Three seniors and two alums named 2021 Schwarzman Scholars

Recipients will pursue masters degrees in global affairs at Tsinghua University

Mariam Dogar ’20, Adedoyin Olateru-Olagbegi ’20, Jessica Quaye ’20, and Jessica Wang ’16 have been selected for the 2021 class of Schwarzman Scholars, according to a MIT News article Dec. 4. A second alum also received the scholarship but is not yet ready to make a public announcement as of press time.

The three seniors and two alums join a class of 200 students around the world in completing a one-year masters program in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing. According to MIT News, the recipients were selected from over 4,700 applicants for a program “complemented by internships, career development mentors, high-profile speakers, and opportunities to travel throughout China.” 

According to an article in the New York Times, the program aims to address the “economic frictions grow[ing] between China and the West” by “educating the world’s future leaders.” MIT News reported that since the establishment of the Schwarzman Scholarship program in 2015, 18 MIT students and graduates have received the fellowship.

Mariam Dogar: expanding healthcare access through policy and technology

Mariam Dogar is a Course 7 major and Course 11 minor, according to MIT News. During her time as a student, she has worked at the World Bank to create telemedicine policy recommendations and helped design a Malaysian MBA workshop while on the teaching team for leadership and negotiation classes at MIT. In addition, she “has worked in digital healthcare investing abroad and volunteered in refugee programs in Jordan and Greece,” according to her biography on the Schwarzman Scholars website. She has also held leadership positions at MIT Mock Trial, GlobeMed@MIT, and PaksMit.

Dogar hopes to help improve healthcare policy and harness technology for “delivering care to those who need it, when they need it.” In an email to The Tech, Dogar described the Schwarzman Scholarship program as a chance to immerse herself in “a little bit of a culture and society that is so unlike that of my own” and “gain the knowledge [she] need[s] to impact health policy globally.” She chose China as her place to learn about healthcare policy due to its “unique challenge of providing healthcare to 1.4 billion people” and its “recent digital healthcare revolution facilitated by policymaking through the national telemedicine network and technology offered by WeChat and Ping An.”

Dogar credits her Schwarzman Scholarship and her confidence in her role in and “vision for the future of healthcare” to her broad, non-standard path through “different fields, like investment, policy, and teaching.” She urges “people who feel like they don't know what they want to do with their lives to stay calm and keep sampling different fields.”

Adedoyin Olateru-Olagbegi: improving global health with innovation in digital technology

Adedoyin Olateru-Olagbegi is a Course 6-14 major with a passion for global health. She has served as director of Camp Kesem, student advisor to President L. Rafael Reif, secretary of the Black Students Union, and EMT with MIT Ambulance, according to MIT News and her biography on the Schwarzman Scholars website. 

According to the Schwarzman Scholars site, Olateru-Olagbegi “plans to focus on health in developing countries with an emphasis on innovative digital tools.” She chose the Global Affairs program in Tsinghua University for its interdisciplinary curriculum, international student body, and focus on China. 

Olateru-Olagbegi wrote in an email to The Tech that studying China is particularly relevant to her interest in global health “both in terms of how public health has changed within China and how China interacts with other countries in reaching their public health goals.”

In her email, Olateru-Olagbegi advised students interested in following in her footsteps to just “go for it” and reach out with any questions to people like her, while also making sure to take care of themselves.

Jessica Quaye: business, technology, and international policy

Jessica Quaye is a Course 6-2 student “interested in the intersection between business, technology and human interactions,” according to the Schwarzman Scholars site. She has served as president of the African Students’ Association, a member of the Undergraduate Association, and an undergraduate student advisor in the EECS department. In addition, she is the founder of the International Students of Color Working Group and “established the first MIT Global Teaching Lab initiative in Ghana,” according to MIT News. She has also interned at Google, Microsoft, and Bain and Company.

Quaye hopes that the Global Affairs program at Tsinghua will “deepen her understanding of public policy and dreams of one day driving policy change in Ghana,” according to MIT News. In an email to The Tech, Quaye wrote that she singled out the Schwarzman Scholars program for its “emphasis on global leadership training,” “strong focus on understanding China,” and “good balance of teaching, experiential learning, and research in international relations, public policy, economics and business.”

Quaye advises students interested in the Schwarzman Scholarship to have a clear goal and understanding of how the program will support it and to contact the Office of Distinguished Fellowships.

Jessica Wang: bridging the gap between humans, computers, and government policy

Jessica Wang is a Course 6-3 graduate of the class of 2016. She also completed an MEng focusing on human-computer interaction in 2017. Her biography on the Schwarzman Scholars website describes her as “passionate about utilizing human-centric design in building technological systems and shaping technology policy for government.” 

As a student, Wang “researched online sociopolitical discourse and misinformation, writing her thesis on digital systems to bridge ideological divides,” according to MIT News. In addition, she “served as president of MIT Chinese Students’ Club and held leadership positions in MIT TechX and HackMIT.”

According to the Schwarzman Scholars site, Wang “currently builds collaborative design software as an engineer at Figma, a startup in Silicon Valley, and volunteers with Larkin Street, a nonprofit tackling youth homelessness.” Her past work experience includes Facebook, Uber, and a machine learning startup.

Wang declined a request for comment from The Tech.