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NYU Shanghai Hosts First MUN Conference

On Nov 4-5, NYU Shanghai hosted China’s first model UN conference recognized by the United Nations and endorsed by United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). Joining 14 NYUSH freshmen, 44 Chinese students, from 10 leading high schools from across the country gathered on the Pudong campus for the weekend-long, inaugural Model United Nations Conference (NYUSHMUNC17).

In her welcoming remarks, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Prof. Maria Montoya, speaking as a historian about the harmful effects of “contraction, nationalism, and anti-globalism”, called on delegates to embrace collaboration and globalism, and to apply critical thinking to their debates and to the exchange of ideas.

Under the banner theme of “China’s Global Emergence”, NYUSHMUNC17 organized its work in three distinct committees targeting different global issues, the economy, environment and international relations. Zhang Jun’an ‘20, Secretary General of NYUSHMUNC, said the conference aimed to serve as a catalyst for global connectivity and awareness of issues that affect the entire human race. “The committees echo the urgent call for addressing global warming, building a more efficient financial system and saving the environment unaffected by nuclear threats,” he said.

In the Model UN Security Council Committee, delegates representing the five permanent members — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — and other non-permanent members debated about the rising tensions posed by North Korea’s repeated nuclear tests. In the Model UN Environment Assembly, students searched for global strategies to cope with the challenges of multilateral collaboration on carbon reduction and the implementation of Paris Agreement.

In the Model UN’s forward-looking FinTech committee, delegates discussed the emerging blockchain technology and China’s role in leading the technological advancement of the global cybercurrency market. After rounds of intense diplomatic negotiation, the FinTech committee successfully submitted a draft resolution on the regulation of blockchain technology and worked for its approval.

Ding Yuhao ‘21, representing Ethiopia on the FinTech committee, said he was impressed by fellow delegates’ appreciation of cutting-edge technologies and their future potential. “It is an amazing experience to interact with peers with thoughtful insight on global issues,” he said.

Concluding the two-day diplomatic dialogue, nine participants were selected for Honorable Mentions, Outstanding Delegates, and Best Delegates for their strong leadership and diplomatic potentials.

The conference was sponsored by Huaxia Finance, V-Credit and UCB.

NYU Shanghai Marks Five Year Anniversary

Mid- October marked five years since Shanghai New York University was officially established, becoming the first Sino-American joint university in China and the third degree-granting campus in NYU’s global network.

On this occasion, the Gazette spoke to faculty, students and administrators to capture their thoughts about the past momentous years. Also, leaders from the Shanghai Government and ECNU offered their best wishes to the school.

Deputy Mayor Of Shanghai Chen Qun: “Congratulations NYU Shanghai, for your remarkable achievements over the past five years. My wish for the University is for it to receive even more support over the next five years and reach greater achievements.”

On March 28, 2011, NYU Shanghai held its groundbreaking ceremony in Lujiazui Financial area, setting in motion preparations for the new university.

Chancellor Of NYU Shanghai Yu Lizhong:“In its first five years, NYU Shanghai has devoted itself to establishing world-class undergraduate education. The school has achieved remarkable success in attracting outstanding faculty and students as well as innovating our education model. NYU Shanghai is training students by the standards of the world’s top universities, preparing them to be global citizens and leaders that will contribute to our society. This is why the inaugural class of NYU Shanghai has received numerous offers from leading graduate schools and enterprises.

Five years is a short time for a growing university, but I believe the growth of NYU Shanghai will not only stimulate reform in education, but also develop students’ critical thinking capability. NYU Shanghai is especially bringing forward a number of outstanding students who know about China, who love China and who are willing to build connections between China and the rest of the world. ”

NYU Shanghai was jointly established by New York University and East China Normal University, on October 15, 2012.

Vice Chancellor Of NYU Shanghai Jeffrey Lehman:  “The past five years have been a blur, as NYU Shanghai developed from a mere concept into a fully operating university. The courage and devotion of almost 2,000 students, faculty, and staff have created a living institution that embodies the values of creativity, cosmopolitanism, and excellence. Along the way, it has drawn heavily on the commitment of our four parents (NYU, ECNU, Shanghai, and Pudong) and also of individuals and organizations around the world who share a hopeful dream for our future.

