NYU Shanghai Students Experience Success in Scholarship Competitions

Aug 18 2020

NYU Shanghai students continue to have success in scholarship competitions this summer, with three undergraduates winning grants to help them continue their research and studies. Jennifer Tao '21 won a Millennium Fellowship, Ashley Zhu ’22 was awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, while Yang Like ’21 received International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Scholarship.



Jennifer Tao ’21 

Hometown: Maryland, USA

Major: Business and Marketing

Awarded: Millennium Fellowship

This summer, Business and Marketing major student Jennifer Tao '21 won a Millennium Fellowship from the United Nations Academic Impact and Millennium Campus Network (MCN). 

The Fellowship is a semester-long leadership development program that convenes, challenges, and celebrates student leadership for the Sustainable Development Goals on campus and in communities. Tao and 1,437 other fellows were selected from among 15,000 applicants from 135 nations. 

From August to December, Millennium Fellows will take action to launch their own projects to make a difference in the world - from ending child marriage to assessing the impact of COVID-19 on education to improving communication about climate change. Fellows will attend bi-weekly meetings with other fellows and receive guidance from UN mentors to help bring their projects to fruition. 

With a strong interest in food safety, public health, and sustainable business, Tao has created a program to teach children about sustainable proteins and their relationship to climate change and human rights. Due to the pandemic, she is currently planning to create a platform with original content in the form of short stories, interviews, and DIY projects that are accessible to children from around the world who have access to the internet. 

"I am glad to embed my passion for positive social impact into this fellowship and begin a new journey of activism to inspire children all over the world,” Tao said, who credits Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Yifei Li with key advice during the application process.  


Ashley Zhu ’22

Hometown: Richmond, Virgina, USA

Major: Interactive Media & Business

Awarded: Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Interactive Media & Business major, Ashley Zhu ’22 was awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, to support her study away in Abu Dhabi for the 2021 spring semester.

The fellowship was designed by the United States to enable American students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. This year, the U.S. awarded over 3,600 scholarships of up to $5,000 to help students afford tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, international airfare, passport and visa fees. "I think it’s important for US students to go study abroad and experience a myriad of cultures, bridging gaps and cultural misunderstandings between Americans and other nations in order to truly become a global citizen,” said Zhu, who has also benefited from NYU scholarships and awards.

An avid YouTube content creator with over 100,000 followers across the globe, Zhu is looking forward to documenting her semester in Abu Dhabi where she will explore the interconnectivity between design thinking, social responsibility, and technology in a globalizing era while learning Arabic.

She says the current pandemic situation has opened her eyes to a possible future career in education technology and innovation. "My major is a very flexible mix of technology, computer science, and business, so I'm still exploring what I want to do, but I'm interested in creative learning in a changing world. I want to get a Masters in either education or an MBA. I want to develop a new education technology tool to help navigate through the post-COVID world—like Zoom, but better."

“I’m so thankful to my advisor Anna Kathryn Kendrick, who helped me throughout the application process,” Zhu says. “I can't wait to see where this journey takes me.”



Yang Like ’21

Hometown: Wuxi, Jiangsu Province

Major: Business and Finance; Social Science

Awarded: International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Scholarship

Yang Like, a rising senior majoring in Business & Finance and Social Science, won a $15,000 grant from the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Foundation this summer to support his research for his honors thesis on ways to construct a new environmental, social, and governance scoring model for airlines.

He is the first NYU student to apply and to receive the award, and also among the 51 students who were awarded the grant worldwide in 2020.

Yang says he has been fascinated by airplanes since the first time he traveled on one in middle school. Working as a research assistant to Assistant Professor of Practice in Finance David Yu since January 2019 gave him a chance to look at the airline industry from a professional point of view. With Professor Yu’s help, Yang gained access to top aviation research institutes and high-level conferences on aviation finance, aircraft manufacturers’ production backlogs, and the leasing rate data of aircraft models. Yang says he is excited to have his interest in aviation recognized by the ISTAT Scholarship Committee. 

“It benefits me a lot in that now I have a clearer sense of how I can contribute to this industry I love, both as a flyer and as a researcher,” he says.