Bulelani Jiliread bio
Bulelani Jili is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where he studied philosophy, history, government, and economics. He was a Pfeiffer Scholar, receiving a full scholarship awarded to one student based on academic excellence and leadership achievement. While at Wesleyan, he conducted research on post-apartheid education reform, democratic theory, political action, and political sociology. His honors thesis was particularly concerned with examining the structural features in democracy and American history that perpetuate inequality; moreover, it aimed at demonstrating the need for a civically inclined citizenry. Bulelani is also the founder of Middletown Potluck, an organization that was created in order to provide a platform for community members to break bread, converse, and establish partnerships to pursue social justice in the wider Middletown community. The Yenching Academy is an opportunity to help him serve South Africa and the world better. The opportunity to be in China with the Yenching Academy will greatly add to his understanding of politics and its ills, and essentially add to his ability to craft concrete public policy solutions, especially for a geopolitical landscape that is shifting towards China. He hopes to continue to apply his social science acumen to assess issues pertaining to governance and educational policies in China and South Africa.
Harriet Kariukiread bio
Harriet Kariuki was born and raised in Kenya, and graduated from Harvard where she studied Government and East Asian Studies with a Korean language citation. Previously, she interned with the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs' China Desk and conducted comparative research on Japanese and Chinese foreign aid in East Africa. At the Yenching Academy, Harriet will pursue her interests in Chinese foreign policy, with a focus on Sino-African diplomatic and foreign relations.
Santana Muthoniread bio
Santana Muthoni completed a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, with a concentration in Diplomacy and Foreign policy, at the United States International University-Africa. Born and raised in Kenya, Santana is an aspiring diplomat with an interest in fostering global peace and development through cross-cultural education for mutual understanding. This has been fueled by the leadership roles she has held while at her university, where she also served as President of AIESEC in USIU-Africa until December 2015. While at the Yenching Academy, Santana’s academic focus will be on Politics and International Relations and she will be exploring China’s foreign policy and its impact on Sino-Africa relations, by gaining a deeper understanding of Chinese politics and society. She is also looking forward to developing her Mandarin language skills while at the Academy.
Stephanie Oduro-Mensahread bio
Stephanie Oduro-Mensah is a Ghanaian who worked as a Teaching Assistant in the University of Ghana’s Chinese Department. She is also a student of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA, UK) where she has already earned an Advance Diploma in Accounting and Business. She was awarded the Confucius Scholarship to study Chinese language and culture at Zhejiang University of Technology in the 2013-2014 academic year and graduated from University of Ghana in 2015 with a B.A. in Chinese and Political Science. Stephanie is passionate about voluntarily serving in community development projects such as project GreenStamp, which saw her operate in Marrakech, Morocco, in December 2012 as well as project ExploreChina in January 2014 in Suzhou, China. Stephanie’s interest in China-African cooperation informed her decision to pursue Politics and International Relations at the Yenching Academy. She intends to focus on ‘The New Face of China-Africa Relations.”
Luyolo Sijakeread bio
Luyolo Sijake is from the Eastern Cape province in South Africa and is currently based in Beijing, China. He completed his undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Cape Town and, after working for about a year in the fields of trade and energy research focusing on the BRICS member countries, became a student at Peking University where he took a variety of courses including International Relations, Energy and Environmental Studies, Commercial Law, TV Production and Market Research, all as a Chinese language program. Luyolo is pursuing the Economics and Management concentration at the Yenching Academy. His connection with China began when he started studying Mandarin Chinese through a Confucius Institute in South Africa. He has now been studying Chinese for a total of between three and four years and has travelled to China several times for both work and study over the past few years. Apart from China’s fascinating language, culture and history, Luyolo is particularly intrigued by the more recent economic and political transformations that have taken place and the way in which these have led to the reshaping of China’s position on the world stage. He hopes to deepen his understanding in this area during his time at the Yenching Academy.
Caitlin Springread bio
Caitlin Spring identifies as an intersectional feminist, and her commitment to feminism and feminist research is of the utmost importance to her academic career. After high school Caitlin started her undergraduate degree at The University of Cape Town, majoring in English Literature and Language and Philosophy. Aware of the strong Eurocentric focus of her undergraduate subjects, Caitlin was motivated to then pursue an Honours degree in Gender and Transformation, which she completed at the end of last year with a First Class Pass. The strong Afrocentric emphasis of the Gender Studies syllabus encouraged her to seek out as many culturally-rooted ways of thinking as possible - this was one of the main aspects of the Yenching Academy that attracted her to the master’s programme. Not only committed to academic pursuits, Caitlin is a passionate writer, exploring both creative prose and social justice issues. Caitlin has been fortunate enough to have had many of her articles published through both national and international, online and print, platforms. To further develop her writing skills, Caitlin undertook an Honors degree in Creative Writing at the University of The Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, which she completed before her departure to China. She is looking forward to attaining a more nuanced understanding of China’s influence on global politics and international relations, and is incredibly excited for her time in Beijing.
Georgina Korkoi Wilsonread bio
Georgina Korkoi Wilson is from Ghana and Nigeria and is a graduate of Dartmouth College in the United States, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Government, with a concentration in International Relations and Comparative Politics. As a Yenching Scholar, she aims to continue her study of International Relations by pursuing the Politics and International Relations concentration. She is particularly interested in Chinese foreign policy towards African countries, and Chinese Public Policy and Governance as a model of development.