Career & Education

Gaby goes to China

J'can named among 2018 Schwarzman scholars

Sunday, December 10, 2017

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ATHENS, Georgia — Jamaica's Gabrielle Pierre is one of two students from the University of Georgia who have won Schwarzman scholarships and will spend the 2018 school year pursuing master's programmes in China.

The other student is Elizabeth Hardister.

Pierre, a graduate of the American International School of Kingston, was a finalist in the 2018 Rhodes Scholarship.

She and Hardister are among 142 students selected internationally for the fully funded year-long programme designed to prepare the next generation of leaders with an understanding of China's role in global trends. The scholarship is tenable at Tsinghua University in Beijing where students live and learn on the Schwarzman College campus and focus their studies on public policy, economics and business, or international studies.

This marks the third group of Schwarzman Scholars since the highly competitive programme opened to applicants in 2015. The incoming class was narrowed down from a pool of 4,042 international candidates and comprises students from 39 countries and 97 universities.

“On behalf of the University of Georgia, I want to congratulate Elizabeth and Gaby on this significant accomplishment,” said President Jere W Morehead. “They are great examples of all that can be achieved with hard work, dedication and a drive to make a difference in the world. The UGA family is proud of them.”

Both Pierre and Hardister are honours students, and both are working to finish their master's degrees at UGA before heading to China.

Pierre, a Foundation Fellow alumna, graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and is finishing her master's in environmental planning and design, while Hardister, from Dunwoody, is completing a bachelor's degree in international affairs and a master's in public health with a focus on disaster management.

“I am delighted for Elizabeth and Gaby, who richly deserve this recognition,” said David S Williams, associate provost and director of the Honors Program. “Each is truly a leader for our times and will benefit from joining a prestigious programme that prepares the next generation of global leaders. There is no question that they will make a very positive impact on society, and I am immensely proud of both of them.”

As a Schwarzman Scholar, Pierre will study public policy to learn more about city growth, development and public policy in China. She is working toward becoming an international city planner specialising in developing countries and emerging economies.

Pierre has been a summer business analyst for global management consulting firm McKinsey and Company; an engineering and environmental design intern for Breedlove Land Planning Inc; a design intern for the Kalu Yala Institute in Tres Brazos Valley, Panama; and an urban planning consultant for the municipality of Tasköpru, Turkey.

On the UGA campus, she is director of Project Empathy, a business development intern for Thinc at UGA, president of the UGA Ballroom Performance Group, student ambassador for the College of Engineering and Honors Program, energy content head for the Energy Concept at UGA, and volunteer coordinator at UGA Costa Rica. She created a master plan for the College of Dreams school in Mirebalais, Haiti, as her senior design capstone project, and studied environmental economics at Oxford, where she also placed third in the cha-cha at the Oxford Dancesport Cuppers Ballroom Dancing Competition.

For her part, Hardister will concentrate in international studies to learn more about China's emergency management system, nuclear safety and security culture, and contributions to international nonproliferation regimes.

She is a CURO Honors Scholar and studies issues related to emergency response and weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation and plans to pursue a career in consequence management.

She has interned for the US Department of State, the UGA Center for International Trade and Security and TradeSecure LLC. Hardister gained emergency management experience working for Counterterrorism Operations Support in Las Vegas, Nevada; the Greater New York Hospital Association in New York City; the American Red Cross of Georgia in Atlanta; and, at UGA, the Institute for Disaster Management, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Office of Emergency Preparedness, UGA Red Cross, UGA Medical Reserve Corps Field Medical Team, and UGA Campus Emergency Response Team.

Through her work for the State Department, Hardister was selected to attend and produce summary reports for the international nonproliferation trade controls conference in Prague hosted by the US, Canada and Czech Republic, and a subsequent regional seminar in Marrakech, Morocco, hosted by the US and Morocco.

Hardister is a reading tutor at Barrow Elementary School in Athens and was a teaching assistant for the Honors Program and a service ambassador for ServeUGA. She is a member of the Palladia Women's Honor Society and Sigma Iota Rho, an honor society for international studies.

Pierre and Hardister bring to three the number of UGA students who have so far been awarded Schwarzman scholarships. The first was Torre Lavelle, who was in the inaugural 2016 class.


— Stephanie W Schupska/UGA




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