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Sosan Afghanread bio
Sosan Afghan grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan, but at the young age of 16 left Kabul for Kyrgyzstan to continue her education. She enjoys community service and has volunteered in projects like Cultural Diversity Project, in women empowerment movements such as Every-woman Everywhere and has served as a team leader in AIESEC, a youth leadership NGO. Sosan is passionate about documentary making, and has filmed a short movie about Afghan immigrants in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She studied Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). Her thesis focused on the global shift from print to digital media and its consequences. Her enthusiasm, interest and curiosity to learn more about the Chinese culture as well as China’s emerging role in world politics and world economics has led her to pursue a degree in Chinese studies (Literature and Culture) at Peking University.
Marketa Bajgerovaread bio
Marketa Bajgerova, a Prague-born living in the UK, is a Politics & History graduate from the University of Glasgow and an external research associate at the Centre for the EU-Asia Relations in Prague. As an aspiring researcher and policy analyst, Marketa represented her home institute at international conferences and policy advisory meetings in Slovenia, Germany, Greece, the UK, and Myanmar. A firm believer in an interdisciplinary approach to social sciences, the scope of her research interests ranges from political and cultural theory to the Northeast Asian politics. During her endeavours at the Yenching Academy, Marketa researches in the area of Politics and International Relations with the vision of merging her theoretical background in post-structuralism, critical cultural theory and political psychology with the socio-political dynamics of Northeast Asia. As her focus has been predominantly on China-Korea relations, Marketa’s ambition is to further examine China’s role in the diplomatic future of the peninsula, research the politically significant area at China’s border with the DPRK, and explore Confucian tradition's impact on the diplomatic conduct in the region.
Daniel Bensonread bio
Daniel Benson is a British national and graduated from Clare College, University of Cambridge in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Economics. His interest in China stems from a great love of Chinese culture, language, history and cuisine, as well as thinking critically about China’s position in the global economy; a country that has developed whilst not subscribing to the ideals dictated by dominant economic theory. Daniel has travelled extensively within China and beyond, including working abroad with international students, including many Peking University students, and seeks to contribute to the relationship between the Yenching Academy and the wider university. Daniel is keen to put into practice the insights he learns about the Chinese economy and business environment into a career in Economic consultancy. He hopes that the cross-cultural communication and leadership taught at the Yenching Academy will help will help him to achieve these goals with greater confidence and conviction.
Sofia Biasinread bio
Sofia Biasin, born and raised in Italy, completed her undergraduate studies in Modern Languages and Literatures for Publishing at University of Verona, specializing in English literature and history of art. She gained extensive experience in publishing, working as a copy editor for a publishing house and writing for local magazines. In 2014, she was granted the Erasmus Scholarship to study modern languages at University of Szeged, Hungary, where she also took part in the city’s Confucius Institute’s activities. Sofia recently graduated cum laude in China and Global Studies from University of Turin, with a thesis on China’s role as a security provider in Central Asia. She had the opportunity to spend one year at Beijing Foreign Studies University, thus obtaining a double Master’s degree. She worked as editor at the internationally-run Time Out magazine in Beijing; collaborated with think tank Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, and volunteered for Chinese NGO China Youth Development Foundation during the 2017 Yao Ming Basketball Camp. At Yenching Academy, she wants to investigate China’s neighborhood diplomacy in Central and South Asia, and Chinese engagement in multilateral organizations.
Jovana Bogojevicread bio
Jovana Bogojevic, from Montenegro, enrolled at the Music Academy of the University of Montenegro at the age of 16. At 18, she studied Chinese language at Central China Normal University in Wuhan and a year after enrolled at the BA program in Music Performance at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. She is fluent in several languages and world instruments, and while regularly performing across China, she composes chamber music for the Flute and Guzheng. Throughout the years she interned at the Women’s Rights Center in Montenegro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Montenegro to the People’s Republic of China. She spends her time at the Yenching Academy researching the Sino-Montenegrin relationship and China’s growing influence in the Balkans. Jovana will also examine foreign influences on Montenegrin politics, particularly as they have materialized through art, media and on-going issues with cultural identity. She has received more than 30 awards so far, among which are the “Outstanding Overseas Student Studying in China” awarded by the Ministry of Education of the PRC and “Extraordinary Success Achieved During Studies” awarded by the mayor's office of the old Montenegrin capital Cetinje.
