2016 Yenching Scholars
Lin Dan

Lin Dan

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Lin Dan studied international politics at Xiamen University. She has received many honors for her academic performance, including the National Scholarship and the Outstanding Merit Student Award of Xiamen University. Lin was an exchange student at the National Chengchi University in Taiwan for one semester and spent one year studying at the University of Amsterdam. In 2014, she was one of the youngest participants in the Peking University-University of Chicago Summer Institute on IR Theory and Method. Lin’s primary academic interest is US-China relations. At the Yenching Academy, Lin would like to focus on social stratification and social mobility in contemporary China.

Liu Ruoxi

Liu Ruoxi

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At Zhejiang University, Liu Ruoxi has pursued her BA in French Language and Culture while simultaneously studying politics and sociology. She has been involved in university life working for the Office of International Affairs, and received several scholarships. Ruoxi was honored as an Excellent Graduate of Zheijang Province. She has participated in two exchange programs at UC Berkeley and Sciences Po Paris, through which she discovered her passion for immigration studies. She has conducted research concerning Asians on the West Coast of the US and African immigrants at Canton, and has successfully conducted a research project regarding Wenzhou immigrants in Paris. At the Yenching Academy, Ruoxi would like to continue deepening her knowledge in the field of immigration studies, which is her platform for observing cross-cultural phenomena.

Maithe van Luijk

Maithe van Luijk

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Maithe van Luijk is an Amsterdam-born cosmopolitan with a passion for other cultures. After travelling in Asia for five months, she decided to start her studies in visual communication and graphic design in Rotterdam. At the same time, she was making her first acquaintance with entrepreneurship. As co-owner of a small clothing start-up, her aim was to change the world "one shirt at a time." However, faced with missing a certain depth, she decided to change her course radically by taking on a Bachelor degree in China Studies at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. Driven by this passion for other cultures and changing the world, she graduated with a Minor in International Relations, as well as an Honors degree and a second thesis. Next to that, she has successfully completed yoga teacher training in India and spent a summer as a volunteer in Kaohsiung. She has written a comparative thesis based on her research on the Confucian idea of ren (仁) and the keystones of liberalism as the grounds for our respective contemporary societies. At Yenching, she plans to delve further into the differences and similarities in the field of political philosophy between the two worlds. Wishing first to deepen and strengthen her knowledge on the matter, she hopes to someday contribute to strong relations between China and Europe.

Ma Yingyi

Ma Yingyi

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Ma Yingyi studied Social Work at Beijing Normal University. As an undergraduate, she was awarded many national and regional scholarships. She also has been involved in several research projects and practicums related to rural Chinese and disadvantaged groups. Yingyi’s academic interests include gender and labor, NPO issues, and inequalities in contemporary Chinese society. At the Yenching Academy, Yingyi plans to focus on ethnic identity and community reconstruction in globalized China.

Lucila San Martín

Lucila San Martín

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Lucila San Martín wants the world to get along better. That's why at the age of 16 she started volunteering for the Anne Frank House, an institution that promotes intercultural and interreligious dialogue and non-violence. To further this calling, she studied Communications at Universidad de San Andrés in her hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and studied abroad as a Presidential Scholar on Semester at Sea, a ship-based program that takes students through Asia and Africa while taking relevant classes. She's an alumni of Global Changemakers and the G(irls)20 Summit. Her topic of undergraduate research is the role humor and joking play in communication. She hopes Yenching Academy will give her the tools to become an effective ally in mediating cross-cultural relations.

Ryan Mikkelsen

Ryan Mikkelsen

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Ryan Mikkelsen graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2016 with a degree in Economics and International & Area Studies. Passionate about finding new and innovative ways of funding international development, Ryan has previously worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He was a research assistant for the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy and works remotely for the Development Credit Authority within the United States Agency for International Development. Ryan recently defended his honors thesis, which explored the patterns and determinants of global remittances. The paper expanded upon earlier research that Ryan conducted while living and studying in Nepal. In the past, Ryan has investigated the challenges confronting international climate change financing as an attendee to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar. Ryan has a deep interest in China and has been studying Mandarin since he started college. He spent a summer at Fudan University in Shanghai and has published a historical analysis of the pro-population policies in China under Mao Zedong. As a Yenching Scholar with a concentration in Economics and Management, Ryan hopes to further his understanding of development finance from a Chinese perspective. Ryan is 22 years old.