Over the next five years, I expect the pace of development at NYU Shanghai to accelerate. As our faculty and student body continue to grow, they will have an ever greater impact on the interconnected worlds of research, teaching, and service to society. That will in turn attract even greater numbers of comparably talented people to our community. The future of this university is bright indeed.”

On August 12, 2013, the inaugural class held their convocation at ECNU’s campus, where they spent their first year.

Ben Tablada ‘20 :“One of the main reasons why I chose NYU Shanghai is because it was an empty canvas. The school is waiting for someone to start clubs, organizations, and traditions that can continue once I graduate and leave. To me, it’s an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on an institution as prestigious as NYU Shanghai.

I can’t even express how fast NYU Shanghai  has changed. With each new class, a plethora of fresh faces arrive and bring new organizations and events. The NYU Shanghai community, although small, continues to grow,  fueled by innovators and global citizens. In the year that I was here, several new programs and majors have become available for students and I can only imagine the progress that the next few years will bring. ”

On May 28th, NYU Shanghai held its very first Graduation ceremony at Shanghai’s Oriental Arts Center. The pioneering Class of 2017 earned their NYU bachelor’s degrees as well as their NYU Shanghai diplomas.

Associate Dean Of Students Davie Pe: “Commencement was a great time to reconnect familiar faces. Many parents who dropped the students off in August, 2013 then came back to see their children walk across the stage after four years. It is with their trust and constant support of NYU Shanghai that allowed us to confidently progress and grow each year. They were in the background cheering and rooting for us during each milestone.

I was so impressed by the friendships between our students. Each of them has developed a deeper understanding and connection of the “other” that crossed cultural boundaries. They continue to be roommates, colleagues, graduate school classmates and life partners! Each activity, interaction, conflict and moment all contribute to establishing the history for the university. I hope students will continue the momentum and realize the special opportunity they have and  seize it to the fullest.”

PCI Director Professor Adam Brandenburger: “Teaching at NYU Shanghai, I see our students taking a highly entrepreneurial approach to their own education. They have decided to attend a newly founded university pursuing an innovative model. They choose programs of study that include both courses on traditional subjects and courses on new and emerging areas. They are extremely active in participating in and organizing workshops and shows and all kinds of events beyond the classroom. Being such entrepreneurs in their education, our students will go on to be innovators in many areas of life beyond university.  It is very rewarding to teach and work with them.”

China’s Vice Premier Honored by NYU

Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong received the New York University Presidential Medal of Honor last month, while visiting the United States to kickstart the first round of the U.S.-China Social and Cultural Dialogue. She was bestowed the university’s highest honor by NYU President Andrew Hamilton.

In her speech, Liu cited the landmark graduation of NYU Shanghai’s inaugural Class of 2017 in May, lauding the cooperation between NYU and China in recent years as “very fruitful.”

“The establishment of NYU Shanghai in 2012 in partnership with East China Normal University has especially become a significant milestone of Sino-U.S. education cooperation,” Liu said.

“I keenly feel that cultural and people-to-people exchange as a foundation of Sino-U.S. relations deserves great attention and requires long-term investment,” she said, adding that cooperation in education between the two countries not only has mutual benefits but also helps shape the future.

While in New York, Liu also attended the 2017 China-U.S. Young Maker Summit and China-U.S. Youth Innovation Center inauguration ceremony at New York University. Accompanied by NYU President Andrew Hamilton and NYU Shanghai Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman, the Vice Premier visited the China-U.S. Young Maker Competition to experience an exhibition of works from NYU and Chinese universities.


This post comes to us from NYU Shanghai and originally appeared here.

NYU Shanghai Professor Profiled in Book on Americans in Shanghai

NYU Shanghai Professor Barbara Edelstein has been proudly dubbed a “daughter-in-law” of Shanghai for her contributions to the city’s flourishing art scene. Now, the NYU Shanghai art professor’s story has been featured in a new volume of Americans in Shanghai, a series celebrating the stories of US citizens who have made their lives in the city.

