2017 Yenching Scholars
Nazerke Aibar

Nazerke Aibar

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Nazerke Aibar is from Almaty, Kazakhstan. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Finance from KIMEP University, where she studied with the support of U.S.-CAEF Scholarship from American Councils for International Education.  During her studies she had the opportunity to explore 3 continents by studying in Asia, Europe and America. Nazerke learnt Corporate Finance at the University of Zagreb through the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. Afterwards, she had the fortune to work as a venture capital analyst in Washington D.C. through the American Council's Capstone Internship Program.  Her interest in China began when she started learning Chinese, and was nurtured by attending summer school in Xinjiang University and having academic mobility at Hong Kong Baptist University. Currently she is working at PwC in the Advisory Department, with primary responsibilities of conducting Due Diligence and Strategy Consulting. At Yenching Academy Nazerke intends to focus in Economics and Management with further plans to apply the knowledge she has gained to benefit bilateral Sino-Kazakh relations. Her research topic is on the One Belt One Road initiative, its influence and implications on Kazakhstan and rest of the world. Nazerke’s ultimate goal is to make a positive impact on the development of economy of her motherland - Kazakhstan. 

Miryam Amsili

Miryam Amsili

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Miryam Amsili is originally from Bogota, Colombia and grew up in Miami speaking Spanish, English, Hebrew, and French. She graduated from Princeton University in 2014 with a degree in History focusing on Latin America. While at Princeton, Miryam spent a summer teaching English in Jishou, China, where she developed a deep interest in the region. Since graduation, Miryam has worked at a software company in New York City in various roles including Business Development, Business Operations, and Product Strategy. At Yenching Academy, she looks forward to concentrating on Politics and International Relations while exploring the growing tech scene and its relationship with the Chinese government and non-profits.

Asma Bachikh

Asma Bachikh

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Asma Bachikh, originally from Morocco, holds a Master’s degree in International Commerce and is an alumna of the Global Business Institute at Indiana University. Asma’s passion for entrepreneurship and the environment inspired her to drive many projects and initiatives in France, Malaysia and Morocco, for which she has received recognition. In April 2015 Asma was elected as President of the World Youth Parliament, which advocates for youth participation in decision making in the water sector. Asma has worked in international organisations across a variety of sectors, from developing quality education in Sub-Saharan Africa to freedom of speech and media in the MENA region. However, Asma found her true passion in the water sector, and is currently a consultant for leading water institutions, focusing on developing their civic engagement, with a special focus on youth strategies. She also sits on the board of the International Secretariat for Water, and has an observer status as part of the Global Water Partnership's Steering Committee.

Felipe Alberto Barrientos Fuentes

Felipe Alberto Barrientos Fuentes

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Felipe Barrientos Fuentes studied law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC) in his hometown, Santiago de Chile, obtaining a certificate in International and Comparative Law. Looking to expand his knowledge beyond legal studies, he undertook exchange semesters at Northwestern University in the United States, where he studied political science, and at Technische Universität München, Germany, where he studied management. His academic interests include corporate regulation and its role in deterring mismanagement, white-collar crime, and corruption in public companies. He is currently a research assistant at the UC Center for Corporate Governance, where he has co-published a working paper on gender diversity in Chilean boards, and will also collaborate with the Chilean chapter of Transparency International in the months prior to his arrival in China. As a Yenching Scholar, Felipe will pursue the Economics & Management research area, with a particular interest in learning about the organizational culture of Chinese companies, their regulatory standards, and the ongoing Chinese anti-corruption campaign.

Adrian Bazavan

Adrian Bazavan

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Adrian Bazavan, from Romania, is passionate about art, politics, history, and their complex connections. He wants to travel the world to build friendships and mutual understanding, and to transform cross-cultural conflict into beneficial cooperation. In 2014 he was named Valedictorian, earning his B.A. in Political Science at the National School of Political Sciences and Public Administration (NSPSPA), Bucharest. He completed his M.A. in Public Policies and European Integration at NSPSPA in 2016. He has studied Chinese at the Beijing Language and Culture University and at Peking University. Adrian speaks fluent Mandarin and currently works as a translator and representative for a Chinese real estate company investing in Romania. Fluent in English and French, he is currently studying Russian. Adrian has interned with several public and private institutions concerned with governance and policy consultancy, including the Government of Romania. As a national student union leader, Adrian has advocated for students’ rights and negotiated youth policy at all levels. He supports Moldova’s closer ties to Romania and EU integration, and has led many national projects benefiting Moldovan citizens and public administration. As the Project Director of the Romanian League of Students Abroad, Adrian has been a mobilizer of the Romanian-Moldovan community. Adrian’s hobbies include piano, dance and theatre. He also referees football games and participates in academic debate competitions. While studying Politics and International Relations at the Yenching Academy, Adrian will intern at the Romanian Embassy and pursue his PhD at the Romanian Economy Academy.

