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Naomi Aladekoba Named Schwarzman Scholar

Naomi Aladekoba Named Schwarzman Scholar

Naomi Aladekoba, C’2023, was recently named to the eighth cohort of Schwarzman Scholars. The 151 candidates, selected from 36 countries and 121 universities around the world, will receive 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 in Beijing, China. 

Aladekoba is senior international studies major concentrating in international development and minoring in Spanish and Asian Studies. Before taking a gap year, the Maryland native participated in the Spelman-George Washington East Asia Professional Development Program and was president of the Chinese Culture Club. She later participated in the MIT Summer Research Program where she worked in the political science department researching China’s Belt and Road Initiative. 

During her gap year, Aladekoba began interning at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington, D.C. in the GeoEconomics Center.  She now she consults on the GeoEconomics Center Bretton Woods 2.0 which aims to reimagine our international system by reforming institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. She researches, writes and visualizes data for this project, and has developed an undergraduate summer program to provide research and mentorship opportunities to students of underrepresented backgrounds interesting in international affairs and global economic governance.

Aladekoba currently works as a research assistant in the political science department at MIT looking at US-China relations as it relates to trade, technology and the question of Taiwan. In the future, she hopes to work in international development where she can partner with different communities around the world to foster sustainable solutions to the most pressing global issues. 

In Her Own Words: Aladekoba’s Asian Studies Experience at Spelman 

“Reflecting on my time at Spelman, I can say that minoring in Asian Studies has been a core part of my undergraduate experience. I developed a passion for studying Chinese and through courses like Intro to Asian Studies and Understanding Modern China, I have been able explore my interest in China’s role in our international system,” said Aladekoba.

“I formed relationships with professors who encouraged me to pursue opportunities in this field.”

Next fall as I head to China to obtain a master’s in Global Affairs as a Schwarzman Scholar, I could not have done it without this program as it has cultivated my interests and prepared me this next chapter of my life. Thank you so much.”

Schwarzman Scholars were selected through a rigorous application process designed to identify leadership potential, intellect, and strength of character. Over 400 candidates from 60 countries were invited to interview with panels of CEOs, government officials, university presidents, journalists, and non-profit executives, among others.

Large Blue Quote LeftAs someone who believes in the importance of global collaboration to address challenges that transcend borders and is interested in China’s role in our international system, Schwarzman is an amazing opportunity to learn about these issues with a cohort of young individuals passionate about global change. I can't wait to start the next chapter of my life in Beijing, and I'm so grateful to the Spelman community for supporting me throughout my undergraduate experience, informing me about this opportunity, and helping be during the entire process."


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