The book explores Edelstein’s life and work, starting with her upbringing in Los Angeles, where Asian culture strongly influenced her development as a young artist in love with water and the medium of ink.

After graduating with a Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University, Edelstein moved to New York, where she met her future husband—Zhang Jian-Jun, then a visiting artist from China.

Now both professors at NYU Shanghai, Edelstein and Zhang continue to connect China and the world through the language of art. Combining East and West influences, their works encompass various forms, including sculpture, photography, video, installation, and ink painting.

“It was during the World Expo time, in 2010. A special curatorial committee, partly government and partly art critics and curators, selected the works. I designed a five-meter high sculpture in bronze and copper that rains water into a round pool. It’s again based on what I saw there. The bronze part is an abstracted willow leaf that I found when I visited the site. The copper is like a vine ball of the wisteria that was there. It’s a beautiful park.”

Some of the works were temporary, but Barbara’s was permanent. It’s still there. Whenever Barbara is in the park, the guard there will point out to visitors that she is the artist who made the sculpture.

When the work was installed and the fence and the frame around the sculpture were removed, neighbors of the park gathered round.  “This is China: there are always people out and about,” Barbara said. “They use the park for dancing and walking their dogs. When we were there to get the water working, there was a crowd of people. They were really excited and cheered. They came up to me and told me they liked my work. They were very pleased it got established in ‘their’ park. As an artist, you want to make the world more beautiful. That was so nice for me to hear that they appreciated and enjoyed it.”

Barbara is concerned with how city dwellers lose track of nature, in large metropolises especially: “By using natural imagery, such as vines, trees, leaves, water—whatever is there—and abstracting it into a sculptural form; and by using man-made materials such as copper tubing, and adding the element of water, I try to bridge the industrial world we live in with the essence of nature.”

This post comes to us from NYU Shanghai. You can read the original here.

NYU Shanghai’s Inaugural Graduation

NYU Shanghai honored its first graduates at the university’s inaugural Commencement on May 28. The 264 graduates, who hail from China, the United States and 31 other countries were awarded their NYU bachelor’s degrees as well as their NYU Shanghai diplomas in a ceremony at the Oriental Arts Center in front of professors, friends, and families who travelled from around the world to celebrate the historic event. For more information about the weekend’s festivities, see here.

Three NYU Shanghai Juniors on Their Decisions to Study Away

NYU’s global presence is an important part of what distinguishes the university. And study away is an integral experience for students from NYU Shanghai and NYU Abu Dhabi.. Here, three NYU Shanghai juniors share their study away stories from Buenos Aires to Berlin.

Lizzie LeClaire ’18

Global China Studies Major

Study Away Sites: NYU Madrid and NYU Buenos Aires

Enlightenment is a funny thing. You never know when it’s going to hit you. For Lizzy LeClaire, the moment of truth came when she found herself the only non-Chinese person in her Shanghai yoga class. The teacher was giving instructions in Mandarin and Lizzy, who was born and raised in Boston, understood what she was saying. “I’d been practicing my Mandarin, but this was a real litmus test,” says Lizzy, who is majoring in Global China Studies in order to gain an understanding of the country’s educational system. “For the first time, even as I was twisted into a pretzel, I felt accomplished and ready to go beyond the classroom.”

What Lizzy did with her new fluency was travel to a rural village in the Fujian Province to observe a small primary school. “Because many people in China are leaving the villages for the cities in search of work, small schools are being shut down due to declining enrollment. I wanted to see how this trend affected the teachers and students,” she says.

Education is highly valued in China, and although a school may have just a few students and maybe one teacher, there is still a strong desire to keep going. “I saw with my own eyes the excitement in the children’s eyes as they were being taught, and it made me realize that no matter where they live or what their parents do, kids want to learn,” says Lizzy. It was then she realized that educational activism, a movement that works to improve educational access for all children worldwide, was what she wanted to concentrate on.

