Class of 2021

Ruilin Sang
Connie Chen
Nicole Cheng
Yixian Fu
Yuxin Lin
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 am a current ND sophomore majoring in English and economics. At Notre Dame, I can always find myself pursuing my passion in academics, while participating in a wide range of activities to help my personal growth. At Notre Dame, I can always find people sharing my passions and opportunities that broaden my horizons.

Talking about my academic experience at ND, I am very glad to have had the chance to explore different disciplines throughout my first year. Since I am interested in literature, I participated in the highly immersive Summer London Program this past summer, where I took courses about Shakespeare and British history and explored the city’s rich culture. 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 poems submitted, and feel a kind of genuine excitement when I try to understand the messages of the authors.

I have also participated in ND’s service programs. I am a member of the Special Friends organization, where I have been paired up with a special needs girl of my age. I am so glad to have established a close bond with her and her family, as her cheerfulness always makes me feel enthusiastic about life. I also participated in the Appalachia Seminars through the Center for Social Concerns during the spring break of my freshman year. I went to the David School in David, KY, where I mainly tutored the under-privileged students there. On campus, I am a peer tutor at CSLC, where I tutor in Chinese.

Apart from social work, I am currently a member of the Department of Academic Affairs in the Student Government, where I have planned academic related activities with other members to enhance interaction between students and faculty. Additionally, I am on the board of CSSA, where we mainly organize events for Chinese students.

Feeling extremely grateful to everything I have come across so far, I am especially thankful to all the support and opportunities I received from Notre Dame. In the next few years, I will keep making my contributions to the ND community, and decide on my research passions.

Connie Chen

Connie Chen

Morrison Christian Academy, Taichung

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

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 bringing my passions for financial empowerment as a Community Relations associate on 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. 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 sophomore 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 year, I have had a chance to grow in so many different ways, by exploring various 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 both secretary and player on the women’s rugby team, and athletic commissioner for my dorm (Ryan Hall). Both roles have helped me develop new leadership and personal skills. Our rugby team even made it to the college playoffs this year!

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

Finally, I interned in Hong Kong over the summer through ND’s Global Professional Experience Program and discovered how much my culture and heritage influences my self-understanding. Thus, this year I joined the Taiwanese Student Association and co-founded the Hong Kong Student Association to learn more about my own background and cultural identity. All of these roles have allowed me to interact with different people, gaining lots of various perspectives and new understandings of the world and myself. 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 almost halfway done, I am excited to see what else is in store for me, and 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 our societal understanding of neurological diseases is.

After a year of studying Biological Sciences at Notre Dame, I interned at United Foundation for China’s Health through the Global Professional Experience Program where I helped organiz cancer-screening trips. I witnessed 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 continue 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 sophomore 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 three semesters 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. I am very fortunate to receive help and advice from the upperclassmen in my department regarding my academic and professional paths. One year ago I said I wanted to be a math researcher in the future. Now with the help of professors and fellow students, I feel that my future becomes more clear and approachable.

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

Yifan (Ethan) Shi

Yifan Shi

Tianjin Foreign Language School

I am a sophomore intending to major in accountancy and ACMS. Through my freshman year, I took many classes in liberal arts, such as political science, sociology, and theology to fulfill the university requirements. By taking these courses, I learned more about the western cultures and philosophy.

It is my great honor to study at the University of Notre Dame. The University offers me a wide range of academic choices and clubs. There are several institutions which help me get involved in campus life. I participated in the Student International Business Council. I have become a referee in intramural soccer games on campus. All the classes I have taken so far are intellectually challenging. I also went to Jerusalem to study abroad in summer 2018, where I took my second theology class. I am very grateful to the Greater China Scholars Program for sponsoring this precious summer experience.


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 plan to major in business analytics and minor in entrepreneurship.

