Class of 2023

Bingyu (Lily) Deng
Weike (Colin) Fang
Hanjing (Sylvia) Zhu
Ryan Chao-Wei Lin
Ruoheng (Ron) Cheng
Xinqi (Kayle) Liao
Jingyao Shan
Tiantian Wei
Jiani (Jenny) Xia

 

Bingyu (Lily) Deng

High School Affiliated to Fudan University, Shanghai
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor Global Scholar
Frank Reilly Scholar
Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar

I intend to major in finance and ACMS (Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics) at Notre Dame. In high school, I founded a student-led charity organization DreamBuilder, which aims to provide children in isolated villages in China with opportunities to see the outside world. We raised 3,000 dollars, acquired 10 used computers for the school, and initiated “Project Snapshot” to show the school children what modern facilities and city life look like through photos and videos.

At Notre Dame, I am involved in various academic, leadership and extracurricular activities. Since singing is my strongest passion, I joined Chorale, the official student chorus on campus and performed on the fall concert in November. I also attended SIBC (Student International Business Council) to explore my interest in business. During the fall semester, I participated in consulting and finance projects with Boston Consulting Group and Morgan Stanley and presented at their headquarters in Chicago and New York. Through working with companies on real projects, I gained a deeper understanding of my professional pursuit in the future. As a member of the Student Empowerment department in the Student Government, I work on empowering international students by reviewing and improving policies and organizing events.

During the summer following my freshman year, I will be doing a 8-week service microfinance project, providing financial support to lower-income entrepreneurs. In the next several years at Notre Dame, I hope I can dive deeper into my academic field, explore the world, and make positive impacts to people in need.

Weike (Colin) Fang

Weike Colin Fang

Shenzhen Senior High School, Shenzhen
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor Global Scholar

I am a first-year zahmbie living in Zahm HOUSE. I intend to major in Honors Mathematics with Computer Science concentration and an Actuary minor.

In high school, I co-founded a non-profit organization called Jiayong Health Industry and served as the Head of the Charity Division. Starting as volunteer teachers, we sought ways to help Tibetans through selling local products supplied by parents of our students and dedicating the proceeds of sales to fund the continued education of over 60 children. In addition, we established Mila’s House for 17 children with a full-time caretaker and sponsored the cleft palate surgery for two others. Academically, I interned at Quanten Technologies company and participated in research experiments and MATLAB simulations for a multiphase motor algorithm for forklifts, eventually publishing an academic paper in Telecom Power Technologies. As the leader of my high school math team, I led the team to participate in several international math competitions, in addition to organizing math puzzle events for the student body.

At Notre Dame, I have taken part in a myriad of clubs or organizations to expand my academic and extracurricular interests. I joined the Math Club and have had several great discussions with my fellow mathematicians through fun events such as Honors Math mixer. To continue my interest in music and hone my skills in piano performance, I joined the Pasquerilla East Musical Company and served as the Music Director for the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, in which I played the piano for auditions, helped conduct rehearsals, and assisted with music-related parts. I also took part in several service projects for the South Bend community, such as helping my dorm organize the annual Halloween party for kids with chronic diseases and disabilities in South Bend and conducting a literacy project at a local elementary school. Through involvement with the local community, I hope to develop more skills in volunteering to serve more significant causes in the world.

In the future, I plan to conduct Math research through Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs) in the Math department to be involved in more advanced Mathematics and develop my skills in research. In addition, I hope to work for different companies and organizations to apply what I learn in class to real life. I also wish to explore the world and participate in service projects through various programs at Notre Dame, preparing myself to leave an indelible mark in the world in the future.

Hanjing (Sylvia) Zhu

Sylvia Zhu

St. Joseph’s Institution International, Singapore
Our Lady of Perpetual Succor Global Scholar

I am a first year student studying Computer Science. My passion for environmental protection and service learning developed from the highlights of my high school journey. I was nominated as the Secretary of Environment in the Student Council and a member of the Service Council. As the Secretary of Environment, I worked with school faculties to change the school cafeteria into a “plastic free” environment. With a willing to garner school spirit, I founded Operation Green, led 40+ Grade 7 and 8 students and organized several whole-school projects. As a member of the Service Council, I worked with other 9 councillors to oversee and organize 50+ school service events annually. In the President’s Challenge, we raised $10K+ SGD (about 7.3K USD) and received recognition by Singapore’s president Dr. Tony Tan.

Outside of the classroom, I was also actively involved in service organizations in the local Singaporean community. As a running guide in Running Hour, I motivated and ran alongside visually-impaired and intellectually challenged runners weekly, helping them prepare for 5K color runs, half or full marathons. I was also a horse leader in RDA (Riding for Disabled Association), where I led horses and conducted therapeutic riding to disabled children with down syndrome and autism.

Here at Notre Dame, I attend SIBC (Student International Business Council) and am doing a STEM Project, where we design mobile app for hospitals and will present to Deloitte in Chicago. I am also involved in the Robotic Football Club and being a member in the Pit Crew, where we identify and fix problems for robots.

