5th Cohort Welcome Day

August 24, 2020

We formally welcomed our fifth cohort on August 24th – an incredible group of 131 individuals from 40 countries and 98 universities.Scholars heard from Founding Trustee Steve Schwarzman, Executive Director Amy Stursberg, Dean Xue Lan, and many other alumni and staff members about the upcoming year and the founding mission of the program: to develop the next generation of global future leaders to further positive relations between China and the rest of the world.Scholars will begin their studies virtually this fall with a curriculum that accounts for 18 different time zones. They’ll hear from guest speakers, enjoy Pub nights and meals together on a new online platform, and experience Deep Dive trips virtually. At the end of the year, they will join a lifelong network of what is now over 500 alumni strong.We caught up with a few Scholars about what they’re looking forward to most as they become Schwarzman Scholars. You can click on each Scholar’s name below to read more about them.

Welcome to Schwarzman Scholars, Class of 2020-2021!

To read more about our Scholars, click here.


Shreya Nayak
University of Toronto

I am excited to learn from the global experiences and perspectives of world leaders, renowned professors, and change makers in my cohort so that we can collectively work towards addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues. I can’t wait to immerse myself in a new culture, context, and way of life along with an impressive cohort of leaders and friends.


Liu He
University of Oxford

I am interested in harnessing the power of charity and philanthropy to do the most good I can and alleviate suffering in the world. In attending Schwarzman Scholars, I wish to make life-changing connections with fellow Scholars, academic experts, philanthropists and other key individuals critical to advancing philanthropy in China. Particularly, the richness of the syllabus will act as a cornerstone for my academic and professional life. I am dazzled by the profiles of our course instructors who come from leading academic and professional institutions all over the world, and am looking forward to the learning experiences Schwarzman Scholars has to offer.

Of course, I also can’t wait to meet my fellow classmates and have a blast socially this year. Although the coronavirus poses unique challenges, I’m sure the cohort will be more closely bonded than any before once we are able to overcome the pandemic and all come together.


Michelle Zapata
Tecnologico de Monterrey

As a Schwarzman Scholar, I’m hoping to learn from China’s experiences and policies related to migration and poverty reduction to develop solutions and better social programs for migrant children and youth around the globe. I’m most looking forward to meeting and connecting with my fellow Scholars and learning from their experiences and cultures.


Christopher Carpenter
United States of America
University of Southern California

During my Schwarzman Scholars experience, I look forward to gaining the knowledge and network not only to inform and amplify my own voice in global discourse, but to also help create platforms for others to amplify their voices. I’m most looking forward to the ways, both expected and unexpected, in which my worldview will expand, my skill set will diversify, and my understanding of China’s role in global affairs will deepen.


Zinan (Crysti) Chen
University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington

The thing I look forward the most is rebuilding a deeper and more sympathetic understanding between East and West through my relationships with my cohort.


Gabrielle Roberts
United States of America
University of Southern California

As a Schwarzman Scholar, I am hoping to gain meaningful connections and insight into the Chinese film industry. As Schwarzman Scholars provides an introduction to the business, politics, and culture of China, there is no other program that could provide the holistic perspective necessary to participate in Chinese filmmaking. I am so excited to learn and grow alongside my fellow Scholars and eventually explore all that China has to offer.


Levent Yer
Berlin Humboldt University

I’m looking forward to learning about the vibrancy of China – and especially Beijing – as a future leader in technology, innovation and development. I am excited to meet my cohort to tackle and solve world changing problems collaboratively.


Xiaowen Han
Columbia University, University of International Business and Economics

I’m excited to gain lifelong friendships with a group of driven and inspiring global young leaders. I’m most looking forward to learning about topics from different perspectives and exploring the many opportunities that Schwarzman Scholars offers.


Bianca Carpinelli
Universidad de San Andres

I am looking forward to obtaining the tools and developing the skills to become an agent of cooperation and collaboration between China and the rest of the world.


Hatim Hussain
Gujarat National Law University

Beyond the wonderful experiences in store and knowledge to be gained from the institution and its people, one of the greatest privileges is an opportunity to join a community of incredibly thoughtful, talented and active Scholars across the globe. When leaders across diverse backgrounds come together to share stories, struggles and dreams and to offer mutual respect, support and inspiration, we can create incredible positive changes. I am looking forward to these long-lasting friendships.


Sarah El-Menawi
Cairo University, University of Glasgow

I’m excited to bridge the gap between academia and practice through Schwarzman Scholars’ leadership training. I can’t wait to meet all of my fellow Scholars to experience China together as a community and participate in Tsinghua’s sports’ competitions.


Jorge Filio
Tecnologio de Monterrey

From Schwarzman Scholars, I hope to gain an international experience that cannot be obtained in any other Master’s program of its kind. My greatest desire is to meet each and every one of my new fellow Scholars – the uniqueness of each person in my cohort makes my expectations of this year sky-high.


Lakshmi Prakash
United States of America
Stanford University

As a Schwarzman Scholar, I’m looking forward to challenging my beliefs and flipping my perspective!