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Spelman College Students Selected for the 2023-2024 Class of Schwarzman Scholars Share a Spelman College Press Release

ATLANTA – Two Spelman College students have been selected as Schwarzman Scholars, one of the world’s most prestigious graduate fellowships. Naomi Aladekoba, C’2023, and Sophia Bax-Wooten, C’2023, were among 151 candidates selected for the 2023-2024 Class of Schwarzman Scholars. The program’s eighth cohort includes participants from 36 countries and 121 universities around the world.

"Applying for prestigious awards, like this one, provides our students with an opportunity to sharpen their ideas about what matters to them,” said Michelle Hite, Ph.D., Spelman College associate professor of English and co-director of the Prestigious International Fellowships program. “We're grateful that the jury agreed with our impressions of their candidacy, and we're very happy that Naomi and Sophia will experience the immediacy of the Spelman sisterhood in one another, in China."

Located in Beijing, China, students have the opportunity to study in a one-year, fully-funded master’s degree program in Global Affairs at Schwarzman College on the campus of Tsinghua University. The program’s core curriculum is focused on three pillars: Leadership, Global Affairs and China. Beyond the classroom, Scholars will gain exceptional exposure to China through internships, mentors and high-profile speakers. Additionally, career development resources are provided to help Scholars lead in various fields upon graduation.

“I am excited by the eighth cohort’s potential,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Founding Trustee of Schwarzman Scholars. “As the geopolitical landscape grows more complex each day, I am inspired by this year’s selected Scholars and their readiness to engage thoughtfully with global issues and drive change. We are confident that this inspiring cohort of young leaders will make the most of this unique opportunity.”

The Schwarzman Scholars Class of 2024 will be enrolled in August 2023. Learn more at

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About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by the U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 5 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 16th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal has ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and collaborations have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones.

To learn more, please visit and @spelmancollege on social media.

About Schwarzman Scholars
Schwarzman Scholars is a one year fully-funded Master’s program in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. As the first scholarship of its kind created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century, Schwarzman Scholars aspires to build a global network of young leaders that are prepared to confront the pressing challenges facing the world.

Each year, up to 200 candidates are chosen for this highly selective program. Scholars are selected based on their leadership qualities and the potential to understand and bridge cultural and political differences. They live in Beijing for a year of intensive study, honing leadership skills through a curriculum designed and taught by leading academics from internationally ranked institutions.

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