Julia Mongo | Office of Distinguished Fellowships
Published by MIT News on November 23, 2022
Three MIT seniors — Sara V. Fernandez, Amanda Hu, and Brigette Wang — have been named 2024 Schwarzman Scholars and will join the program’s eighth cohort, consisting of 151 scholars from 36 countries. The students were selected from a pool of over 3,000 applicants.
Schwarzman Scholars pursue a master’s degree in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The fellowship program aims to develop leadership skills and deepen understanding of China’s changing role in the world. Candidates are chosen through a rigorous application process designed to identify leadership potential, intellect, and strength of character. In the finalist stage, select candidates are invited to interview with panels composed of CEOs, government officials, nonprofit executives, and others.
MIT’s Schwarzman Scholar applicants receive guidance and mentorship from the distinguished fellowships team in Career Advising and Professional Development and the Presidential Committee on Distinguished Fellowships. “Sara, Brigette, and Amanda have demonstrated strong leadership abilities at MIT in their research and extracurricular activities,” says Kim Benard, associate dean of distinguished fellowships. “We are proud that they will represent MIT in China as Schwarzman Scholars, as this will provide them further opportunities to hone their leadership so that they may tackle the world’s problems.”
Sara V. Fernandez
Sara V. Fernandez will graduate MIT in June 2023 with a BS in materials science and engineering and minors in entrepreneurship and innovation and in Chinese. As a Latinx researcher in the MIT Conformable Decoders lab, Fernandez developed innovative medical devices, yielding high-impact publications. Throughout her time at MIT, she has been committed to international student outreach; diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; and peer mentorship, both academically and as a varsity tennis team captain. Fernandez looks forward to enriching her study of Chinese language and culture through the Schwarzman Scholars program, and gaining understanding on how to leverage China’s economies of scale for increasing health care accessibility in Latin America.
Amanda Hu is a senior majoring in biology and business management. She is passionate about health care entrepreneurship and financing strategies to drive innovation in medical fields. Hu is a founding member of Encreto Therapeutics, a startup discovering treatments for obesity, and is engaged in women’s health research at Massachusetts General Hospital. She also provides strategic support to AI health care portfolio companies at Aegis Ventures. As a Schwarzman Scholar, Hu hopes to work at the intersection of policy, technology, and business to bridge health care innovations between the United States and China.
Brigette Wang is a senior majoring in computation and cognition, with a humanities concentration in political science. Her undergraduate research includes studying the effects of the antidepressant ketamine on dendritic spines and evaluating operative outcomes of superior semicircular canal dehiscence, a rare hearing disorder. Wang is a student-athlete on the varsity women’s soccer team and the president of her sorority, where she has advocated for increased accessibility and inclusion in Greek life. She is passionate about health equity and, through Schwarzman Scholars, hopes to gain the global insight necessary to push health policy reform worldwide.