“My time in China was so valuable as far as opening my eyes to the possibilities of advancing education in other rural areas, but I knew, to complete my studies, I would have to see other places,” says Lizzy. One of the countries on her wish list was Spain. “The reason I chose NYU Madrid for my junior year was to gain fluency in Spanish. I figured that by being fluent in three of the most widely spoken languages in the world, I could go wherever I was needed most.” Now in Buenos Aires, Lizzy is perfecting her Spanish. “My favorite part of being in Argentina is living with a host family and learning what they really value in life. Education is something that is held in high regard here, and it’s reaffirmed my commitment to improving educational opportunities in different parts of the world.”

Bo Donners ’18

Global China Studies Major

Study Away Site: NYU Berlin

An avid traveler and hiker, Bo Donners ‘18 shares her study away experience in Berlin, her internship in New York and her advice of waking up to be amazed where you are every single morning.

What Was Your ‘Global Experience’ Like Before Coming To NYU Shanghai?

I’m from The Netherlands, and I’m majoring in Global China Studies with plans to double major in Social Science. I’ve studied in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at UWC — a global NGO that aims to unite people, cultures and nations for sustainable development by education.

Besides studying abroad, I love to travel, hike and camp with my family in many different countries. I’ve hiked in Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, and also a mountain four hours away from New York City.

Why Did You Choose To Study Away In Berlin? What Was It Like?

It was really a choice between traveling somewhere I hadn’t been before–like Ghana or Buenos Aires–or advancing  towards my future. Berlin is a big, alternative center of Europe, a great hub for young people and especially for start-ups. It felt familiar to me; it’s not far from my home, and in fact after spending all of last semester there, I became pretty fluent in German, which is similar to Dutch, my mother tongue. Being back in Europe, I was able to reflect on what I’ve learned from my experiences abroad, and how they are applicable to my own  culture.

What Was The Best Thing About Studying Away?

Building connections with a professor who taught a social environmental movement class, and establishing the future possibility of working on projects with him and his company. In general, I value being in a new environment where you can meet and learn from people who have different backgrounds. Regardless if at first it seems irrelevant to your future plans, exposure to other cultures will only benefit how you work in an international environment. My advice is: be amazed every single morning.

And You Had An Internship In New York?

In New York I interned at The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) an NGO branch of the United Nations. The organization depended on my note-taking in conferences and I also wrote daily reports for them to  assist in how they could inform their partners about our progress and cause. I worked at  a climate change conference, did some lobbying, and found it exciting to see how people from multiple nations come together to work on international issues and develop policies.

Ma Teng (Martin) ‘18

IMA Major

Study Away Site: NYU Abu Dhabi

Driven by graphic design, IMA major Teng Ma (Martin) ‘18 used his study away semester at NYU Abu Dhabi to join the basketball team, introduce  a logo to the sheikh of Abu Dhabi, and contemplate how to open up design jobs in his northeast China hometown.

Why did you choose to study away at NYU Abu Dhabi?

I’m an IMA major who is passionate about technology, graphic design and basketball. The year before my study away, I had visited New York as an actor for the NYU Reality Show, and I wanted to explore Abu Dhabi to complete my travel among the three main global sites. I also had heard many good reviews about the design courses there from friends–plus, I couldn’t resist the fact that they had a state of the art indoor basketball court.

What was it like for you there?

I joined the basketball team–practice was rigorous and as early as 6:30am–I took up boxing and other fitness activities, and made a lot of friends with whom to explore the city. I loved the courses I took; a friend recommended a class called Yes Logo, taught by Goffredo Puccetti. In that course, we designed logos for WWF–the panda logo, as well as a logo for Italy and UAE’s 45 Years Celebration. My logo was picked in the top 3 of all the students’ individual designs. Professor Puccetti taught us through direct experience–from start to end, from brainstorming, using software and creating finished products.  We even presented our WWF logo to the sheikh, who was impressed.

Along with design, I took a painting course and a strategic management course out of pure interest. And I believe that studying across disciplines will inform how I approach graphic design in my future plans. Learning about how people succeed and what they do to reach their goals was eye opening for me.

