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Kyle Rosenblum ’20 Is Named University’s First Schwarzman Scholar
Kyle Rosenblum, a senior policy studies major in the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a Schwarzman Scholar. He is Syracuse University’s first Schwarzman Scholar.
Rosenblum, who is also student in the Renée Crown University Honors Program and a 2020 Class Marshal, was one of 145 scholars selected from more than 4,700 applicants from around the world. The Schwarzman Scholars Program was created in 2016 to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century. The program provides scholars the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and professional networks through a one-year master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Schwarzman Scholars are chosen on the basis of leadership potential, strength of character and academic ability.
Below, Rosenblum talks about receiving the scholarship.
Q: You are planning to embark on a career in developing and promoting international substance abuse policy. How do you believe your Schwarzman experience will help you prepare for that?
A: The Schwarzman Scholars Program aims to develop future leaders who understand the importance of strengthening China’s connection with the rest of the world in addressing global issues. In regards to substance abuse, collaboration between China and the United States is vital in cutting off trafficking routes and disrupting organized crime, particularly in Southeast Asia and South America.
Immersion into Chinese culture will provide me with a foundation of understanding that will allow me to facilitate these collaborations in my future professions—as China increasingly becomes a critical player in global affairs, this understanding is essential to address any global issue. But even aside from that, I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be surrounded by passionate people from all over the world, to learn from and with them, and to gain new friends and new connections that I hope will last a very long time.
Q: How did you become involved in the study of substance abuse and its effects?
A: My studies at Syracuse University have primarily been driven by my interest in health policy, and as such, I have geared my coursework to engage my passion around health policy. In the fall of my junior year, I enrolled in a class called Dynamics of Addiction in part to fulfill requirements for my health, education and human services concentration for my policy studies major. This course was my first introduction to studying addiction formally, and it eventually inspired me to pursue changes to Syracuse University’s own policies for alcohol and other drugs on campus. Working with University leaders who oversee these policies, I had an opportunity to understand firsthand how to formulate policies that address addiction properly and encourage rehabilitation.
Q: Why is there a need for international policy in regards to substance abuse?
A: Addiction is destructive—to individuals, to families and to entire communities. In the past few years, the opioid epidemic that has devastated rural communities and left hundreds of thousands of families to mourn loved ones has made headlines throughout the world. These communities are reeling from the effects.
Addiction is not an easy issue to address—its causes are many and the forms it can take are constantly evolving. One of the many contributors to the issue is illicit drug trafficking–which is a transnational issue that requires heightened collaboration between law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies across the world. And because the causes are so diverse and expansive, an approach that pools the resources and knowledge of countries working toward addressing the issue will make our efforts to treat and prevent addiction more successful.
Q: You have been very involved in the life of campus at Syracuse University, as vice president of Student Association and a member of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Sexual and Relationship Violence, among other activities. What have you learned from these experiences, and how will you use them to be an agent for positive change in the world?
A: One of the most rewarding parts of my college experience has been my extra-curricular involvement. From freshman year, the organizations I have been a part of have given me my best friends, mentors and a space to learn and to grow.
Being vice president of Student Association, specifically, was one of the hardest but most rewarding things I have ever done. In that role and in my role on the task force, I have grown dramatically. I learned how to advocate and how to work with stakeholders to implement programs and policies that will help the student body. I learned how to plan events, how to lead a large organization, how to change ideas into action. I learned how to be wrong and how to fail, how to learn from my own mistakes. Maybe most importantly, I learned how to lean on the incredible support system I had and continue to have around me. These experiences and these bonds I have formed have emboldened me to believe that I can make positive changes to the world, and have given me the tools to do so.
Q: How did you find out about the Schwarzman Scholars Program? What do you encourage fellow students to do if they are interested in this kind of opportunity?
A: I initially scheduled a meeting with Jolynn Parker from the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA) to talk about post-grad opportunities—and I actually went into the meeting not even having Schwarzman on my radar. I walked into the meeting with a list of opportunities I thought I would be interested in based on research but after listening to what I wanted to do with my future, Jolynn suggested looking into Schwarzman. She helped me set up a meeting with a regional admissions officer and invited me to an interest meeting that ultimately made me want to apply. The entire staff at CFSA is such an important resource for students interested in scholarships and fellowships. Meet with them, learn about what opportunities are out there, let them help guide you through the application process. It can be a stressful process, but there are people who are willing and eager to help you—just reach out.
Students interested in applying for national scholarships such as the Schwarzman Scholars Program should complete an “intent to apply” form with CFSA by the end of June 2020, and plan to work with CFSA.