Harry Moore

Harry Moore

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Harry Moore (officially known as Thomas) is from London, United Kingdom. He is a graduate of Pembroke College, University of Oxford, where he majored in Chinese and minored in Japanese. He has a panoramic interest in China, both modern and classical.  Harry has previously worked as an intern in both the Beijing and London offices of Vermilion Partners, an investment advisory firm focusing on regulated sectors of the Chinese market. He was also recently director of marketing for the Oxford China Forum 2016, which brought together an audience of around 250 students together with leading experts to discuss issues relating to modern China. Harry has a great passion for early Chinese literature, and has recently submitted his final dissertation on the Zhuangzi. His dissertation provided a close textual analysis of the ‘Zhibeiyou’ chapter of the Zhuangzi, the last of the Outer Chapters. He earnestly pursued this area of research during his time at Oxford, and also spent the summer of 2015 studying literature at Taiwan Normal University’s Mandarin Training Centre. While there, he also founded and organized a weekly classical Chinese reading group. It is this passion for Chinese literature and culture that has led Harry to choose the Yenching Academy’s Literature and Culture concentration. Having previously spent his undergraduate year abroad at Peking University, he looks forward to enriching his understanding of this field in Peking University’s academic environment, an environment for which he has gained great respect. He hopes to focus in particular on early Chinese literature.

Christopher Jamal Murphy

Christopher Jamal Murphy

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Christopher Jamal Murphy from Monroe, Michigan, is a Boren Scholar who majored in Chinese Language and Culture along with French at Michigan State University. Christopher is fluent in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin and is passionate about foreign language acquisition and community building through service projects, and is particularly interested in the diplomatic relationship between China and the U.S. While studying at the Yenching Academy, Christopher hopes to acquire a profound understanding of Chinese diplomacy and foreign policy; after which, he plans to begin a career in the Foreign Service.


Santana Muthoni

Santana Muthoni

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Santana Muthoni completed a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, with a concentration in Diplomacy and Foreign policy, at the United States International University-Africa. Born and raised in Kenya, Santana is an aspiring diplomat with an interest in fostering global peace and development through cross-cultural education for mutual understanding. This has been fueled by the leadership roles she has held while at her university, where she also served as President of AIESEC in USIU-Africa until December 2015. While at the Yenching Academy, Santana’s academic focus will be on Politics and International Relations and she will be exploring China’s foreign policy and its impact on Sino-Africa relations, by gaining a deeper understanding of Chinese politics and society. She is also looking forward to developing her Mandarin language skills while at the Academy.

Jeffrey Honghao Niu

Jeffrey Honghao Niu

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Jeff Niu is native of Flushing, New York, and grew up as a seasonal resident of Haidian, Beijing. He is a graduate of the Dual BA Program between Columbia University and Sciences Po; for two years he studied Political Science, Economics, and International Law in France, followed by two years of study in East Asian Studies and Business Management in the United States. Spurred by his own Chinese-American upbringing, Jeff’s academic interests focus primarily on Sino-U.S. affairs. Encouraged by a professional interest in experiential education, Jeff returned to China in 2013 to personally explore its evolving business landscape. During this time he helped found the China Youth Business League, a platform for business competition and education. Aided by his experience in developing extracurricular enrichment platforms, Jeff wrote his senior thesis on the stratifying forces of private education within existing socioeconomic disparities in China. As a Yenching Scholar, Jeff is studying Economics and Management, and hopes to use his time in Beijing to further analyze the relationship between private education development and macroeconomic trends.