December 8, 2020

Two Lewis Center students awarded Schwarzman Scholarships for study in Beijing

Princeton seniors and Lewis Center for the Arts certificate students Ilene E ’21 and Austin Mejia ’21 have been named Schwarzman Scholars. The Schwarzman Scholarship covers the cost of graduate study and living toward a one-year master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

The scholars will study economics and business, international studies, and public policy. Courses will be taught in English by professors from Tsinghua, as well as visiting scholars, beginning in August. The program was founded by Blackstone investment firm co-founder Stephen Schwarzman.

Ilene E ’21 of West Windsor, New Jersey, is a concentrator in computer science pursuing certificates in visual arts and applied mathematics. Through the program she will pursue her interest in film and animation.

“Most people view animation purely as a form of entertainment. I see it as a way to ignite cross-cultural empathy within the younger generation.”
— Ilene E ’21

While studying at Princeton, she has served as executive director and print designer for Princeton Student Design Agency, managing 30 designers. Her short film, Jane, was an official selection at the Princeton Independent Film Festival, and it received a Jury’s Choice Award at the New Jersey Young Filmmakers’ Festival. Another animated short, Home, received honorable mention for animation at the New Jersey Young Filmmakers’ Festival and won the Princeton University UCHV Short Movie Prize.

简 | Jane (2020), by Ilene E. A short film on being proud to be Chinese American.

Austin Mejia ’21, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is completing an independent concentration in computer science and public policy, along with certificates in dance, entrepreneurship, and information technology and policy. He is a past recipient of the Peter B. Lewis Award from the Lewis Center for the Arts. He plans to use his Schwarzman Scholarship to explore how the climate crisis can be addressed through global policy, technology and entrepreneurship.

This year, 154 scholars were selected from around the world from more than 3,600 applicants. Two other Princeton students, Arjun Sai Krishnan ’21 and Karthik Ramesh ’21, were also named in this year’s cohort.

Read more about the Schwarzman Scholars in the feature article by Denise Valenti for Princeton University news.


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