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Sosan Afghanread bio
Sosan Afghan grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan, but at the young age of 16 left Kabul for Kyrgyzstan to continue her education. She enjoys community service and has volunteered in projects like Cultural Diversity Project, in women empowerment movements such as Every-woman Everywhere and has served as a team leader in AIESEC, a youth leadership NGO. Sosan is passionate about documentary making, and has filmed a short movie about Afghan immigrants in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She studied Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). Her thesis focused on the global shift from print to digital media and its consequences. Her enthusiasm, interest and curiosity to learn more about the Chinese culture as well as China’s emerging role in world politics and world economics has led her to pursue a degree in Chinese studies (Literature and Culture) at Peking University.
Marketa Bajgerovaread bio
Marketa Bajgerova, a Prague-born living in the UK, is a Politics & History graduate from the University of Glasgow and an external research associate at the Centre for the EU-Asia Relations in Prague. As an aspiring researcher and policy analyst, Marketa represented her home institute at international conferences and policy advisory meetings in Slovenia, Germany, Greece, the UK, and Myanmar. A firm believer in an interdisciplinary approach to social sciences, the scope of her research interests ranges from political and cultural theory to the Northeast Asian politics. During her endeavours at the Yenching Academy, Marketa researches in the area of Politics and International Relations with the vision of merging her theoretical background in post-structuralism, critical cultural theory and political psychology with the socio-political dynamics of Northeast Asia. As her focus has been predominantly on China-Korea relations, Marketa’s ambition is to further examine China’s role in the diplomatic future of the peninsula, research the politically significant area at China’s border with the DPRK, and explore Confucian tradition's impact on the diplomatic conduct in the region.
Adrian Bazavanread bio
Adrian Bazavan, from Romania, is passionate about art, politics, history, and their complex connections. He wants to travel the world to build friendships and mutual understanding, and to transform cross-cultural conflict into beneficial cooperation. In 2014 he was named Valedictorian, earning his B.A. in Political Science at the National School of Political Sciences and Public Administration (NSPSPA), Bucharest. He completed his M.A. in Public Policies and European Integration at NSPSPA in 2016. He has studied Chinese at the Beijing Language and Culture University and at Peking University. Adrian speaks fluent Mandarin and currently works as a translator and representative for a Chinese real estate company investing in Romania. Fluent in English and French, he is currently studying Russian. Adrian has interned with several public and private institutions concerned with governance and policy consultancy, including the Government of Romania. As a national student union leader, Adrian has advocated for students’ rights and negotiated youth policy at all levels. He supports Moldova’s closer ties to Romania and EU integration, and has led many national projects benefiting Moldovan citizens and public administration. As the Project Director of the Romanian League of Students Abroad, Adrian has been a mobilizer of the Romanian-Moldovan community. Adrian’s hobbies include piano, dance and theatre. He also referees football games and participates in academic debate competitions. While studying Politics and International Relations at the Yenching Academy, Adrian will intern at the Romanian Embassy and pursue his PhD at the Romanian Economy Academy.
Daniel Bensonread bio
Daniel Benson is a British national and graduated from Clare College, University of Cambridge in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Economics. His interest in China stems from a great love of Chinese culture, language, history and cuisine, as well as thinking critically about China’s position in the global economy; a country that has developed whilst not subscribing to the ideals dictated by dominant economic theory. Daniel has travelled extensively within China and beyond, including working abroad with international students, including many Peking University students, and seeks to contribute to the relationship between the Yenching Academy and the wider university. Daniel is keen to put into practice the insights he learns about the Chinese economy and business environment into a career in Economic consultancy. He hopes that the cross-cultural communication and leadership taught at the Yenching Academy will help will help him to achieve these goals with greater confidence and conviction.
Sofia Biasinread bio
Sofia Biasin, born and raised in Italy, completed her undergraduate studies in Modern Languages and Literatures for Publishing at University of Verona, specializing in English literature and history of art. She gained extensive experience in publishing, working as a copy editor for a publishing house and writing for local magazines. In 2014, she was granted the Erasmus Scholarship to study modern languages at University of Szeged, Hungary, where she also took part in the city’s Confucius Institute’s activities. Sofia recently graduated cum laude in China and Global Studies from University of Turin, with a thesis on China’s role as a security provider in Central Asia. She had the opportunity to spend one year at Beijing Foreign Studies University, thus obtaining a double Master’s degree. She worked as editor at the internationally-run Time Out magazine in Beijing; collaborated with think tank Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, and volunteered for Chinese NGO China Youth Development Foundation during the 2017 Yao Ming Basketball Camp. At Yenching Academy, she wants to investigate China’s neighborhood diplomacy in Central and South Asia, and Chinese engagement in multilateral organizations.
