NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) alumni Weichen Zhu (Class of 2015) and Kefei (Fisher) Wu (Class of 2017), Lujain Ibrahim and Matea Kocevska (Class of 2020), and current senior Segun Omole (Class of 2021) have been named 2022 Schwarzman Scholars.
Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship and is designed to prepare future global leaders to meet the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century. Scholars pursue a Master’s degree and leadership program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.
Zhu, 27, from China, has a passion for business, investing, entrepreneurship and filmmaking. Zhu worked as a Global Academic Fellow at NYU Shanghai after graduating from NYUAD. Currently he is working as a consultant for an ed-tech startup in China.
Zhu said: “As a Chinese student, it would be a unique experience to go on deep dives to different cities and organizations while understanding how China is positioned in a global context. Meanwhile, it would be the perfect platform to meet peers who are excelling in different fields and learn from them. My time in NYUAD taught me the importance of multicultural understanding and collaboration, and I hope to continue that journey in the Schwarzman Scholars program. At NYUAD, I learned that if you surround yourself with people from different cultures and disciplines, you can have some of the best dialogues and ideas. The Schwarzman Scholars program would offer a setting where I can constantly challenge my own thinking."
"The Schwarzman Scholars program is a great opportunity for me to study my own country from a global perspective,."
Wu, 26, from China, majored in Psychology with a multi-disciplinary concentration on the Environment. She worked for the Abu Dhabi government on several civic enablement projects before her current role as a consultant at Roland Berger Middle East. She is a member of the UAE Youth Advisory Council on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where she helps raise awareness and advance the SDG agenda of the UAE.
Wu said, "I am extremely excited to return to China as a Schwarzman Scholar after spending seven years abroad. In the past years, China has changed drastically. As a Chinese citizen, I believe it is important to have both the global breadth and the China depth. I am honored to have the opportunity to be able to rediscover and reconnect with my motherland."
"Upon completing my study, I plan to return to the Middle East, where I am currently based, and to continue to facilitate the exchange between China and the region as well as the rest of the world."
Palestinian-Jordanian Ibrahim, 21, graduated from NYUAD in 2020 where she studied Computer Engineering and represented her class as student Commencement speaker. Following her graduation, she joined the Laboratory for Computer-Human Intelligence at NYUAD as a research assistant, and, along with her Capstone teammates, published the findings of her senior Capstone project on explainable machine learning for heart attack prediction. Her interest in AI and internet health has led her to co-establish Multiplicity, a youth-led publication on global examinations of the Internet’s impact, and to volunteer to organize and co-design the 2021 Mozilla Festival on trustworthy AI.
Ibrahim said, “I'm excited and humbled by the opportunity to join the next cohort of Schwarzman Scholars. I'm incredibly grateful for the support of my family and all of my professors, mentors, and friends at NYUAD throughout the years; this accomplishment would have not been possible without them."
"I'm looking forward to participating in the program and to joining a diverse community in China that I believe will be critical to furthering my efforts in the technology, society, and education space.”
Kocevska, 23, from North Macedonia, majored in Economics. Kocevska was active in Student Government as a Senior Class Representative, and the Debate Union, as a Competitive Debater, Vice-President, and Director of the UAE-wide high school debate program. She has completed several internships in the fields of business development, consulting, and venture capital across Dubai and New York. She is currently a Research Assistant at NYUAD in the field of business strategy.
Kocevska said, “I am both humbled and thrilled to be named as a 2022 Schwarzman Scholar, to learn from and work with the incredible community, to gain a deeper and more holistic understanding of global issues, and to challenge myself further — personally and professionally. I hope to leverage it towards creating avenues for better political and economic representation and cooperation."
"As the first Macedonian to receive this award, I wish to express gratitude to my mentors, family, and friends for their tireless support throughout my journey.”
Omole, 21, from Nigeria, is pursuing a double major in Legal Studies and Political Science at NYUAD. He co-founded Chameleon – an ed-tech platform for teaching code in African schools. He was also designated a BlackRock Founders Scholar while interning for BlackRock, an American global investment management corporation based in New York City. He intends to attend law school after the Schwarzman Scholars program.
Omole said, “I aspire to accomplish three distinct things with my Schwarzman experience. First, I want to develop a fundamental understanding of China, its people, its affairs, and its outlook on Africa’s potential. Second, I hope to explore opportunities for increased direct Chinese investments in African entrepreneurship. Last, I would like to make lifelong connections with equally ambitious people who plan to impact the world positively."
" I hope that we can all help each other achieve our lofty dreams for a better world- during the Schwarzman program and beyond.”
The 2022 Schwarzman Scholars were chosen from a pool of over 3,600 applicants from 39 countries and 99 universities. The Scholars were selected through an application process designed to assess academic strength, leadership ability, and strength of character.