Class of 2021

Ruilin Sang
Connie Chen
Nicole Cheng
Yixian Fu
Yuxin Lin
Runjie Pan
Yifan Shi
Runzhi Song
Manning Wu
Zhi'an Yin
Natalie Ying
Zhefan Zhang
Weihan Zhu

Ruilin (Lynn) Sang

Ruilin Sang

Shanghai Foreign Language School
HS Chau Foundation Scholar
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor Global Scholar
Notre Dame Scholar

I’m Ruilin “Lynn” Sang, a current junior majoring in English and Economics. At Notre Dame, I can always find myself pursuing my passions in academics and participating in a wide range of activities to help my personal growth.

Notre Dame has supported me tremendously in my academic pursuit. During the summer of my freshman year, I had the opportunity to participate in the highly immersive Summer London Program, where I studied Shakespeare and British history. My enthusiasm in literature has also led me to “The Juggler,” the oldest literature and art magazine on campus, where I worked on the selection committee. I especially enjoy reading the poetry submissions, for I might come across unique perspectives of people all across the campus. Currently, I’m also serving as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at NDIAS.

I’m actively engaged in service programs on and off campus. As a member of the Special Friends organization, I’m paired up with a teenage girl with special needs, with whom I’ve established a close bond through doing activities together. Besides, I often contribute my spring/fall breaks to social concerns seminar trips. For instance, I’ve volunteered at David School in Kentucky, and at the L’Arche community in D.C.

Apart from these, I actively participate in many on-campus student groups. I’m a member of the Department of Academic Affairs of the Student Government, where we plan academic related activities such as Major’s Night to improve the undergraduate academic experience. Since fall 2019, I have served as the Vice President for the English Club, where I mainly organize interesting events for undergraduate English majors, including readings, workshops and mentorship programs.

Feeling extremely grateful to everything I’ve come across so far, I’m especially thankful to the support and opportunities I received from Notre Dame. I will keep contributing to the ND community, and further my research goals.

Connie Chen

Connie Chen

Morrison Christian Academy, Taichung

Originally from Orange County, I graduated from Morrison Christian Academy in Taichung, Taiwan, and am a Junior majoring in Finance with a minor in Data Science.

In high school, I had the opportunity to travel to the Philippines, Malaysia, Guam, and Thailand to conduct mission trips and lead my team as captain in soccer tournaments. Through faculty mentorship, I helped establish the first campus co-op clothing store and assisted in planning managing the Gala Dinner for faculty and families, which raised $15k for school funds. I was also part of a Student Council team that restructured the High School constitution.

This year at Notre Dame, I am thrilled to continue bridging my passions for financial empowerment as the Chief Marketing Officer at JIFFI, a local 501c3 microfinance company. On campus, I am involved with SIBC, Notre Dame’s largest business club, in which I have traveled and spearheaded teams to analyze cases and present projects to various consulting and finance firms. Additionally, as an International Ambassador, I have had the privilege of bringing my personal experience as a third-culture kid and working as a peer mentor and cross-cultural leader to assist international students with their academic, cultural, and social adjustments to Notre Dame.

Outside the classroom, I keep myself busy with Club Boxing, co-rec sports, and independent research. In spring 2020, I am studying abroad in London - I’m incredibly excited to fully immerse myself in European culture and to explore all of the fascinating landmarks! Notre Dame is a place like no else---the everyday smiles that I see at breakfast, on the way to Debartolo Hall, or the short conversations that are held in my dorm--are the very things that make Notre Dame home. I cannot be more blessed and thankful to be here with all of my amazing peers. Go Irish!

Nicole Cheng

Nicole Cheng

Taipei American School, Taipei
Notre Dame Scholar

I am a junior double-majoring in Science-Business and Sociology. There is so much that I want to do and explore, and Notre Dame provides so many opportunities for me to find a balance between all that I love. In the past few years, I’ve grown in so many different ways, exploring a whole array of academic disciplines and activities, and challenging myself to take leadership positions.

In high school, I was captain of the varsity soccer and touch rugby team. Here at ND, I continue to participate in athletics. I am very committed to the Notre Dame women’s rugby team, which has really challenged and improved my leadership, time management, and teamwork skills.

Additionally, I have been keeping myself busy with other communities at ND. I am an NDIgnite student ambassador for prospective students, as well as an NCAA private tutor for student-athletes. Since cultivating spiritual growth has always been significant to me, I also help lead musical worship at Iron Sharpens Iron, an inter-denominational campus fellowship group.

