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SU Rhodes Scholar earns Soros Fellowship
Grace Yu ’01, the second SU student to be named as a Rhodes Scholar, has won another major honor: she has been named a Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellow for 2004. She is one of 30 recipients who will receive a stipend of as much as $20,000 and half tuition for as much as two years of graduate study in the United States. Yu is an aspiring director and cinematographer who hopes to use the fellowship to attend New York University’s graduate film and television program.
Yu graduated summa cum laude with a degree in political science and history from The College of Arts and Sciences. She is currently a second-year Rhodes Scholar, pursuing work toward a master’s degree in religion and a diploma in theology at Oxford University.
Now 24, Yu was born in Los Angeles to parents of Korean descent. Her family now lives in Montrose, Calif. As a college sophomore, she was presented with the opportunity to serve as an intern with the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in the White House. A chance demonstration of her familiarity with modern Chinese history and trade issues led to her hiring as a special assistant in the office, where, “at the age of 20 – [I] found myself coordinating and contributing to issue briefings on White House initiatives from US-China trade relations to enterprise communities and empowerment zones,” Yu says.
After her final semester at SU, Yu served as research fellow at Japan’s Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, where she was published in the Matsushita Journal. She is an award-winning photographer and the producer and writer of a short film on Vincenzo Gonzaga. She is now intent on a career in filmmaking, “as an intersection of my journalistic impulses, verve for learning and reverence for the narrative form,” she says.
In 2001, Yu was named a University Scholar, the highest honor given to SU undergraduates. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key. She received the James F. Reynolds Award for political science undergraduate research in 1999 and 2000. She was a research assistant to Grant Reeher, associate professor in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and The College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a member of the University Senate’s Academic Affairs Committee and a member of the Student Government Association.
Warren Ilchman, director of the fellowship program, says, “Grace truly exemplifies the kind of creative, multitalented and extraordinarily accomplished New American that Paul and Daisy Soros want to honor and support through this program.”
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships are in their seventh year of operation. Almost 1,000 applicants who are naturalized citizens, resident aliens or the children of naturalized citizens applied this year. They represented 141 countries of national origin and came from 360 colleges and universities. The 30 fellows were selected from 84 finalists.