Stanford seniors Bradley Wo and Zhengyuan Ma have been named 2017 Yenching Scholars and will receive full scholarships for a one-year master’s degree in Chinese Studies at Yenching Academy of Peking University.
They are among the 105 students chosen from 45 countries for the program, now in its third year.
Yenching Academy, a residential graduate college at Peking University, offers a wide array of interdisciplinary courses on China within broadly defined fields of the humanities and social sciences. The scholars, who will work closely with academic mentors, create their own study programs leading to a Master of Chinese Studies degree, choosing from six academic concentrations and a variety of extracurricular activities.
Bradley Wo, of Honolulu, is majoring in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, with a minor in mechanical engineering. In his honors thesis, Wo is looking critically at international development and design thinking in India from a postcolonial lens, under the direction of Priya Satia, an associate professor of modern British history.
At Yenching, Wo plans to pursue a master’s degree in Chinese Studies with a concentration in law and society, and hopes to “further explore societal problems in China and the governmental and public response to them” in the program.
In his application for the scholarship, Wo wrote: “I envision using my time in the program to explore legal conditions of creating nonprofits in China, examples of successful corporate social responsibility in Chinese-owned businesses, and seeds for social entrepreneurship or philanthropic efforts.”
Wo cited the broad academic foundation that Stanford has helped him create as an important tool upon which he can build.
“I am grateful to my family and the opportunities that helped me reach this point, and look to this program as a way for me to define and refine my role in the intersection of development and China,” he said.
During his summers, Wo sought internships focused on social change. He has worked, for instance, with the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, the Behring Global Education Foundation in China, and as a Sand Hill Fellow for Philanthropy (a program of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford) for the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.
At Stanford, Wo was active in the Asian American Students Association. He also served as a resident assistant in Okada House, an undergraduate residence with an Asian American cross-cultural theme.