I have interned in both Hong Kong and Singapore during the past two summers through ND’s Global Professional Experience, and discovered that learning about new, different cultures actually impacts my own self-understanding. This year, I joined the board of the Taiwanese Student Association as vice-president and hope to foster a welcoming community for incoming students, as well as promote and raise awareness of our unique and heritage.

These roles have allowed me to interact with so many different people– I have and will continue to gain lots of new perspectives and worldviews as I study abroad next semester in Copenhagen! I am so grateful for all the opportunities and resources ND has to offer, and for the guidance from God in helping me make my decisions.

With my undergraduate experience more than halfway done, I am excited to see what else is in store for me, and look forward to continue growing in all aspects of life.

Yixian Fu

Yixian Fu

Beijing No. 4 High School, Beijing

I double major in Applied and Computational Maths and Statistics (ACMS) and Piano Performance.

Biology and Healthcare have always interested me. During the summer before college, I represented China in the 2017 International Brain Bee Neuroscience Competition in conjunction with the American Psychological Association Convention in Washington D.C. Throughout the strenuous process of learning neuroscience, I marveled at the wonder of the brain itself and realized how problematic is our societal understanding of neurological diseases.

After a year of studying Biological Sciences at Notre Dame, I interned at United Foundation for China’s Health through the Global Professional Experience where I helped organizing cancer-screening trips. I witnessed the powerful leadership at work by directing the resources to places in need. During the past summer, I also interned at AnJie Law Firm working with the Antitrust Department. These different professions lead me to explore careers that I am truly passionate about outside the pre-medical track.

In my sophomore year, I took up the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) minor. Through this intellectually challenging curriculum, I aspire to develop an acute understanding of the society as a whole, including its political and economic aspects. I kept engaging in the music community and performed at the Open House of our new departmental building O’Neill Hall of Music. I joined Student International Business Council to complete a healthcare consulting project and also applied for Berlin semester Study Abroad, hoping to master the German language.

With all these different fields that I am involved in, I want to explore deeper via the opportunities Notre Dame provides. I hope to narrow down to a unique path where I can connect the dots and strive towards the values I hold dear.

Yuxin Lin

Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, Guangzhou

I am a junior majoring in mathematics and minoring in Japanese.

During high school, I spent most of my time solving math problems and exploring the wonderful and magical mathematical world . During the summer break before I came to Notre Dame, I participated in the Ross mathematics program at the Ohio State University, where I was excited and impressed by the beauty of number theory. Since then I have been hoping to learn more about number theory at Notre Dame.

During my two and a half years at Notre Dame, I had the opportunity to study intensively the algebraic number theory and other branches of math. In the summer after my freshman year, I returned to Ross as a junior counselor, and studied set theory, abstract algebra and algebraic number theory.

In the summer of 2019, I went to Uchicago REU and worked on projects related to number theory. That was the first time I was able to understand this deep and beautiful theorem that has haunted mathematicians for centuries. My expository paper on Chebotarev Density Theorem and the Riemann Hypothesis is posted on the Uchicago REU website.

I made my first attempt in original research during the Fall semester of my junior year. My boyfriend and I conducted research on numerical semigroup. We solved the problem and did quite a bit generalization. The Original research is different from what I have done in the past in that no one knows the answer, or whether there is an answer. On the other hand it is exciting, since we made original contributions to the math society. Our paper is submitted to a journal and we are waiting for the publication.

I appreciate the opportunities Notre Dame has offered to me. I will make the best use of the remaining one and a half years and learn as much math as I can. I plan to pursue Ph.D. studies in math upon graduation.

Runjie Pan

Runjie Pan

Chengdu No. 7 High School, Chengdu

My intended major at Notre Dame is ACMS (Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics).

In high school, my major achievements are the participation in the DI (Destination Imagination) competition and foundation of the ChanceProject. In 2014, my team won the champion and the special award in the Asia Pacific DI finals held in Beijing and made it to the Global Final held in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2015. ChanceProject is a charity-fund raising platform that help raise money for the Tibetan kids in poverty-stricken areas in Yushu, Qinghai. Our programs include supporting local schools by raising money for text books and auctions of local handcrafts made by students to buy the heating fuels for winter. Besides raising funds to meet their immediate needs, ChanceProject also functioned as an advertising platform to preserve and spread the beautiful Tibetan Culture. During this winter break, I’m coming back to Yushu to check the usage of our funds and what effect our efforts may have made.

For here at Notre Dame, I am still very much unsure about my exact major and minor. Though I’ve spent all the years in school so far learning Sciences, I am very interested in European history and photography. I am planning to participate in the study abroad program in Berlin this summer. Hopefully it will be rewarding.

