2015 Yenching Scholars
James Ashcroft

James Ashcroft

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James Ashcroft graduated with First Class Honours from University College London where he studied early modern political thought and intellectual history. A dual UK/US citizen, James has lived in France, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Previously, he contributed to educational and homebuilding projects in Ecuador and Kenya. A (…) Business Analyst at Deloitte, he has also worked for firms in both London and Washington DC, including KPMG’s Digital, Analytics & Innovation division. At the Yenching Academy, James completed an economics & management thesis on the contemporary Chinese tea industry.

Benjamin Griffin

Benjamin Griffin

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Benjamin Griffin graduated cum laude from Leiden University’s International Studies degree programme in August 2015 where he specialised in East Asian regional politics and security issues with a particular emphasis on the DPRK (North Korea). In the summer of 2014 Griffin led an educational engagement project to the DPRK becoming the inaugural English language teacher at the College of Tourism, Pyongyang. During his studies Griffin has also worked as a consultant in the Netherlands as well as in China where he gained valuable experience working in the nascent NGO-sector. At the Yenching Academy, Peking University Griffin deepened his multifaceted understanding of East Asian regional politics, security issues and policy analysis in order to begin a career in diplomacy.

Jacob Holliday

Jacob Holliday

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Jacob Holliday graduated from the University of Oxford where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics. At Oxford, he was actively involved in his college community, serving on committees, and being part of the welfare team. Jacob’s academic and research interest is in the politics of China. At the Yenching Academy, he concentrated particularly on China’s recent economic development.

Honey Watson

Honey Watson

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Honey Watson graduated from University College London in 2015 with First Class Honours in Ancient History. Throughout her degree, she conducted extensive research into representations of female sexuality in ancient literature. She was also an active participant in UCL’s Feminist Society, and a member of London’s Young Green Party. At the Yenching Academy, her academic focus was on Contemporary Chinese Literature. Her goal for the near future is to pursue doctoral study in Literature, with a particular interest in Gothic Marxist Materialism.

Tom Watson

Tom Watson

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Tom Watson studied Chinese and management at Clare College, University of Cambridge. Tom believes that commerce is the most powerful tool capable of improving the world, both as the source of economic prosperity and as a way of creating mutually beneficial, friendly relationships between countries. He hopes that studying at the Yenching Academy will enable him to make a significant contribution to global progress and the world of commerce.