2015 Yenching Scholars
Samri Tessema

Samri Tessema

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Samri Tessema studied political science at Stanford University with concentrations in international relations and comparative political systems, and specific interest in topics of development. She wishes to better understand China's growing role in the world not only in terms of trade and diplomacy, but to also become well-versed in the real time domestic social, economic and political themes that characterize the nation's current status and trajectory.

Rose-Ann Thomas

Rose-Ann Thomas

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Rose-Ann Thomas studied East Asia, anthropology, and global health at Harvard University. While at Harvard, she examined the legal, historical, and socioeconomic factors influencing the patient-physician relationship in China, and was involved in research into everyday life in Maoist Shanghai. At the Yenching Academy, Rose-Ann worked on health education policymaking in China and on the U.S.- China dialogue on health education and health policy.

Tian Meng

Tian Meng

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Tian Meng pursued studies in education at Beijing Normal University. While at BNU, she also studied politics, philosophy, and sociology, and was actively involved in university life by working as a secretary for the BNU Party branch and the Student Union. At the Yenching Academy, she explored issues concerning political participation and higher education reform, especially elite scholarship programs and cross-cultural training among college students.

Marco De Toffol

Marco De Toffol

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Marco De Toffol graduated from Trieste University where he received a degree in international relations and diplomacy. Previously, he also studied Europe’s political institutions and the European integration process at Sciences Po, and interned at the Italian Parliament, where he worked on the Ukrainian crisis and the European-American Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.  

Jackson Tse

Jackson Tse

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Jackson Tse graduated from Columbia University where he studied political science and business management, and spearheaded community-building initiatives between alumni and students. Previously, Jackson was involved in conducting research for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and established an NGO working towards the betterment of educational prospects for students in Laos.

Muhammet Hamza Uçar

Muhammet Hamza Uçar

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Muhammet Hamza Uçar studied political science and public administration at Istanbul University. He also worked for several research institutes in Turkey focusing on Eurasian strategy. At the Yenching Academy, Hamza pursued his interests in Chinese foreign policy and the philosophy of policy making. He hopes to continue his studies at Ph.D. level.

Onurcan Ülker

Onurcan Ülker

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Onurcan Ülker studied political science and public administration at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey. Previously, he participated in research on human rights education, population change, and migration in Turkey. Onurcan’s academic interests include Chinese politics, the Chinese political system, and the political economy of development. While at the Yenching Academy, he studied ideology, policies, and the organization of the Chinese Communist Party.

A. Elena Ursu

A. Elena Ursu

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A. Elena Ursu's academic endeavours focused on the institutionalization of international criminal law as a new frontier in international security. In particular, at the Yenching Academy, Elena has deepened her knowledge of the Chinese legal system, particularly criminal law, and the application of international law in China. Elena lives in The Hague where she pursues her professional career in international law. 

Layne Vandenberg

Layne Vandenberg

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Since graduating from the University of Michigan, Layne Vandenberg has explored the effects of violence, mega events, and social entrepreneurship on international development strategies. As an undergraduate she founded Kiamani, a social enterprise in central Kenya employing local women, empowering beekeepers and farmers, and supporting children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Layne also completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Rio de Janeiro.