Yifan (Ethan) Shi

Yifan Shi

Tianjin Foreign Language School

I am a junior majoring in Accountancy and Statistics. It is my great honor to study at the University of Notre Dame. The University offers me a wide range of academic and extracurricular choices.

During my freshman year, I took many classes in liberal arts, such as political science, sociology, and theology. Through these courses, I learned more about western culture and philosophy. During my sophomore year, I was actively involved in SIBC, a business club, while taking multiple Mendoza college requirement courses. I learned a lot from these introductory business classes which were very helpful in my professional exploration. All the classes I have taken at Notre Dame are intellectually challenging.

Outside the classroom, I serve as a referee in intramural soccer games on campus. With the support from the Greater China Scholars Program, I went to Jerusalem for a summer study abroad experience in 2018, where I took my second theology class. I’ve learned a lot academically and overall. In the summer after my junior year, I will be interning at EY in their audit group.

Having spent almost three years at Notre Dame, I am very grateful to the Greater China Scholars Program and the University for helping me grow into a better person. I am looking forward to more challenges and opportunities in the last three semesters of my college life. Go Irish!


Runzhi (Tom) Song

Runzhi Song

The Experimental High School Attaches to Beijing Normal University, Beijing

As a member of the Notre Dame class of 2021, I double major in business analytics and economics.

My first campus engagement at Notre Dame was to join SIBC (Student International Business Council). It has exposed me to broader finance, consulting, and technical sides of the businesses. Selected as a Travel Team leader and member and presenting to many different companies such as Booz Allen, West Monroe, and BCG fostered my analytical and communication skills, which enables me to generate proper strategies in various working environments with different complex problems. Besides, making the stock pitch of Lam Research Corporation at the Investment Club expanded my horizons and exposed me to many investment cases.

During the first year, I served as a tutor at the Robinson Learning Center near campus, where I taught the children English and math. I enjoyed my time with those lovely kids.

In the summer after my freshman year, I studied abroad in London for six weeks, taking philosophy and history courses. Over the past two summers, I interned in KPMG China and PwC China. Through my internship, I was able to develop my skills to analyze data, turn numerous numbers into concise summaries, and provide professional advice while cultivating a multifaceted approach to business analytics and consulting.

I look forward to continuing my academic and professional endeavors at Notre Dame and hope to gain more valuable experiences in various activities.

Manning Wu

Manning Wu

Shenzhen Middle School, Shenzhen

I am Manning Wu and I am a junior from Shenzhen, China. I currently live at Flaherty Hall and I am double majoring in Finance and ACMS.

During the summer before college, I participated in the Rome Global Gateway Seminar, where I went on site visits, attended lectures and seminar discussions on 17th-century English aristocrats in Rome, and studied the influence of the Grand Tour. I also participated in the Outward Bound Program in MN, enjoying the incredibly peaceful scenery and built a genuine little community within our group.

During the summer after my Freshman year, I interned at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which enabled me to see the connection between philanthropy and business. Dr. Yinuo Li is really an inspiring lady. In fall 2018, I participated in three SIBC finance projects, traveling to different companies’ headquarters in Chicago and presented proposals to their executives. During my sophomore summer, I interned at Fidelity in Boston, and I enjoyed my experience researching stocks in Human Capital Management software and China’s Internet Industries. I focused on fundamental research of equity, and we set up meetings with top managers of target companies. This experience has reinforced my interests in Tech-related investing, and I became more confident to stay in the US after graduation. On campus, I joined the Malpass Scholars Program and began my two-year internship at Notre Dame Investment Office. ND Investment Office is a mission-driven organization focusing on investing in social-beneficial companies and using the return to support the ND operation. The first semester I was assigned to the public equity team. During the past semester, I finished the equity research of two companies and built up a tech-industry portfolio. The mentor assigned to me helped me further explored the investing career path.

The University of Notre Dame has kept inspiring me to use my knowledge and experience to explore more possibilities to create value to communities; my past three-year experience at Notre Dame has also made me a more confident person believing that somehow, all the dots will connect me to my future.

Zhi'an Yin

Zhian Yin

High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao University, Shanghai

As a junior architecture student, I am very much impressed by the dedication of the School of Architecture in creating a classical-oriented environment, especially in an over-individualized society as the one we are living in today.

In high school, I spent a year in Germany, attending a school in Lower Saxony, where I gained knowledge about German language and its culture. In the meantime, I developed a stark interest in Philosophy and Mysticism, both of which later resulted in my choice of this very University and my minor in Philosophy.