Taking Philosophy class in Notre Dame propels my interests in Philosophy and makes me want to explore more, so I want to minor in Philosophy. I am also eager to learn more computer programming languages to prepare myself with hard skills that I can adopt in Environmental protection in the future.

Ryan Chao-Wei Lin

Ryan Lin

Taipei American School
William Sexton Scholar

I am a first-year student living in Keenan Hall. I am currently an undeclared major, although I plan on pursuing film in the FTT Program, and possibly a double major in Spanish and/or Sustainability.

In high school, I was an avid participant in the arts. I played violin/viola in the Honors Orchestra for all four years. I did independent filmmaking for school-wide pep rallies and personal projects. I was also selected all four years for the AMIS Music Festival for international schools world-wide, performing in Doha, Luxembourg, Singapore, and Salzburg. In my senior year of high school, I decided to pick up dance, and ended up being selected for a lead role in the production as well as being placed in the Varsity Dance team. I was selected as the Publicity Head for the Spanish Honor Society, where I gladly took the job of photographer and social media manager, working with other officers and teacher-sponsors. I was also a New Student Ambassador for Reach Out, a teacher-selected club on campus that helped new students transition into high school. Joining Reach Out has inspired me to do something similar here, like helping applicants by being a campus tour guide.

Here at Notre Dame, I am grateful to have found a lovely group of friends within the Chinese international community, to whom my experience would not be the same without. On campus, I am a part-time barista at Hagerty Family Cafe. This opportunity has allowed me to interact with individuals of diverse ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, and has also given me a place to appreciate everyday culinary practices as art.

I am also passionate about saving the environment and bringing justice to the climate crisis negated by current leaders. On campus, I am committed to reducing waste and minimizing my carbon footprint. However, I hope to find or create a platform to raise this same sensitivity within the school community.

In the next four years at Notre Dame, I hope to spend at least a semester in Toledo, Spain to enrich my Spanish-speaking skills through immersion. I also plan to spend time in London and Santiago, Chile. I look forward to spending at least part of my formative years immersed in a culture where the most pressing sociopolitical and environmental concerns are actively addressed, not relegated to the occasional campus activity; I also want to learn to truly live with people, not merely subscribe to imposed heteronormative, sex-discriminatory cultures.

Ruoheng (Ron) Cheng

Ruoheng Cheng

Nanjing Foreign Language School, Nanjing

Prior to joining the Big Red Dillon community at Notre Dame, I spent my high school years in Nanjing Foreign Language School, where I served in the student government for two years. Through leadership and interdepartmental collaboration, I acted as an agent for change on and beyond the NFLS campus. In school, I was elected as Chair of the Honor Committee and pushed for democratic disciplinary work. During the presidency of NFLS Student Council in the following year, I promoted students’ democratic participation in school affairs, financed student council budget by selling school-themed souvenirs, and coordinated social service programs to serve the neighboring local communities. Those experiences have become great assets to my subsequent work in the executive committee of Jiangsu Students’ Federation Congress.

I became interested in the well-being of the public, especially in the section of Chinese rural economics, with a two-year research partnership with Jiangsu Academy of Social Sciences, examining ongoing government poverty relief programs and looking for practical, sustainable solutions. While developing grassroots entrepreneurship with Alibaba’s rural development program, I realized the power of market-driven empowerment and how individual incentives outperformed one-size-fits-all policies.

Carrying this interest to Notre Dame, I now major in Economics and am actively engaged in several business projects focusing on strategic recommendations to companies facing declining sales. I enjoy playing with the economic nuances and discussing policymaking with my professor. It has always been a wonder to behold that the road to hell, in the sense of economics, is paved with good intentions. In the future, I would like to study more tools in economics which can be employed to more complicated research field and tell stories from a bewildering array of statistics. Outside the classroom, I am also a proud Glee Club tenor. During the fall concert, we performed some of the classical German and French songs, of which, awkwardly, I barely knew the meaning. Perhaps such is the Notre Dame experience -- passionate, courageous, uncertain, yet determined. Go Irish!

Xinqi (Kayle) Liao

Kayle Liao

United World College Changshu China

I am a proud freshman pyro living in Pasquerilla East Hall. I intend to major in International Economics with a German concentration and a minor in Journalism.

International affairs and peace-making have always intrigued me, which was the reason I attended UWC with students from more than a hundred countries around the world. There, I lived and studied with people of diverse backgrounds and opinions which fostered my understanding of cultural diversity and embrace towards differences. In high school, I chaired Model UN conferences, founded a club aiming to improve people’s public speaking skills and used theatre to voice feminism and people with special needs.

The experience in UWC only led to my passion in serving for the common good coming to Notre Dame. I went on the Appalachia seminar the past fall break in Virginia, repairing houses for the local households and establishing friendship with the local community. I am teaching a weekly Jazz class at Transpose, a student dance club at ND. I led and performed in a dance piece in 2019 Asian Allure. Academically, I’m a research assistant on political science Professor Karrie Koesel’s Gaokao project, helping with translations and deciphering the patterns of Gaokao politics exams.

