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Alumna Rachel Ding named Emory’s ninth Schwarzman Scholar
Rachel Ding

Emory alumna Rachel Ding has been selected as a Schwarzman Scholar for graduate study in China next year.

Rachel Ding, a former Emory Student Government Association (SGA) president who graduated in 2022, has been selected as a Schwarzman Scholar for graduate study in China next year.

The Oxford College continuee and Goizueta Business School student who graduated with double majors in finance and political science is among 151 remarkable scholars drawn from nearly 3,000 applicants for the highly-selective program. 

As Emory’s ninth Schwarzman recipient since the program began eight years ago, Ding will enroll in a one-year master’s program from Tsinghua University next fall while receiving exposure to Chinese culture, global business networks and leaders. She will earn her master’s degree in global affairs, with electives in a wide array of disciplines.

“Rachel Ding has made an incredible impact during her brief time as an Emory alumna, building on her years of extraordinary leadership as an undergraduate student,” says President Gregory L. Fenves. “Having visited the Schwarzman College, I know Rachel’s superb scholarship, talent for leadership and heart for service will make her an outstanding and dynamic Schwarzman Scholar. She embodies the Emory mission in every way and we are proud of her!” 

The Schwarzman Scholars program launched in 2015, inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship to promote international understanding and peace through intensive study and leadership.

The program also includes cultural immersion, personal and professional development, and career resources designed to help scholars lead in various fields upon graduation.

Ding is considering a law degree after her Schwarzman year, with an eye toward working for an international organization. The leadership opportunities in the program, and the ability to engage with contemporary China, were a big draw for her.

Perhaps most important to her, though, is the chance to learn from other scholars the way she feels she did at Emory. She also hopes to experience the mentorship she felt from fellow Emory students as well as campus administrators, including Fenves, on leadership outside the classroom.

“I am already inspired by all the young changemakers I see in the program,” Ding says. “I would not be the leader I am today without the support to explore ways to learn from others.”

Ding, a Birmingham, Alabama, native whose parents immigrated from Beijing in the 1990s, had significant leadership experience throughout her Emory tenure, including serving in student government all four years. She served as Oxford College SGA president in 2019-2020 and as Emory SGA president in 2021-2022. She also was a two-term student counselor on the Board of Trustees. 

The Schwarzman Program offers Rachel a unique and important opportunity to integrate her personal, academic and professional experiences in a global setting that aims to foster mutual understanding. We are thrilled to see her many accomplishments recognized in this way,” says Megan Friddle, director of the Emory College National Scholarships and Fellowships Program, now part of Emory’s Pathways Center.

Students and recent alumni interested in learning more about the Schwarzman Scholars program and other prestigious awards that might fit with their long-term goals should schedule an appointment through Emory’s National Scholarships and Fellowships Program website.

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