Four Yalies to study in China as Schwarzman Scholars

Two Yale seniors and two alumni with an interest in fostering peaceful and prosperous relations with China are among this year’s class.

Two Yale seniors and two alumni with an interest in fostering peaceful and prosperous relations with China are among the 151 individuals selected as 2023 Schwarzman Scholars for graduate study in China.

Seniors Jasper Boers and Sharmaine Koh Mingli and alumni Liam Arnade-Colwill ’19 and William Ge ’17 were chosen from 3,000 applicants for the prestigious fellowships, which support graduate study for a master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The 2023 class of Schwarzman Scholars, who come from 33 countries and 106 universities, are chosen for their exemplary leadership qualities and their potential to understand and bridge cultural and political differences. The scholars will complete their studies during the 2022–23 academic year.

The seventh cohort is an impressive group,” said Steven A. Schwarzman ’69, the co-founder, chair, and CEO of the investment management company Blackstone and founding trustee of Schwarzman Scholars. “The world needs Schwarzman Scholars now more than ever before. We are confident that these extraordinary young people will seize this opportunity to act with intellect and integrity, addressing pressing global issues, deepening cross-cultural connections, and fulfilling the mission of Schwarzman Scholars to create a steadfast network of future global leaders.”

Brief profiles of the Schwarzman Scholars from Yale follow.

Jasper Boers ’22 is studying ethics, politics, and economics at Yale and is interested in the postwar history of American grand strategy and political economy. On campus, he leads the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program, the largest campus forum for policy discussion. He is in the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy and has pursued his interest in foreign policy-making through an internship in political risk and experience as a research assistant for a former diplomat. As a Schwarzman Scholar, he looks forward to learning more about the intersection of Chinese foreign and domestic policy. He is from the United States and the Netherlands.

Sharmaine Koh Mingli ’22 is majoring in history at Yale. As a lieutenant in the Singapore Armed Forces, she initiated research and policy projects to empower women as leaders within the military. She has conducted extensive research on conflict-related sexual violence and the relationship between gender and armed struggle, especially in Asia. On campus, she has led advocacy efforts for historical justice and “comfort women” survivors (girls and women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army before and during World War II). A recipient of the President’s Scholarship, the most prestigious award for undergraduate students in Singapore, she hopes to be a leader in the U.N.’s global women, peace, and security agenda. She hails from Singapore.

Liam Arnade-Colwill ’19 is currently a special education teacher at a Title 1 school in Hawaii. Prior to earning his teaching license, he spent a year teaching English in Taiwan on a Fulbright Scholarship. He majored in history at Yale, and as an undergraduate interned at the Obama White House. He co-founded a mentorship program for refugees in New Haven and worked at a nonprofit that trains family daycare providers. For his community service as an undergraduate, he was honored with a Dwight Hall Distinguished Leadership award. He hopes to combine his interests in social justice, education, and international affairs in a career in public service. He is from the United States.

William Ge ’17 is a medical student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology program and is training to become a geriatrics and palliative care physician. He co-founded a reminiscence therapy app to connect socially isolated elderly people with their loved ones, winning a first prize at an international competition by the U.N. and World Bank to promote social inclusion. He has co-authored eight peer-reviewed articles on genomics, immune-oncology, and bioinformatics in journals such as Nature Biotechnology and Cell. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale with dual degrees in sociology and molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He is from the United States.

Each year, up to 200 Schwarzman Scholars from around the world live in Beijing while pursuing a master’s degree in global affairs. During their year of intensive study and cultural immersion, the scholars attend lectures, workshops, and discussion groups, and they are mentored and advised by leaders across many sectors. The scholars also have an opportunity to travel in China to gain a better understanding of the country.

The academic program is updated annually in accordance with current and future geopolitical priorities, but the core curriculum is based on three pillars: leadership, China, and global affairs. In addition to exposure to world-renowned faculty members and guest lecturers, the scholars are also provided with a range of career development resources to help them lead in various industries and positions upon their graduation from Tsinghua University.

Scholars were selected through a rigorous application process, with 400 finalists invited to interview virtually in Beijing, London, New York, or Singapore by panels of CEOs, government officials, university presidents, journalists, and nonprofit executives, among others.

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