Date December 3, 2018
Media Contact

Brown senior wins Schwarzman Scholarship to study at Tsinghua

An impressive resume of journalistic pursuits, including stories published in the New York Times, earned Katrina Northrop the award to pursue a master’s degree at one of China’s most acclaimed universities.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Katrina Northrop, a Brown University senior concentrating in development studies, has been named a Schwarzman Scholar.

The scholarship, founded in 2016, is modeled on the Rhodes Scholarship and provides full funding for students to pursue a one-year master’s degree in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities. Northrop is one of 147 Schwarzman scholars who were selected from more than 2,800 applicants from across the globe.

Within her concentration at Brown, Northrop has pursued an in-depth study of China. A fluent Mandarin speaker, she has spent multiple summers in Chinese cities, deepening her knowledge of the language as well as interning for the Beijing bureau of the New York Times. There, she says she contributed to reporting for several front-page stories and wrote one article under her own byline. That story ultimately inspired her senior thesis, which focuses on the interplay of ethnic relations and nationalism within the Hanfu movement — a fashion-focused social movement in China.

Northrop says she aims to use her master’s degree to inform a future career as a China-based journalist.

"I feel honored to have been selected as a Schwarzman Scholar, and I am very excited about the opportunity to deepen my knowledge about China alongside a group of outstanding peers,” the Brooklyn, New York, native said.

At Brown, Northrop has served as an editor for the Brown Political Review and the managing editor for the College Hill Independent. Recently, she was part of a team of students who worked with Tracy Breton, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who is a visiting professor at Brown, to investigate elder abuse in Rhode Island. Their effort resulted in a series of stories published over nine days in the Providence Journal.

“Katrina’s impressive resume of journalistic pursuits both on campus and with local and national media outlets, her poise under pressure, and her fluency in Mandarin make her a natural fit for this leadership award to study global affairs in Beijing,” said Christopher Carr, who oversees the Schwarzman application process in Brown’s Dean of the College office. “Katrina's extraordinary drive to infuse her reporting with the cultural context and nuance provided by individual voices affected by political, economic and social issues in China undoubtedly made her stand out in this competition.”

The Schwarzman Scholars program is designed to create a growing network of international leaders with a deep understanding of China’s global role in politics, business and science. Its scholars, who come from universities across the globe, live and study together as they pursue degrees at Tsinghua, concentrating in either public policy, economics and business or international studies.

“We are thrilled to have another cohort of outstanding young people from around the world,” said Xue Lan, dean of Schwarzman Scholars, in a news release announcing this year’s winners. “We look forward to bringing these exceptional minds to Tsinghua and Schwarzman College to explore, debate and discover the future direction of our global community.”

Outside of the classroom at Brown, Northrop was also captain of the varsity squash team. She will begin her graduate studies at Tsinghua in Fall 2019.