One the best experiences was making new friends in Abu Dhabi who are now visiting me at NYU Shanghai while they study away here for a semester. It’s really cool that our adventures together will continue.

Where are you interning and what will you do in the future?

I am currently interning at Bigger Lab, an educational startup aimed at high schoolers in China and based in Puxi, Shanghai. I am helping them meet their various design and branding needs as well as create a new visual identity. After graduation I will probably work in Shanghai for a while. But, I’m keeping an eye out for opportunities in my hometown, Changchun in Jilin province.

My hometown is far from being a big city like Shanghai. Maybe right now people aren’t paying much money to focus on branding and development of logos, but I want to eventually return and empower people there with the experiences I’ve gained in Shanghai and abroad. I want provide opportunities for other people to learn about and understand brand consulting, especially how having design skills can benefit their endeavors.

NYU Tisch Dance Minor Credit Offered at NYU Shanghai

Students studying at NYU Shanghai can now qualify for half of the Dance Minor offered at NYU Tisch School of the Arts by taking two dance classes, Dance and Choreography & Performance, at NYU Shanghai.

NYU Tisch approved the two courses taught in Shanghai by professor Aly Rose in March, allowing students from across the global network to either start or finish their minor in Shanghai.

“This is a great opportunity for students to become leaders, artists, and diversify their skills for whatever careers they choose in the future,” says Rose, former Head of the Dance Minor at NYU Tisch where she taught Choreography, Chinese Dance, and Topics in Chinese Culture.

To be awarded a dance minor, students must complete a total of 16 credits in accredited courses, with Dance (ART-SHU 225A-001/225B-001) and Choreography & Performance (ART-SHU 239.4-001/239.2-001) at NYU Shanghai now counting 4 credits each towards the minor.

The two courses are already the most popular dance classes on campus, and students now have a new dance studio in the Shanghai academic building to train at.

“A week or two after landing in Shanghai, I enrolled in the Choreography & Performance class. The hours were long, and the coursework was demanding, but I stuck with it because I was genuinely interested in the content,” said study away student Emma Quong ‘19. “Little did I know that the course’s professor would bring an exciting dimension to my semester.”

Some of Rose’s students have gone on to hold public performances at some of the city’s biggest arts venues. The entire Choreography & Performance class performed CELL at the 18th International Art Festival Shanghai, while Emma Quongpresident of NYU’s ballet club –Janice Luo and Isabel Adler held performances at MOCA Shanghai in collaboration with Rose’s professional dancers.

“Professor Aly Rose constantly shared her professional opportunities with the students. Because of her, I was able to perform at the China Shanghai International Arts Festival Campus Performance and also at the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MOCA). And through NYU Shanghai, 5 invited students and I were sent to NYU Abu Dhabi to dance at the Body Voices Conference,” added Quong.

“All of my classes are open to everyone. No dance background is necessary,” says Rose. “It’s exciting to see a student transform, build up their confidence and learn how to express themselves more fully.”

While NYU Shanghai’s Dance course explores the history and movements of jazz, hip-hop, modern and classical Chinese dance, the Choreography & Performance course teaches students how to create their own work and work collaboratively with others.

“They learn how to trust their own bodies, respect and work with one another. Creating a dance vocabulary is very important part of choreography. It’s very exciting for student to have a voice and learn how to express themselves with their body,” Rose said.

“Collaborating with other students, professional dancers, and the Chinese arts community I found new perspective to dance and performance. I realized that it is not just about comparing the culturally different end products, but to also understand the importance of their various creation processes,” said Quong.

“At the end of the semester we put on a big show in front of a live audience. A lot of them are showing their own work for the first time and for some, dancing for the first time. It’s very impressive because their majors are business, finance, etc,” said Rose.

NYU Shanghai students wishing to complete the minor during their study away year can take a combination of the following courses at NYU Tisch: either History of Dance or Why Dance Matters for 4 credits each, and any combination of 2 point Ballet, Modern, African, Flamenco, Hip Hop and Indian dance.

