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Sreya Vangara Of MIT Named Schwarzman Scholar

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Sreya Vangara of MIT is one of the recipients of the 2022-23 Schwarzman Scholarships. She will head to Tsinghua University in Beijing next August to pursue a one-year master’s degree in global affairs. The students will also receive leadership training, career development, and opportunities to gain a greater understanding of China’s role in the world.

The Schwarzman Scholars program aims to build a network of young leaders and encourage them to explore and understand the economic, political, and cultural factors that have contributed to China’s increasing importance as a global power. Scholars are selected on the basis of leadership potential, intellect, and strength of character. This year, 151 Schwarzman Scholars were selected from 33 countries and nearly 3,000 applicants. Since the program’s inception in 2015, 29 MIT students and alumni have been named Schwarzman Scholars.

MIT’s Schwarzman Scholar applicants received guidance from the distinguished fellowships team in Career Advising and Professional Development, with additional mentorship from the Presidential Committee on Distinguished Fellowships. Kim Benard, assistant dean of distinguished fellowships, says, “These students represent the new types of leaders we need to solve our world's problems: They combine technical expertise with active service and advocacy. The Presidential Committee for Distinguished Fellowships and I could not be more proud to send this impressive contingent of scholars to China.”

Sreya Vangara from Germantown, Maryland, will graduate in May with double majors in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering and computer science. She has conducted research to elevate underprivileged communities through global clean water collaborations in Madagascar and with the Navajo Nation, and has worked on low-cost nuclear reactor designs with Princeton University. Vangara supports sustainable innovation through grassroots educational initiatives, and has taught STEM in Kazakhstan, Mexico, and Hong Kong through MIT Global Teaching Labs. Vangara advocates for collegiate disability rights as co-director of the national nonprofit Synapse, and spearheads accessibility policy on MIT's campus.

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