My first campus engagement at Notre Dame was to join SIBC (Student International Business Council). It has exposed me to a broader finance, consulting, and technical side of business. Selected as a Travel Team member and presenting to many different companies such as Baird, PwC, A&M, Accenture, and Microsoft fostered my analytical and communication skills, which enables me to generate proper strategies in various working environments with different complex problems. In addition, making the stock pitch of Lam Research Corporation at the Investment Club expanded my horizons and exposed me to many investment cases.

During my first semester, I served as a tutor at the Robinson Learning Center near campus, where I taught 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. I also did a summer internship at KPMG China for a month. 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 a Flaherty Bear double majoring in finance and ACMS.

In high school, I participated in the Pioneer Academic Program of Hamilton College, in which I studied graph theory and independently wrote an undergraduate-level research paper titled: Heuristic and Mathematical Programming-based Algorithm for the Guangdong Wind Farm Supply Network. I also went to the Research Science Initiative at Tsinghua University (RSI), using Bayesian Network on machine learning to write a research paper.

During the summer before college, I participated in the Rome Global Gateway Seminar, where I went on site visits, had 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.

I look forward to my summer internship at Fidelity in Boston after my sophomore year.

Zhi'an Yin

Zhian Yin

High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao University, Shanghai

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

In high school, I spent a year in Germany as an exchange student. I attended Gymnasium Hankensbuettel in Lower Saxony, where I gained extensive knowledge about German language and its culture, also having participated in a series of events that are intended to help the refugees in Germany at the time. In comparison, my high school years in Shanghai was rather uneventful. Despite the mundane business I was required to attend, 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 have 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 past summer, I participated in a summer service learning program that is organized by the University. The program was located in Guizhou, and my experience there taught me a very important lesson in my life, a lesson that was felt upon but not understood until recently: As human beings, our isolation is not only relational, but also existential, and we have to make peace with it!

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 sophomore 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 - New People’s Party. 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.

In high school, I was the captain of the field hockey team, a member of the choir, and the prefects’ board. I spent most of my time on activities instead of putting all my efforts into academic pursuits. Through my high school years, I realized it was important to maintain a life full of diversity. Notre Dame is exactly the place that offers students countless opportunities to explore their passions.

Outside of the classroom, I am involved in the Notre Dame Chorale and field hockey club. These are the places where I continue to enhance my passion in music and sports. 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 on her research project about wars in Chinese history. This research project surprisingly combines several fields of my interest: politics, Chinese history and literature. 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. Even though learning is a big part of the Notre Dame education, there are other countless opportunities lying around campus, awaiting our discovery.

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 Zhang

Zhefan Zhang

Wuhan Foreign Language School

I double-major in ACMS and economics and minor in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE). The minor allows me to explore my deep interest in the topic of social justice and equal distribution of primary goods.

Driven by an intention to advance my 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 continue 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.

Last semester, I volunteered as the desk coordinator at South Bend Center for the Homeless, where I was able to interact with the local community by tracking donations and streaming the routines. This year, I serve as a member of the Student Programming Committee of the Snite Museum of Art. I will participate in the design and execution of student engaging programs. I am also trying to explore the financial services industry from the perspective of a non-business student. Last summer, in order to expand my horizons in business analytics, I completed the Accounting Control and Big Data Analytics program at the University of Hong Kong.

Currently I am actively participating in different SIBC projects in both Finance and Consulting divisions and the Venture Fundamentals Program offered by Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing.

Weihan (Frank) Zhu

Weihan Zhu

Nanjing Foreign Language School, Nanjing

My intended majors are finance and applied computational mathematics and statistics. I’d also like to minor in computing & digital technologies.

I have been on the Student international Business Council for three semesters and successfully became one of the travel team members in Robert Baird’s merger and acquisition project. I learned a lot from this project about the finance field, which encouraged me to pursue a career in financial services industry. As a member of the undergraduate Investment Club, I made one stock pitch to the club and competed at the 2018 UMich stock pitch competition.

Following my passion in sports, I served as sports news editor for the 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.