Jovana Bogojevicread bio
Jovana Bogojevic, from Montenegro, enrolled at the Music Academy of the University of Montenegro at the age of 16. At 18, she studied Chinese language at Central China Normal University in Wuhan and a year after enrolled at the BA program in Music Performance at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. She is fluent in several languages and world instruments, and while regularly performing across China, she composes chamber music for the Flute and Guzheng. Throughout the years she interned at the Women’s Rights Center in Montenegro, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Montenegro to the People’s Republic of China. She spends her time at the Yenching Academy researching the Sino-Montenegrin relationship and China’s growing influence in the Balkans. Jovana will also examine foreign influences on Montenegrin politics, particularly as they have materialized through art, media and on-going issues with cultural identity. She has received more than 30 awards so far, among which are the “Outstanding Overseas Student Studying in China” awarded by the Ministry of Education of the PRC and “Extraordinary Success Achieved During Studies” awarded by the mayor's office of the old Montenegrin capital Cetinje.
Péter Borosread bio
Péter Boros is a Hungarian national who completed his graduate studies in International Relations at Central European University in Budapest. He obtained his BA diploma in Chinese Studies from Eötvös Loránd University, where he focused on ancient Chinese philosophy and religions, particularly on Daoist and Confucian musical thought. During his studies, he spent one year at Hangzhou Normal University as a Confucius Scholarship recipient, deepening his cultural knowledge and language skills. This first-hand experience triggered his interest in China’s contemporary features, and its growing global influence, therefore his current research analyzes the impact of Chinese private FDI on the Ethiopian economy under the framework of South-South cooperation. While at Yenching Academy, he aims to acquire deeper understanding of Chinese domestic perceptions of international relations and the country’s growing role in the international system, especially on issues of global governance. After graduation, he plans to work on Sino-Hungarian and Chinese-EU relations.
Megan Cansfieldread bio
Megan Cansfield is a British-American dual citizen and 2017 graduate of the University of Michigan with majors in Political Science, International Studies, and Asian Studies. At Michigan, Megan served as the Asia Regional Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Affairs and wrote her honors thesis analyzing the intersections between US-China strategic trust-building and security cooperation on North Korea. She also studied in five Chinese cities and interned with the US Embassy Beijing, US Consulate-General Guangzhou, and US-China grassroots exchange organization Project Pengyou. Megan was a Fulbright research fellow in China at Yanbian University where she conducted an independent project investigating the influence of the Korean Peninsula security crisis on US-China relations. Following her studies in Politics and International Relations at the Yenching Academy, Megan aspires to continue fostering Sino-American cooperation and engagement in East Asia at the intergovernmental level through a career in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
Alicia Chenread bio
Alicia Chen graduated from the University of Bath with a BSc in International Relations, and holds an MSc in China in Comparative Perspective from the London School of Economics. She is of Chinese descent, but was born and raised in Spain, before moving to England for her studies. Moreover, Alicia has previously lived in China, where she worked as a trainee in the Spanish Consulate in Shanghai. Currently based in Brussels, Alicia works as a Project Manager for several EU-funded projects in the International Development sector. She undertook a traineeship at the European External Action Service Headquarters, where she had the opportunity to contribute to the EU’s people-to-people external relations. Furthermore, Alicia worked for a Brussels-based international association, promoting digital innovation and ICT services between China and the EU, where she predominantly focused on creating synergies between the European and Chinese startup ecosystems. As a Yenching Academy scholar, Alicia looks forward to consolidate her Chinese and plans to develop her understanding of China’s role in the global economy. She is particularly interested in further exploring China’s increasing role in financing for sustainable development, especially through the OBOR Initiative and the AIIB.
Madeleine May Clinganread bio
Madeleine, a UK national with both Trinidadian and British heritage, graduated from the University of York where she studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics. During her time as an undergraduate, she founded York Anti-Trafficking Student Group (YATS) with a group of peers, won five consecutive international and national Model United Nations ‘Best Delegate’ Awards for her debating and negotiation skills, and worked as a Policy Advisor in the UK Civil Service. Her interest in China spans back over five years, starting when she first conducted research into modern China’s economic and social reforms. In previous trips to the country, she lived in a small town in Zhejiang province and attended Zhejiang University as a Study China scholar. As a Yenching scholar, she studies the intersection of politics and law in social spheres. Her current research focuses on Chinese social enterprises and the social and environmental safeguards employed on Chinese overseas investment projects.