At the University, I continue to search for opportunities to serve. Starting from the first semester of my freshmen year, I worked as a volunteer tutor at the Robinson Community Center, an institution established to help children from South Bend with their academic progress. During the summer of 2018, I participated in Notre Dame’s summer service learning program in Guizhou. That experience has taught me a very important lesson in my life, a lesson that had been felt upon me but not understood until recently: As human beings, our isolation is not only relational, but also existential. I am studying abroad in Rome for my junior, learning about historical buildings and the inspirations that they could give us today.

Natalie Ying

Nathalie Ying

Diocesan Girls' School, Hong Kong

It is my honor to be part of the warm and welcoming Greater China Scholars community.

As a junior majoring in political science and economics, I hope to gain professional knowledge in these fields throughout my years at Notre Dame. My ambition is to become a diplomat or work at the United Nations, and I am certain that the Notre Dame education can help shorten the distance between dreams and reality.

During the summer after my freshman year, I interned at a political party in Hong Kong for two months. I was able to witness the daily operations of the legislative body and its members, i.e. the politicians. I worked in the office of a renowned politician and witnessed how she examined legislative proposals put forth by the government, monitored and questioned the government’s work, engaged in political lobbying and orchestrated political campaigns. It was also through this internship that I further confirmed my passion for politics.

Notre Dame is the place that offers students countless opportunities to explore their passions. Outside of the classroom, I am involved in the Notre Dame Chorale, the place where I continue to enhance my passion in music. I am also a member of the International Scholars’ Program of the Kellogg Institute, where I work as a research assistant to Professor Victoria Hui in the Political Science Department on her research project about wars in Chinese history. For social services, I volunteer twice a week at the Robinson Learning Centre “homework help” program where I tutor kids first grade through sixth grade. It is certainly a joyful moment to witness young smiles blossom. I am also an international ambassador that works with ISSA on organizing the international student orientation at the beginning of each academic year and planning various events catered towards the international student body.

In the second semester of my junior year, I will be studying abroad in Japan to further explore the Japanese language. Though I am excited to be a lot closer to home, I am sure I will miss South Bend a lot!

The Notre Dame education has inspired me to continue to chase my dreams and eventually give back to the community. One day, I hope to help others achieve their goals just as Notre Dame is helping me achieve mine.

Zhefan (Laure) Zhang

Zhefan Zhang

WHBC of Wuhan Foreign Languages School

I double-major in Mathematics and Economics with a minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE).

Passionate about interdisciplinary studies, I constantly hope to combine my quantitative and qualitative skills in the analysis of public policies and socioeconomic inequalities. In high school, I once finished a research project studying the location-routing problems of obnoxious facilities in Hubei, China. Here at Notre Dame, I continued to participate in Professor Lisa Mueller’s project entitled “Political Conflict as a Catalyst of Reform: Comparative Protest Outcomes in Africa” as an undergraduate assistant of NDIAS in my sophomore year. In addition, in the past two years, I have volunteered as a desk coordinator at South Bend Center for the Homeless and a Take-Ten teacher at Juvenile Justice Center and McKinley Elementary School. I have also served as a member of the Student Programming Committee of the Snite Museum of Art, where I participate in the organization of student engaging programs.

Career-wise, I am interested in the financial services industry. In my freshman and sophomore years, I completed the Accounting Control and Big Data Analytics program at the University of Hong Kong and participated in the Venture Fundamentals Program offered by Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing. Last summer, I interned at the Foreign Direct Investment Team of Bank of Ireland through the Notre Dame Irish Internship Programme. During the 8-week internship, I counseled corporate clients and government entities including Reddit and Shenzhen Finance Bureau on investment plans and expansion strategies and met with other service providers from the Dublin region. This internship enriched my client-facing experiences and helped to grow my interest in consulting. This coming summer I will work at McKinsey Chicago office as a business analyst intern.

Weihan (Frank) Zhu

Weihan Zhu

Nanjing Foreign Language School, Nanjing

I am Weihan Zhu from Nanjing. My majors are Financial Economics and Applied Computational Mathematics and Statistics. I’d also like to minor in Computing & Digital Technologies. As a junior student, I am really impressed my department’s efforts to get students more exposure to real-life cases and opportunities.

I have been on the Student International Business Council for two years and actively involved in different projects with different investment banks and consulting firms. The SIBC experience inspired me to pursue a career in financial services industry. As a member of the Undergraduate Investment Club, I represented Notre Dame to compete at the 2018 UMichigan Stock Pitch Competition.

Following my passion in sports, I served as sports news editor for Observer and interacted with student athletes around campus, learning about their stories. I participated in the Sports and Social Concerns Seminar and had the opportunity of helping local communities in South Bend through organizing sports events. I really enjoyed the process of making the community a better place.

In the future, I want to pursue a career that can combine my interest in financial markets and technical skills.