NYU Shanghai Senior Named Schwarzman Scholar

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Dec 7 2021

NYU Shanghai senior Xu Jingzhi '22 has been named a Schwarzman Scholar, winning a full fellowship to pursue a Master’s degree in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman College in Beijing. Xu is among 151 Scholars from 33 countries, selected from an applicant pool of over 3000 young leaders ranging from college seniors to startup creators, journalists, researchers, and politicians.

A total of five students from the NYU Global Network were selected as Schwarzman Scholars this year. Xu will be joined at Schwarzman College by NYU Abu Dhabi students Herbert Crowther '22, Sophia Yushchenko '22, and Ye Lin '22, and NYU alumnus William Wang '17. In addition, NYU Shanghai senior Christina Bowllan '22, NYU Abu Dhabi students Cristalina Parra '22, and Youssef Azzam '20 have been named as alternates.  

The Schwarzman Scholarship was inspired by Oxford University’s Rhodes Scholar Program and is designed to prepare future global leaders to meet the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century, with a focus on China and its relationship with countries around the world. Founded by Blackstone Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman, the program supports nearly 200 scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities and the potential to bridge cultural and political differences.

Xu, a Social Science and Economics major from Chongqing, said she plans to use her fellowship to study international relations, especially Sino-U.S. relations, so that she can promote a greater understanding of China in the world.

"I feel excited to be part of the diverse student body and to connect with distinguished scholars from politics, economy, social science, and art at home and abroad. Schwarzman’s interdisciplinary curriculum and practice opportunity will allow me to combine theory with practice which can help in enhancing the breadth and depth of my current research," Xu said.

Professor of Practice of Law Stephen Harder, who taught Xu in International Investment in Developing Countries: China and Africa, said he was confident that Xu will succeed in her goals for her fellowship. "She uses great care in expressing herself, and is deeply engaged in the political issues that animate China's relations with the world,” he said. “I am so glad she will have the opportunity to study with other Schwarzman Scholars from around the world at this important time."

Over the last three years, Xu has held internships in a research institute at Fudan University and a private think tank where she focused on defense policy and diplomacy. She said her current academic interests include the railroad projects under the "Belt and Road Initiative" and China-U.S. competition in Southeast Asia. During her internships, she wrote several research papers and co-authored an article in the South China Morning Post

"Despite the rising significance of China in the international community, China’s representation is still lacking and it is disfavored in many negotiations. Therefore after graduating from the Schwarzman Program, I may pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science and become a scholar. Or I may want to become a staff member at international organizations like the UN or WTO to work as a representative or a bridge to enhance other countries’ understanding and trust in China," Xu said.

At NYU Shanghai, Xu has been involved in a broad range of activities and organizations. Xu is a co-chair of the Student Diversity Framework @ NYU Shanghai Task Force, a group that empowers community members to participate in the university’s efforts to promote equity, inclusion, justice, and communal care. As a lifelong fan of the U.K. Premier League soccer team, Manchester United, she also served as captain of the NYU Shanghai women’s soccer team, leading the team to a city championship last spring and a third place finish in the Shanghai University Football League in fall 2019.



Left: Xu (third from the right in the first row) and the NYU Shanghai Women’s Soccer Team won a city championship in Spring 2021; Right: Xu (second from the left) spoke at the Diversity Panel as an Orientation Ambassador for Class of 2025

Assistant Professor of Practice in Political Science Ivan Rasmussen, who taught Xu Comparative Politics and Comparative Revolutions, said that her Schwarzman win is well-deserved. "I have witnessed first-hand not just her academic accolades but also Jingzhi's strength of character, personal maturity, and leadership from the hallways of NYU Shanghai to the soccer pitch; she will make a great addition to the Schwarzman Program." 



Read more about past NYU Shanghai winners of the Schwarzman Scholars Fellowship:

Taylah Bland ’21 and Alex Liu Zhengyuan ’21

Harry Zixin Wang ’20, Frank Jiaqiao Xiang ’20, and Owen Junan Zhang ’20

Nofar Hamrany ’18

Roxanne Roman ’17 and Jacko Walz ’17