Ravish Bhatia

Ravish Bhatia

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Ravish Bhatia is a citizen of India and presently lives in New Delhi. He graduated as an Electronics engineer from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi upon which he worked as part of the Business Technology and Business Consulting teams at the management consulting firm, ZS Associates. Presently, he is working as a policy and strategy consultant for Members of Indian Parliament. He has worked extensively on building development strategies for villages located close to the Indo-China border and is passionate about using data science and technology for international development. He founded and presently leads the National Youth Advisory Panel, PLAN International (India Chapter), a 200-member youth body promoting children's rights in India. As a student he served as the President of the Dance and Debating clubs in his university. He enjoys reading, playing football and dancing.

Melike Bilgin

Melike Bilgin

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Melike Bilgin is currently studying towards a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University (İstanbul, Turkey). She has been an active member and current co-president of the Center for European Studies Student Forum at the university. In 2015 she was granted the Erasmus scholarship to study Political Science at Helsinki University (Helsinki, Finland). In the following year, she received a travel grant to visit Yerevan, to carry out research on Syrian Armenians. During her final year at university, she started taking Chinese language courses. She became one of the founding members of the Chinese Culture and Language Club (Buzhong) which is funded by the Confucius Institute at Boğaziçi University, where she is taking a Chinese language course. At the Yenching Academy, Melike wants to concentrate in Politics and International Relations, while focusing on China’s foreign policy evolution and its present implementation. Her other goals at the academy are to improve her Chinese and increase her knowledge about Chinese civilization and history. In the future, she would like to contribute to the development of relations between Turkey and China while continuing her academic career. She is looking forward to exploring various aspects of China, including current issues in Chinese political life and foreign policy.

Jacob Bishop

Jacob Bishop

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Jacob Bishop, an American from Washington, DC, is a 2017 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Chinese Language with a minor in Environmental Engineering. Throughout his studies he has focused on Chinese language, culture, and history with a particular emphasis on the military and political relationships between the United States the People’s Republic of China. At Yenching, he plans to develop deeper insights into Chinese political culture and foreign policy decision making that he will be able to utilize throughout a career of public service.

Jose Luis Burnes Garza

Jose Luis Burnes Garza

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Jose L. Burnes Garza is a Mexican national and Dartmouth College graduate with a BA in Government (Honors). At Dartmouth, he received four competitive research grants including: the UGAR Kaminsky Family Fund Research Award, Nelson A. Rockefeller Center Honors Thesis Grant, John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding International Internship Grant, and the UGAR Summer Undergraduate Research Grant. He has also worked as a Research Assistant for multiple renowned Dartmouth professors, including Kyle Dropp, John Carey, and Brendan Nyhan. His main research area while in college was assessing the effectiveness of international human rights courts in changing state’s practices, which allowed him to do field work in Mexico and Guatemala. Outside of academics, he was co-founder and former president of the Latin American Student Association (LASA), and served on multiple institutional boards on a wide variety of topics including: Student Program Funding Allocation, International Engagement Programs, and Social Impact. He also worked in international business and labor policy at the Organization of American States (OAS) and Council of the Americas in Washington, D.C. As a Yenching Scholar, Jose will focus on China’s emerging role as a main international lender and how that shifts the existing paradigms of international development policy.

Vân Cao Mai

Vân Cao Mai

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Vân comes from Hanoi, Vietnam and received her Bachelor’s in Investment Economics at National Economics University. She worked at the Investment Promotion Division- Ministry of Planning and Investment as an intern. This experience helped her to gain insights into economic and trade ties between Vietnam and neighboring countries, including China. During her undergraduate career, Vân joined exchange programs in Hong Kong and India, which inspired her to study soft power and cultural diplomacy. Her interest continues to prosper at Yenching Academy as she has the opportunity to learn more about China’s cultural diplomacy and aims to conduct research on how to bring traditional culture closer to the ever-changing world, not just for cultural preservation but also for the easing of conflict. Moreover, with a focus in Literature and Culture, Vân looks forward to receiving a systematic Redology study, discussing dream and reality factors constituting The Dream of Red Chamber.