This post comes from NYU Shanghai and originally appeared here.

NYU Shanghai Professor Heather Lee Honored with Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award

For her pursuit of teaching excellence and cultural understanding, Assistant Professor of History Heather Ruth Lee of NYU Shanghai was conferred the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award on February 7, as part of a cherished tradition at the NYU community — the annual MLK Week.

The award, sponsored by the Provost of NYU, recognizes outstanding faculty who exemplify the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through leadership, social justice activism and community building. The winners have all made a positive impact within the classroom and in the greater NYU community.

Tuesday’s award ceremony at NYU Kimmel Center saw Professor Lee — joined by four other winning faculty, past winners and university leadership–giving an emotional and inspiring acceptance speech, in which she recalled a deceased friend who dedicated her life as an undocumented immigrant to political activism for equality.

Professor Lee said she held onto the phrase “exemplifies the spirit,” which reminded her of “how much more there is to do and how great the challenges we face in this world are.”

Recipients of the Martin Luther King, Jr. award are selected by a committee of previous winners and a student leader, based on essays about faculty candidates authored by student nominees.

In her letter nominating Professor Lee, NYU Shanghai sophomore Chelsea Polanco recalled a “memorable moment” in which the professor met criticism from another student in a talk about the burkini ban in France.

“She took that opportunity to coordinate a class of faculty and students devoted to the issue of identity and how people in society view us,” Polanco said. “She created a safe space in which students could gather together to talk about how their position in society affects how they are viewed by others and themselves.”

According to NYU Shanghai Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen, Professor Lee brought attention to issues of cross-cultural misunderstanding and encouraged students to air their differences without fear of retribution.

“We are proud that she has won the award and grateful for her leadership. At NYU Shanghai, learning to build community and function in a multicultural context is part of our DNA,” she added.


This post comes from NYU Shanghai and is available here.

NYU Shanghai Seniors Earn Schwarzman Scholarships, Along with Graduates of NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU

The 2018 Schwarzman Scholars, founded by Blackstone Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, include students from 30 countries and 75 universities with 45 percent from the United States, 20 percent from China, and 35 percent from the rest of the world.

“I am overjoyed with the caliber of students who will make up the second class of Schwarzman Scholars,” said Schwarzman. “It has been truly inspiring for me to meet these people, who at such a young age have already started to make an impact on the world.”

Roxanne Roman is a social science major at NYU Shanghai. She will graduate this year having served as Shanghai’s first full-term student body president and founder of the school’s 2013 Fund. A first-generation American and advocate of women’s political advocacy, she has worked in the Office of the First Lady at the White House, the Hillary for America Presidential Campaign, and the Senate of the Philippines.

Jacko Walz is majoring in business and finance at NYU Shanghai. Interested in political risk, he will pursue a concentration in international studies as a Schwarzman Scholar. He has interned at London’s BBC Worldwide and worked as an analyst at IoTOne. At NYU Shanghai, he founded the NYU Shanghai American football team and has served in the Undergraduate Business Association and TEDxNYU Shanghai.

In addition, Mohammed Omar, a 2014 graduate of NYU Abu Dhabi, and Anushka Prasad, a 2013 graduate of NYU’s College of Arts and Science, were also among the 129 chosen.

Mohammed Omar graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) in 2014 with a double major in mechanical engineering and mathematics. He was a member of the inaugural class at NYUAD and was instrumental in establishing the university’s student government, having been elected student body president twice. He then went on to complete his M.S. in mechanical engineering at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, where he worked on analyzing composite materials. His group is the first to successfully create a metal matrix syntactic foam core sandwich composite; the results were published in Material Science & Engineering. In 2015, Omar joined the professional services firm AlphaSights as an associate in its Dubai office.

Anushka Prasad graduated with a degree in economics (with Highest Honors) from NYU in 2013. After graduation, she moved to New Delhi to be a part of building India’s first liberal arts university, Ashoka University. At Ashoka, Anushka leads various strategic initiatives to build the university’s governance structure, policies, women’s leadership and India’s first archive focusing on contemporary India. As a Schwarzman Scholar, she hopes to learn from China’s education policies to lead education reform and institution-building in India and other developing countries.

