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Rebecca Arcesatiread bio
Rebecca Arcesati, from Italy, graduated with honors in Language Mediation and Cross-cultural Communication from Milan State University, with a dissertation on inter-ethnic relations in Xinjiang. Her undergraduate studies focused on Chinese language and culture, and during those years she studied Chinese at Beijing Language and Culture University and Liaoning Normal University, where she also taught Italian to Chinese college students. Following her research interest in Chinese politics and international relations, especially in Central Asia and Europe, she went on to pursue a Master’s degree in International Science, China and Global Studies at the University of Turin, which she will be completing at the same time as the Yenching program, thus obtaining a double degree. As a free-lance language mediator in Italy, Rebecca was active in helping Chinese citizens integrate into the local community, worked for an art gallery and for public institutions. Subsequently, she was foreign relations intern at the Asia Pacific Financial Council, a fully Chinese financial organization based in Shanghai. Besides international relations, she is passionate about journalism: she created and managed the China Analysis column of a blog specializing in economic news, published articles and interviews about Chinese economic and social transformations, and was featured in some major Italian newspapers. At the Yenching Academy she has chosen the Politics and International Relations concentration; her goal is to improve her understanding of China’s role in international affairs, its vision, and the philosophy that inspires its diplomacy and foreign policy. In Beijing, she is Special Projects Manager at ThinkIN China, a project that organizes conferences, special events and workshops on contemporary China.
Diliaram Azizbaevaread bio
Diliaram Azizbaeva graduated from Middle East Technical University, where she studied psychology. She is fluent in Russian, Kyrgyz, English, Turkish, and currently on her way to mastering Chinese. During her undergraduate years, she has always been interested in understanding the rationale behind social inequalities. Several internships and volunteer works with minority groups have confirmed her intent to continue working within this field. At the Yenching Academy, Diliaram plans to educate herself further on these issues in the context of China with its broader conceptualization of diversity in social inequalities, after which she plans to begin a career as a social activist against discrimination and inequalities by implementing policy-making programs in society.
Mohammed Badrread bio
A French-Tunisian citizen born and raised in Paris, Mohammed-El-Fatah Badr graduated from Sciences Po Paris in International Security. He interned in various places from Doha to New York in different fields including transatlantic cooperation and peacekeeping in West Africa. He also spent an exchange year in Indonesia at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta. His research interests include China’s foreign policy towards the Middle East. Mohammed harbors the secret dream of becoming an expert in Chinese cinema.
Jullian Baoread bio
Jullian Bao is originally from Edison, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Statistics. Last summer, Jullian received a Fulbright Summer Institute Fellowship to study British literature at King’s College London. In Chicago, Jullian was actively engaged in her school’s Model UN organization and served as the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Councils. She also edited a Model UN publication for the Middle East circuit. At the Yenching Academy, Jullian will study Public Policy and International Relations. She hopes to gain a more nuanced understanding of China’s diplomatic relations and economic growth.
Sasha Benincasaread bio
Sasha is a Columbia University graduate who hails from Vero Beach, Florida. During his final year of high school, he participated in a year-long immersion and homestay experience program in Beijing, China, where he attended Beijing No. 2 High School through the School Year Abroad (SYA) program. Upon returning, Sasha chose to pursue a double major in East Asian Studies and Russian Language and Culture. At Columbia University Sasha was active with the Undergraduate Law Review, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, and Men’s Rugby team. In fall of his senior year of college he was selected to work in Moscow, Russia, for the U.S. Department of State. Sasha has also interned at law firms in South America and Florida and is concentrating in Law and Society while at Yenching Academy. He speaks English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese.
Olivia Bergenread bio
Originally from the United States, Olivia Bergen graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi in 2015 with a major in political science and a minor in East Asian studies. As an undergraduate, she spent a semester and winter term in Shanghai studying Chinese language, politics, and education and wrote a senior thesis on gender and campaign finance in U.S. elections. She also taught and carried out research at NYU Shanghai on a year-long Global Academic Fellowship. As a Yenching Scholar, is concentrating in Politics and International Relations, where she is focusing on women’s political participation and leadership in China. She aspires to a career in NGOs and IGOs that engage citizens in the political process worldwide.
Jesse Bowensread bio
Jesse Bowens resides in the United States, California where she currently attended the University of California, Berkeley – Haas School of Business. She transferred to Berkeley Haas as a junior from Las Positas College, where she was the 2014 Student of the Year, and is now a senior of the 2016 graduating class. As a Business Administration major, she focused her studies in the area of accounting, with aspirations to become a Certified Public Accountant. She was selected as an Emerging Accounting Scholar and works for Deloitte & Touche LLP in San Francisco. Following graduation from University, she entered the Yenching Academy to pursue a Master Degree of Chinese Studies with a concentration in Economics and Management. She is fascinated by the interrelated roles of businesses that comprise an economy and the impact on society from economic regulations. She is particularly interested in learning about business operations within China, as it is an economic giant that also places a societal emphasis on community. As a Scholarships Coordinator for the Berkeley Student Foundation and Cohort Leader for the Haas Cohort Program, Jesse is a community leader who seeks to find an ideal balance between individualism and team-based efforts.
Andrew Boyceread bio
Andrew is an athlete, lawyer, entrepreneur and aspiring policy-maker. He studied politics at the University of California, Berkeley where he was a member of the Division 1 Varsity Water Polo Team. He also studied law at Cambridge University, where he was awarded a "Blue" - one of the University's most prestigious sporting awards. He was born in New Zealand and grew up in Hong Kong, where he attended the Chinese International School. Andrew has represented Hong Kong as a swimmer and water polo player, and has played in the Chinese National Games. He currently lives in London where he is training as a lawyer. He has previously worked at the World Bank, and co-founded a startup that focuses on using technology to support legal aid and access to justice issues in Southeast Asia. Andrew hopes to conduct research on Chinese law and society, in particular, by examining the impact of law and policy on development outcomes.
Sudarshana Chandaread bio
Sudarshana Chanda graduated with a BA in History from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. She was awarded the Amba Dalmia Prize for Creative Talent and Commitment to College, the Faculty Prize for All Round Excellence and a Certificate of Academic Excellence from the Department of History. She was selected to join the Young India Fellowship Programme and subsequently the Ashoka Research and Teaching Fellowship. She has worked as a teaching assistant to celebrated scholars such as Rudrangshu Mukherjee and Nayanjot Lahiri. Music is her first love and though she holds a diploma in Rabindrasangeet and Indian Classical Music, she has a two-year-old performance career as a jazz singer in New Delhi. Her interests and work experience range from art and film-making to writing and music. Her connection with China dates back to memorable excursions during childhood to Tiretti Bazaar, the old Chinatown in Calcutta, her hometown. At Yenching Academy she is studying Literature and Culture and hopes to research Children’s Literature in China, New Wave Cinema, and Chinese music, and to establish channels of cultural exchange between China and India.
Diana Changread bio
Diana Chang is from the United States. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University, where she studied Art Theory and Practice and Biology, with a concentration in neurobiology. Her grandparents, practicing artists of historic and traditional Chinese art forms—landscape painting and calligraphy—heavily influenced her early interest in art. As such, her interests in China are deeply tied to the country’s artistic traditions and culture. She hopes to better incorporate this type of understanding with economic and medical frameworks to shape a more effective future for international health policy. With a focus on rural populations in China and the greater East Asia, she is studying Literature and Culture at the Yenching Academy. Upon her return to the United States, she will matriculate into a dual MD/JD degree program for medicine and law.