I enjoy interacting with different people and learning the stories of them, which led me to write for The Observer, the student newspaper and Scholastic, the student magazine. I have published five articles on the newspaper and one story in the magazine. In the future, I look forward to voicing ethics and democracy and empowering the under-priviledged in my writing. I’ve been participating in Model UN for five years and I served as a Specialized Committees Staff on the NDMUN IV conference in December. Helping high school attendees to develop a sense of global citizenship and critical thinking in the web of global affairs is a very rewarding experience for me .

Jingyao Shan

Jingyao Shan

Harbin No.3 High School

I intend to major in Philosophy or PLS (Program of Liberal Studies) and a second major in Economics or Global Affairs.

In high school, I served as a leading role in both school’s debate club and mock trial club. I was also the school’s captain for United States Academic Decathlon competition and led 27 members across two campuses, In my spare time, I enjoy reading, especially global classics. Driven by my passion, I founded the Great Books Reading Club. The experience of reading critically and engaging in discussions on fundamental human questions with my peers in the club further determined my interests in humanity. Aiming to promote critical thinking and provide a pathway of accessing to global civilizations at a larger scale, I organized the EupteLead Youth Empowerment--a program that offers K-12 textbooks and question-driven English courses to underprivileged pupils. Till now, our program has been carried out in four elementary schools among more than 800 students.

I find my life at Notre Dame challenging but rewarding. In the classroom, I’m fascinated with exploring what justice is by practicing philosophical inquiries and catching a glimpse of global issues. I’m involved in a political philosophy discussion group. Given plenty of opportunities on global studies in Notre Dame, I actively participate in panel talks, roundtable discussions, and student organizations in Keough School. Outside the classroom, I try to narrow down the abstract concepts of justice and apply them in bettering the Notre Dame community and a broader global community. The one-week service in Appalachia during the fall break also empowered me to advance in academic explorations in poverty, human rights, and development.

My first semester at Notre Dame doesn’t provide a solid answer to my question on justice, nor did I expect it to. However, it helps me to formulate better questions concerning key aspects of human life. I hope to delve deeper into humanity study and identify a focused academic field in the next couple of semesters.

Tiantian Wei

Tiantian Wei

Nanjing Foreign Language School, Nanjing

I am currently a freshman majoring in Mathematics and intend to have a minor in data science. Back in high school, I participated in many STEM activities. Spending two years in our school’s Young physicists’ Tournament team, I grew up from a girl with no experience in Physics Olympiad to one of the most senior members. As a robotics designer of FRC Team 5839, I worked with six other designers on the team to design a robot capable of grabbing and delivering cubes and using mechanical arms to lift itself. At the same time, I led many outreaching projects of the robotics community. We received sponsorships totaling $4,500 from Ford, Dassault Systems, and Sanze Technology, to help developing high school SolidWorks curriculum, and mentoring 10 FIRST Tech Competition teams in Jiangsu. I also enjoyed my time in our school’s badminton varsity and won quarter-finalist in 2018 Jiangsu tournament.

At the beginning of my freshman year, I was amazed by all the exciting opportunities for academic exploration, cultural immersion, and service that Notre Dame offers. Aiming to challenge myself and serve the community, I volunteered to work at an English teaching program at La Casa de Amistad (ENL Program), where I teach Hispanic people English. After one semester’s serving at this friendly bilingual community, I found a passion for learning Spanish and plan to study abroad in Chile in the future. I also attend the Living with Mental Illness, a social concern seminar this semester. Through weekly meetings and an immersion week, I learned how the “Clubhouse Model” helps people with mental illness by providing them with mutual support and transitional employment. After this experience, I realize it is easy to know a social problem through words, but we can only understand the real needs of the community we want to help through integrating ourselves into it.

In the following four years at Notre Dame, I will continue exploring my academic interests and challenging myself in different aspects to become a better global citizen.

Jiani (Jenny) Xia

Jiani Jenny Xia

Shanghai Foreign Language School, Shanghai

This fall, I started my exploration at Notre Dame as a freshman. Both excited and grateful, I found my passion in business. Therefore, I intend to major in Finance.

Notre Dame provides every individual who is interested in business with helpful resources. I joined SIBC, where I have the opportunity to put my knowledge into practice. I was able to take a close-up look into the industry — from consulting firms to private equity capitals. I joined Women in Business, where females interested in business empower each other. During my exploration, I experienced warmth from the Notre Dame community and received helpful guidance and support from both upperclassmen and professors.

Notre Dame has a tradition of educating impactful leaders and encouraging students to take actions; I was a leader in high school and I want to have the best education and resources to continue growing in that role while making a difference in the world. Notre Dame’s social-minded environment is where I can carry on my family's legacy of bettering my community. From the Center for Social Concerns on campus to the Homeless Center in South Bend, Notre Dame will light up the way as I continue to make my own impact on the community. As I know that it requires courage to innovate and be the first, I will keep trying my best to step up my contribution both intellectually and socially with creativity.

I am open to opportunities and challenges in my next few years at Notre Dame. I will continue to explore the uncertainty and grow my passion.