Péter Borosread bio
Péter Boros is a Hungarian national who completed his graduate studies in International Relations at Central European University in Budapest. He obtained his BA diploma in Chinese Studies from Eötvös Loránd University, where he focused on ancient Chinese philosophy and religions, particularly on Daoist and Confucian musical thought. During his studies, he spent one year at Hangzhou Normal University as a Confucius Scholarship recipient, deepening his cultural knowledge and language skills. This first-hand experience triggered his interest in China’s contemporary features, and its growing global influence, therefore his current research analyzes the impact of Chinese private FDI on the Ethiopian economy under the framework of South-South cooperation. While at Yenching Academy, he aims to acquire deeper understanding of Chinese domestic perceptions of international relations and the country’s growing role in the international system, especially on issues of global governance. After graduation, he plans to work on Sino-Hungarian and Chinese-EU relations.
Megan Cansfieldread bio
Megan Cansfield is a British-American dual citizen and 2017 graduate of the University of Michigan with majors in Political Science, International Studies, and Asian Studies. At Michigan, Megan served as the Asia Regional Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Affairs and wrote her honors thesis analyzing the intersections between US-China strategic trust-building and security cooperation on North Korea. She also studied in five Chinese cities and interned with the US Embassy Beijing, US Consulate-General Guangzhou, and US-China grassroots exchange organization Project Pengyou. Megan was a Fulbright research fellow in China at Yanbian University where she conducted an independent project investigating the influence of the Korean Peninsula security crisis on US-China relations. Following her studies in Politics and International Relations at the Yenching Academy, Megan aspires to continue fostering Sino-American cooperation and engagement in East Asia at the intergovernmental level through a career in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
Alicia Chenread bio
Alicia Chen graduated from the University of Bath with a BSc in International Relations, and holds an MSc in China in Comparative Perspective from the London School of Economics. She is of Chinese descent, but was born and raised in Spain, before moving to England for her studies. Moreover, Alicia has previously lived in China, where she worked as a trainee in the Spanish Consulate in Shanghai. Currently based in Brussels, Alicia works as a Project Manager for several EU-funded projects in the International Development sector. She undertook a traineeship at the European External Action Service Headquarters, where she had the opportunity to contribute to the EU’s people-to-people external relations. Furthermore, Alicia worked for a Brussels-based international association, promoting digital innovation and ICT services between China and the EU, where she predominantly focused on creating synergies between the European and Chinese startup ecosystems. As a Yenching Academy scholar, Alicia looks forward to consolidate her Chinese and plans to develop her understanding of China’s role in the global economy. She is particularly interested in further exploring China’s increasing role in financing for sustainable development, especially through the OBOR Initiative and the AIIB.
Chloe Dempseyread bio
Chloe Dempsey received a combined Bachelors of Laws and Arts, alongside a Diploma in Mandarin from the University of Western Australia. During her degree, Chloe spent over two years working and studying in Greater China and the Asia-Pacific under the Australian government’s New Colombo Plan and as a Westpac Scholar. Chloe has experience working in Australia and internationally in both commercial law and non-governmental organisations. She has been heavily involved in both the Australia China Youth Dialogue and the Australia China Youth Association, which connect young Australians and Chinese for the purposes of enhancing the bilateral relationship and future cooperation on regional and global issues. Chloe’s passion for China originated in an initial six-month visit as a volunteer in rural Sichuan in 2012. Chloe is passionate about the intersection between philanthropy, business and social movements.
Olesya Dovgalyukread bio
Born in Ukraine and raised in Russia, Olesya is currently pursuing her BSc in Politics and International Relations at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. Her intellectual curiosity and research in interdisciplinary issues at the intersection of International Relations, International Law and Political Economy led her to present her work at international conferences and hold positions with non-governmental institutions (United Nations University) and student-led associations (IAPSS, ELSA, Bristol Law Review). Her major interest in the embryonic field of Cyber Law resulted in Olesya's co-authoring a subsequently published article on the interregional judicial cooperation in cybercrime prosecution, which also sparked her interest in Chinese legal tradition. Olesya intends to further pursue this interest at Yenching Academy through the Law and Society pathway to deepen her understanding of China’s distinct approach to international law, and contribute to the effective international dialogue on the principles of internet governance.