Miryam Amsiliread bio
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.
Jacob Bishopread bio
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 Garzaread bio
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.
Sonya Ruth Cottonread bio
Sonya was born in the United States of America, grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and has also lived in Finland and China. Her previous academic background is in African languages (namely Xhosa) and linguistics. Currently she is completing a Master’s in Philosophy in Law at the University of Cape Town. In her thesis she focuses on 'silence' as a discursive technique in African legislation, with emphasis on the contradiction that arises when women in customary marriages are excluded from constitutional commitments to gender equality. Sonya's research interests include linguistic ideologies, legal pluralism and legal-anthropology - or, simply put, the intersection of language, law and culture. As a Yenching scholar, she intends to specialise in Chinese Law and Society, and to continue learning Mandarin beyond HSK level 5, which she has already attained. She aspires to engage in socio-legal research involving Sino-African migration from the perspective of individuals whose experiences are often overlooked in macro-level studies that focus on state actors and multinational corporations. Almost as much as she loves learning languages, Sonya enjoys exploring the creative manners in which people interpret and engage with legal language. She believes that applying linguistic approaches to legal subject matter represents a powerful analytic tool, as well as a mechanism for ensuring multiple voices are heard.
Patrick Dancerread bio
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Patrick Dancer attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he majored in International Relations and completed military training in preparation for a career in the U.S. Army. Passionate about U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy, Patrick spent his summers broadening his intellectual experience, completing research on design thinking and innovation, a study abroad program in Prague, and an internship with the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. While there, Patrick was assigned to the China office, working on issues of military diplomacy and strategic plans. For his senior thesis, he analyzed the international relations of cyberspace and the use of proxies in the domain, focusing on how states interact despite the prevalence of anonymity and plausible deniability. He hopes to continue his studies into norm development and diplomacy while at the Yenching Academy. Patrick has long been enamored with language, having previously studied four years of Ancient Greek and two years of French before beginning his study of Mandarin his senior year of college. At the Yenching Academy, Patrick will focus on the Politics and International Relations research area, and the diplomatic and military relationship between China and the U.S. After completing his studies, Patrick will return to the United States, where he will continue his career as an officer in the U.S. Army.
Erin Dunneread bio
Erin Dunne grew up in Northville, Michigan and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan where she majored in History, French and International Studies. Her undergraduate honors thesis examined the history of Hash Bash, a local grassroots movement against the “War on Drugs,” for which she was awarded the John A. Williams Award for an Outstanding Thesis in United States History and Highest Honors. During her time as an undergraduate, Erin has also been an advocate for free speech and drug policy reform, and served as Executive Editor of the Michigan Review. She has previously studied in France and Morocco and excited to have the opportunity to study in China. As a Yenching Scholar, she intends to continue to focus on drug policy through the History and Archaeology research area, and research the impact of the Opium Wars on narcotics regulation. After her time in Beijing, she plans to pursue a career in journalism or public policy. Beyond her studies, she is excited to share her love of American folk music, developed through her work as a DJ at WCBN FM Ann Arbor, and to learn about Chinese musical traditions.
Emily Marie Finkelstineread bio
Emily Finkelstine was born and raised in Austin, Texas, USA. She graduated from the University of Texas in May 2016 with a double major in International Relations and Global Studies, and Chinese Language and Culture. After graduation, Emily became a recipient of the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, and moved to Tainan, Taiwan to study the Chinese language for a year at Cheng Kung University. As an undergraduate, Emily's research focused on ethnic conflict in Xinjiang province, and on the tension between human rights arguments, counter-terrorism claims, and economic considerations that have played out in diplomatic responses on the international stage. Emily's other work explored the changing role of civil society in China as well as China's interactions with United Nations human rights mechanisms. As a Yenching Scholar, Emily hopes to pursue Politics and International Relations as her research area, which will allow her to continue studying the ways in which issues of human rights affect the US-China relationship on a bilateral and multilateral scale.
Angélica Garcia Patiñoread bio
Angélica García Patiño, from Mexico, is a passionate student of language and politics. She studied Communication Sciences with a specialization in Political Communication at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). As an undergraduate, she was part of an exchange program at Beijing Foreign Studies University, where she began learning Chinese. Her experience led her to write her thesis: “Compared Political Communication Models: China and Mexico. In 2015, at The Mexico City Electoral Institute, she was part of a team that worked to enhance citizen education. This project was awarded a prize for the best political communication campaign in Latin America. During her last semester at UNAM, Angélica worked at the Institute of Economic Research in Mexico, researching themes such as trade between Asia and Latin America, and women's financial issues in Latin America. When she was younger, she represented the Mexican delegation in Youth Summits organized by the YMCA in Prague, Czech Republic, and in her spare time she practices figure skating and enjoys theatre. At the Yenching Academy, she will focus on politics and international relations to pursue her goal of a career in her country’s Foreign Service.
Elaine Jessica Giangread bio
Jessica was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with Honors, majoring in Political Science and International Relations. As an undergraduate student she focused her studies on peace-building in post-conflict societies and civilian protection strategies. She also examined the media's representation of minority groups in Canada for potential racist discourse. After graduation Jessica worked for local nonprofits, and as a researcher for the provincial government of British Columbia, before moving to China to live and work. When blessed by blue Beijing skies, Jessica enjoys collecting stories and photographs of the people she meets on the street. As a Yenching scholar, she hopes to build upon her undergraduate interests as well as learn more about China’s immigration and refugee policies.
Travis Jamaal Gidadoread bio
Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida as the proud son of Nigerian immigrants to the United States, Travis Gidado is a graduate of Yale University, where he majored in Ethics, Politics and Economics. At Yale, Travis's unique concentration focused on globalization as it relates to culture and identity formation, and his capstone thesis addressed far right-wing responses to multiculturalism and immigration policies in Western Europe. Last summer, Travis completed an MPhil in Public Policy at King’s College, Cambridge (UK), during which he was able to conduct research on behalf of the Cabinet Office’s Social Investment and Finance Team in Westminster. In between academic programs, Travis has worked for several organizations at the intersection of business and public policy, including Goldman Sachs, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Atlantic Media Company. Most recently, Travis was a member of the final class of White House interns under President Obama, and he supported the National Economic Council’s International Economics and Trade team on various multilateral engagements. Travis is now working on research and business development projects for Veyo Care, an early-stage healthcare and tech startup in Berlin (DE). As a Yenching Scholar, Travis hopes to analyze the rationale behind China's investment activities in Africa under the Politics and International Relations research area. A first-time visitor to China, Travis also looks forward to extensive travel, learning Chinese and writing about his experiences all while learning from an extraordinarily diverse community of scholars and educators.