University of Rochester

Rochester Alumni Awarded Scholarships to Chinese Universities

August 9, 2013

On Monday, Aug. 12, Chinese Ambassador Guoxiang Sun and University of Rochester President Joel Seligman will recognize recent graduates Matt Chin '13, Duane Thomas Fields '13E, and Kirsten Leever '13 with full-year scholarships to Chinese universities at a reception and ceremony on the University's River Campus.

The scholarship program, which is sponsored by the China Scholarship Council and the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in New York, allows the University to nominate one candidate and up to two alternates for a semester or year of study at a Chinese university. Scholarship recipients are entitled to a tuition waiver, living allowance, and medical insurance and are responsible for their own travel expenses.

"The scholarships provide evidence of the growing relationship between the University and China, and are also an indication of our students' interest in China," said Seligman."The University is one of only 10 schools in the Northeast—including Harvard, MIT, Cornell and NYU—that are offered these scholarships."

Todd St. Vrain, manager of International Initiatives and Worldwide Universities Network Coordinator at the University, added that "we are grateful to the New York Consulate that all three of our applicants were awarded a scholarship in our first year in the program."

Chin, a resident of Brighton, N.Y., was inspired to apply for the scholarship after studying at Beijing Foreign Studies University in fall 2012 through the Rochester-affiliated IES Abroad program. A history and public health major, Chin applied for the scholarship with the intent of studying the integration of traditional Chinese medicine into modern medicine.

"I'm interested to know if this integrative system can be similarly applied in the U.S.," said Chin. He is also hopes to hone his Mandarin language skills.

Fields, a resident of Minneapolis, will study classical and traditional Chinese music at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. A cello performance graduate from the Eastman School of Music, Fields also earned a minor in Chinese from the University. Fields deferred graduate school at the Manhattan School of Music to accept the scholarship.

"I wanted to foster more cultural exchange between traditional and classical Chinese music," said Fields. "The opportunity to study both disciplines is something I can't get in the U.S. I also had an interest in studying Mandarin, and combining my musical skills and language interests with a year of study."

Leever, a resident of Whitehall, N.Y., intends to study Chinese at Nanjing University. A psychology major, Leever spent spring 2012 in Beijing through an IES Abroad program. She hopes to eventually pursue an M.B.A. in marketing. "I want to use my studies of Chinese language and culture in integration with my own American culture to help our two countries do business with each other," stated Leever.

Chin, Fields, and Leever will attend school in China for the 2013-14 academic year, returning in July. Although scholarship recipients are not guaranteed their first choice of schools among the more than 200 Chinese universities and colleges approved by the China Scholarship Council, the three alumni were selected to attend their top choices.

Sun will visit Rochester Aug. 10-12. Rochester faculty and staff will host Sun at various events, including the scholarship reception.