The 2018 scholars follow last year’s inaugural Schwarzman Scholars, who included Kes Rittenberg, a 2016 graduate of NYU’s College of Arts and Science.

“The second class of Schwarzman Scholars is a remarkable group of people who are committed to broadening their worldview and encouraging peace and friendship between the east and the west,” added Nigel Thrift, executive director of the program. “I continue to be amazed by these students and how Schwarzman Scholars is creating global citizens who will be well equipped to succeed and lead in whatever field they choose.”

An Interview With Roxanne Roman And Jacko Walz

The Shanghai Gazette spoke to Roxanne and Jacko shortly after the announcement of 2018 Schwarzman Scholarship, see how they responded to the wonderful news:

What Does The Winning Of This Scholarship Mean To You?

Jacko: For me, this scholarship represents an unmatchable opportunity to further my global education while surrounded by some of the most accomplished young individuals in the world. The Schwarzman Scholarship has been on my radar since Spring 2014, when Stephen Schwarzman held a Skype conference at NYU Shanghai. I immediately recognized the potential of the program and realized that it aligned very neatly with my goals. Since then, I have considered Schwarzman Scholars the optimal path for me following graduation.

Roxanne: Being named a Schwarzman Scholar tells me the future is invested in an inclusive, aware, and dynamic global community. I’ve been honored with an incredible opportunity to participate in innovatively changing the world for the better while learning and working alongside future leaders. It’s really meaningful to me to have my story involved in this endeavor.

How Do You Foresee This Opportunity Contributing To Your Personal Development, Future Goals And Broadening Your Perspectives On China?

Jacko: Living in China has provided me with countless opportunities for growth and learning. Most importantly, my time here has helped shape my perspective on China and the world, which has, in turn, helped me formulate my goals for the future. I hope to delve deeper into Chinese and international studies through the Schwarzman Scholarship in order to be able to explore some of the major challenges facing the international community in the coming years.

Roxanne: At 18, I had no idea how impactful the decision to move to China would be. At 22, I’m excited to engage with China from new perspectives in Beijing. One day, I hope to use my experiences to contribute to conversations of mutual benefit between the United States, the Philippines, and China.

Has Your Experience At NYU Shanghai Equipped You With The Qualities Exemplified By The Schwarzman Scholarship, And How?

Jacko: As a member of the inaugural class at NYU Shanghai, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a blank canvas to work with, molding the school in any way we saw necessary. From the start, NYU Shanghai has strongly encouraged us to take influential positions and leadership roles at the university which have enabled us to truly impact the development of the school. Furthermore, NYU Shanghai has deeply emphasized developing an international and culturally cognizant perspective on the world. I believe these leadership and cultural experiences have given me the tools become a member of the “next generation of leaders,” as the Schwarzman Scholarship insists.

Roxanne: NYU Shanghai taught me the power of initiative, courage, and perseverance in growing as a person, as a leader, and as a community member. NYU Shanghai propelled my personal growth and cultivated my potential by challenging me to build bridges over walls.

About Schwarzman Scholars:

Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace, and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman personally contributed $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $350 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The $450 million endowment will support up to 200 Scholars annually from the U.S., China, and around the world for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities and an indispensable base for the country’s scientific and technological research. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling, and developing a better understanding of China. Admissions opened in the fall of 2015, with the first class of students in residence in September 2016.

This post was originally published in the Shanghai Gazette and is available here.

How January Term is Redefining Education

This is a post from NYU Abu Dhabi. Although January Term originated with NYU Abu Dhabi, now other students in NYU’s global network, notably those from NYU Shanghai, have the opportunity to experience a January Term.

Education at NYU Abu Dhabi is not just about learning facts from textbooks and passing multiple choice exams. It’s an immersive experience for NYUAD students, who, each January Term choose hands-on classes in cities from Al Ain to Buenos Aires that challenge their perceptions of the past and enrich their visions of the future.

