At the end of December, the CLS Program was thrilled to learn that several CLS Alumni were selected for highly competitive awards to support their graduate studies.
Kyra Jasper (Indonesian 2021) was named one of the 40 individuals selected to be 2023 Marshall Scholars. With approximately a 4% selection rate, Kyra will join a cohort of outstanding future leaders.
“My CLS experience shaped both my interest in continuing to work on judicial reform and human rights issues in Indonesia, and to pursue graduate studies in this field,” said Kyra.
Kyra has been in Makassar, Indonesia over the last couple months trial monitoring the first case of alleged gross human rights violations to be tried in the Indonesian Human Rights Court, while simultaneously writing her honors thesis on the history of the court. Kyra has put her Bahasa Indonesian skills to the test participating in up to ten-hour long court sessions conducted entirely in Bahasa.
“The experience was challenging in many ways largely because I'm neither a lawyer nor a native Bahasa Indonesian speaker, but the language skills I acquired through CLS were instrumental in enabling me to trial monitor and publish subsequent reports in Bahasa,” said Kyra.
Kyra will pursue a MA degree in international law at SOAS University of London as well as a MSc degree in international and Asian history at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Through her studies she hopes to gain a better understanding of international law and the complex constellation of legal, political and social factors involved in trying human rights cases in Indonesia.
Kyra continued, “The bedrock of my passion for this work is how much I enjoy learning and speaking Bahasa Indonesian. My love of this language was cultivated and nurtured through the incredible teachers, language partners, and administrators at BIPA UM (who run the Bahasa Indonesia CLS Program). The teachers I had were not only effective teachers but taught in a way that was fun. Their continued support for my studies has been invaluable in my desire to continue learning Bahasa Indonesian and Indonesian history and culture.”
Sophie Bryant (Chinese 2020) was named a 2023 Rhodes Scholar, among 32 Scholars-Elect from the U.S. chosen from a pool of 840 endorsed applicants.
“My CLS experience increased my Mandarin proficiency to a point where I was comfortable navigating Chinese language sources and incorporating it into my professional research. In addition, my most recent experience with CLS Refresh at NCKU in Tainan prompted a greater cultural interest in Taiwan and added depth and subjectivity to my scholarly interaction with the region,” said Sophie.
Sophie is currently a senior at Columbia University studying East Asian languages and cultures and mathematics with a focus on U.S.-China relations. She plans to study in the Global and Area Studies M.Phil program at Oxford University.
Finally, out of the nearly 3,000 applicants, Pirawat Punyagupta (Persian 2020, Hindi 2022), Evan Tims (Bangla 2018, 2019), and Cole Walker (Chinese 2021) were named three of 151 individuals from 36 countries and 121 universities who will make up the Schwarzman Scholars Class of 2024.
They will enroll in August 2023, pursuing a one-year master’s degree in global affairs at Schwarzman College on the campus of Tsinghua University in Beijing.
“Although I participated in the CLS Chinese Program virtually, I still found the experience immersive and engaging. When I had the opportunity to spend the following summer after CLS in Taiwan, I reunited with one of my CLS classmates and my language partner for an in-person tour of our host institution National Cheng Kung University. These are the types of meaningful cross-cultural friendships that CLS can enable, and I look forward to gaining similar opportunities in Beijing as a Schwarzman Scholar,” said Cole Walker.
Congratulations to all of our alumni who were awarded prestigious scholarships in 2022! You continue to amaze us with your dedication to critical language learning and using your language and area studies knowledge to make the world a better and more equitable place.
The CLS team looks forward to seeing you continue to flourish in your academic and career pursuits. Best of luck with your graduate studies!