ’19 have been selected as Schwarzman Scholars, one of the world’s most prestigious graduate fellowships.

The three Yale affiliates will study at Tsinghua University in Beijing as members of the fifth class of Schwarzman Scholars. This year’s class of 145 Schwarzman Scholars was selected from more than 4,700 applicants and includes students from 41 countries and 108 universities. The scholars will enroll in August 2020 and will study and reside at Schwarzman College, a LEED Gold, state-of-the-art building at Tsinghua University designed by Robert A.M. Stern Associates to encourage cross-cultural connections and intellectual exchange.

Schwarzman Scholars are selected through a rigorous application process on the basis of their academic ability as well as their 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 nonprofit executives, among others.

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 ’69, founding trustee of the Schwarzman Scholars program.

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 academics from universities including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Oxford, and Tsinghua. Each year, the academic program is evaluated and refined to ensure courses are aligned with 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 departments at Tsinghua University. Scholars are taught by a cadre of international faculty members, with frequent guest lectures from prominent global thought leaders.

Outside the classroom, scholars gain exposure to China and forge relationships in China and beyond through internships, mentors, speakers, and travel throughout China. Scholars are also provided with a range of career development resources to help them make the most of their time in Beijing and position them for success upon graduation. The combination of coursework, cultural immersion, and personal and professional development equips students with a firsthand understanding of China’s changing role in the world.

Juliana Lawrence MED ’20

Lawrence attended college at age 13 through the Early Entrance Program and graduated magna cum laude at age 18 with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. She is currently a research fellow at the Yale School of Public Health and the Yale Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation, studying how governments develop health recommendations. She is interested in international health policy and hopes to utilize her medical background to develop collaborations between China and the United States. She is from the United States.

Clara Ma ’19

Ma was first awarded the Schwarzman Scholarship in 2018, but declined the award and re-applied this year, when she was again selected for the program. She studied geology and geophysics and political science at Yale, with a concentration in climate science and Chinese energy and environmental policy. She is a U.S. Presidential Scholar and has worked at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she contributed to the development of the Energy Earth System Model. After winning an essay contest at age 12 to name the Mars rover, Curiosity, Ma worked with NASA for nearly a decade to promote youth engagement in science and space exploration. At Yale, she was president of Yale Undergraduate Women in STEM. She is from the United States.

Nicolas Wicaksono ’19

Wicaksono earned his bachelor’s degree in global affairs and sociology at Yale, where his capstone project culminated in briefing the U.S. Army Special Forces’ Africa group on human rights-sensitive stabilization strategies. He is now a fellow at Search for Common Ground, where he researches the effectiveness of grassroots peacebuilding in West Africa and Southeast Asia. He interned at the Department of Justice’s violence reduction program in New Haven and conducted field research on the Indonesian genocide. As a Schwarzman Scholar, he hopes to explore how China could improve international humanitarian aid and conflict resolution. He is from Indonesia.


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