There are dozens of courses offered in J-Term that get students out of the classroom to learn about the world as it was before, and experience the world as it really is today, like Jazz or the Financial Crisis taught in New York City, Emirati Arabic in Al Ain, Museum History in Berlin, and these seven examples that span the globe. Note: course descriptions have been edited.


Oasis Coast and Mountain

Faculty: Steven C. Caton and Donald M. Scott
Course location: UAE and Oman

A course that challenges students’ perceptions of Arabian landscapes as being mainly desert by showing them three distinct habitat zones: desert oasis, maritime ports, and mountain farms all within 250 kilometers of each other across the UAE and Oman.

Students learn through observational site visits, direct encounters and interactions with local peoples and places through walking tours, interviews, photography and sketching.

Imagining the Renaissance City

Faculty: Jane Tylus
Course location: NYU Florence

Northern and central Italy’s bustling towns inspired many of today’s modern cities and also pioneered recognizably modern artistic, cultural, and engineering practices. Florence was a powerhouse of culture and industry and Siena the ‘Wall Street of Europe’ with the skyline to match.

Students spend three weeks getting to know these towns intimately. Explore downtown Florence, Siena, and the Tuscan countryside. Walk from the town of Fiesole (with its Etruscan ruins and Roman theater), to Monte Ceceri (from whose summit a student of Leonardo da Vinci’s tried to fly; good start, sad ending). Visit seats of government and Renaissance orphanages, climb towers for bird’s-eye views, prowl a crypt recently excavated under Siena’s cathedral, visit churches on hills overlooking Florence and the cells of monks, and walk the trail of the stonecutters to see where Michelangelo found his stone.


Coastal Urbanization

Faculty: John Burt
Course location: Sydney

Over 80 percent of the Australian population lives within 100 kilometers of a coast and virtually all major Australian cities occur on coastlines. As a result, Australia’s coastal environments have been substantially modified to suit human needs.

Using Sydney’s terrestrial, marine, and built environments as a natural laboratory for field research, students collect environmental data throughout the city and use geographic information systems (GIS) to examine the spatial patterns of human impacts to Sydney’s environment and compare their results with patterns observed in other coastal cities.


Faculty: Professor Michael Beckerman
Course location: Prague

Prague should have been destroyed during the Second World War, like other major cities in Europe, but somehow it wasn’t. Its remarkable survival allows us to explore Central European history and culture in the context of a completely preserved inner urban core dating back to the Middle Ages.

Class time includes walking tours around Prague, trips to museums, castles, theaters, classical concerts including Mozart’s Magic Flute and Janacek’s From the House of the Dead, and several excursions outside the city to the Eastern Province of Moravia, birthplace of Mahler and Freud, and to the UNESCO Heritage site of Cesky Krumlov.

Democracy and its Critics

Faculty: Philip Mitsis
Course location: Abu Dhabi / Athens

An examination of one of history’s most radical and influential democracies, ancient Athens.

Students assume historical roles in key decision-making institutions and debate questions about democratic procedures, the extension of voting rights, religion and free speech, foreign policy, etc., often in the very locations where these ancient debates occurred.

The Idea of the Portrait

Faculty: Shamoon Zamir
Course location: London

The course draws upon the rich resources of London’s museums and galleries to examine a wide range of portraits and self-portraits in painting and photography from different periods of history and from different cultures.

Students visit The National Gallery, British Museum, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the Queen’s Collection, the Courtauld Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, as well as the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Creative Cities

Faculty: Arlene Davila
Course location: Buenos Aires

Latin America has been undergoing rapid urbanization and is increasingly recognized as a continent made up of “countries of cities,” yet the dominant Latin American image has been on indigenous or traditional communities, which are always imagined as rural and authentic, rather than modern and urbanized.

Buenos Aires provides an urban laboratory to explore culture in urban development, urban tourism, and the marketing and internationalization of tango. Guided tours and guest speakers enrich students’ appreciation of contemporary Buenos Aires.

Original post by Andy Gregory, NYUAD Public Affairs, available here.