Alumna Emily Vincent named 2018 Yenching Scholar

Author: Erin Blasko

Emily Vincent3 Feature

Emily Vincent, a 2018 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, will pursue a one-year master’s degree in China studies at the Yenching Academy of Peking University this fall as one of 114 Yenching Scholars.

Established in 2014, the Yenching Academy offers a specially designed, English-taught master’s degree program for students with strong academic backgrounds and broad curiosity that aims to push the study of China beyond the traditional boundaries of the humanities and social sciences.

The scholarship covers tuition, travel expenses, accommodations and the cost to live on Peking University’s campus in Beijing, the capital of China.

A Glynn Family Honors and Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, Vincent, a native of Morristown, New Jersey, graduated from Notre Dame in May with a degree in anthropology and Chinese and a minor in business economics.

Vincent previously visited China during high school as part of a service trip that included a visit to Chunmiao Little Flower, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that cares for abandoned babies with complex medical issues in Beijing.

It was there that she discovered the extent of China’s problem with orphaned and abandoned children — an experience that set her on a path to Notre Dame based on the University’s devotion to human solidarity and concern for the common good.

She returned to China and Chunmiao Little Flower as an undergraduate in 2015 with support from the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, and again in 2016 to study the effects of a new law that imposed stricter regulations on thousands of foreign NGOs in the country.

This is Notre Dame’s second year as a partner institution with the Yenching Academy, an arrangement that allows the University to nominate applicants for priority consideration for the program.

Vincent is Notre Dame’s fifth Yenching Scholar overall. The University has had at least one Yenching Scholar each of the past three years.

Vincent received the Liu Family Distinguished Achievement Award in Asian Studies at graduation in May.

"We congratulate Emily for this exceptional achievement, which is the culmination of the dedication she demonstrated as an undergraduate to understanding the contemporary situation of NGOs in China, especially those involved in child care,” said Jeffrey Thibert, the Paul and Maureen Stefanick Director of the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement at Notre Dame.

“The opportunities that students like Emily have to pursue meaningful, sustained international research have made the University of Notre Dame especially competitive in recent years for spots in the Yenching Academy, along with other major national fellowships,” Thibert said. “We are glad to have had the chance to work with Emily, who will use the Yenching experience to enhance her ability to do good in the world, and we look forward to working with more students who are looking to do the same.”

For more information on this and other fellowship opportunities, visit

Contact: Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127,

Originally published by Erin Blasko at on July 26, 2018.