Captivated by the origins of peoples, cultures, and languages, I embarked on learning Mandarin Chinese as a senior in high school and subsequently obtained a BA in History. Afterward, I moved to Northeast China for three years: two years as a university English instructor and one year as a Confucius Scholarship language student. Interactions with people and places connected with Central Asia and the Middle East propelled my pursuit of a MA in Iranian Studies at SOAS, University of London. My thesis translated and provided commentary on a significant 7th century Chinese envoy report on the Sogdian city of Samarqand, including an oft-cited account of Zoroastrian funerary practices. This was the first time the account had been translated into English in its entirety. Generously enabled by the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, my PhD seeks to shed further light on the Sogdians, an Eastern Iranian people that primarily lived in modern-day Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Although best known as Silk Road traders par excellence, I will focus on non-trader motifs in Chinese primary accounts to obtain a more holistic view of the Sogdians. My research fits under broader interdisciplinary Sino-Iranian studies, which have demonstrated the significant influences Chinese and Iranian civilizations have had on each other as well as increasing awareness and understanding of Central Asia.
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Master of Arts in Iranian Studies 2017
Northeast Normal University Certificate of Completion in Chinese (Mandarin) Language 2014
A lifelong Los Angeles native, I am looking forward to the opportunity to study at an institution with so long a history of excellent scholarship. As an undergraduate at UCLA, I fell in love with the language, literature, and linguistics of Ancient Greek. The entire classical world fascinated me, and I enjoyed exploring its mix of cultures and its wide range of both art and philosophical thought. Following undergraduate study, throughout three years of an M.Div. program at The Master’s Seminary, I was able to dig deeply into the times and literature surrounding the New Testament. While there, I focused my studies on linguistic development between Attic and Koine Greek, early Jewish Christianity, and the interpretation of both New Testament and Patristic texts. Building upon this work, in my PhD, I will focus on how the concepts of covenant and promise were used in an early Jewish Christian text to provide a group identity and hope for an audience that had previously faced hardship and displacement from their property and were expecting to soon face more of the same. I am exceedingly excited and grateful for the chance to be a part of the Gates community and the academic community at Cambridge.
Interests: Craft coffee, reading, table top board games.
University of California Los Angeles
The Master's Seminary
With a background in environmental biology and after a number of stints in tiger, bat, and marine conservation research with universities and NGOs like the WWF, I’ve changed scope and species and am now starting a PhD in Medical Science. I intend to investigate a novel strategy that certain pathogens may use to manipulate the immune system. Our lab has recently discovered that a disease-causing virus exploits the signals released by our immune cells, causing other cells to be more permissive to viral infection and weaken the immune system’s anti-viral strategies. My research will investigate the mechanisms this virus uses to take advantage of the immune system, and investigate whether they are used by pathogens such as tuberculosis and influenza. The long-term aim of this research is to identify points in the immune system where we may be able to intervene with therapies to treat and prevent these diseases, and to help identify individuals at higher risk of complications.
For as long as I can remember I have been interested in science. In college I majored in chemistry, completing a total synthesis of the natural product ineariifolianone in the lab of Prof. Erik Sorensen for my senior thesis. While I ultimately plan to pursue a PhD and academic career in the sciences, over the last year and a half I have found myself becoming increasingly curious about the process of scientific research and thought – questions such as how we are able to know what we (claim to) know, how competing theories can be tested against each other, and the ways in which scientific research is shaped by the wider society and vice versa. This coming year I will be pursuing those interests by studying the history, philosophy, and sociology of science, technology, and medicine at Cambridge.
Originally from Berkeley, California, I graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in Classics and Piano Performance and a minor in Historical Performance. I have published articles on the relation between music and visual representation in illustrated manuscripts by Felix Mendelssohn and Paul Hindemith, and on the ways the study of performance on historical keyboards can shape interpretation on the modern piano. My primary MPhil research project at Cambridge will consider the dynamic intersections between music, Classical philosophy, and the visual arts. I will investigate how 16th-century Italian composers and philosophers turned to Classical antiquity to develop a unique culture of scientific, musical, and even magical experimentation that had an enduring influence on music theory and architectural practice. I also look forward to participating in the vibrant musical community at Cambridge as a performer on harpsichord and piano.
I grew up and was educated in Zimbabwe before attending Harvard to study English and French literature. My intellectual commitments have ranged widely, but I remain interested in the novel and its ethical dimensions, as well as related periods in aesthetics, art history, and the history of philosophy. These inclinations have in turn been informed by my extracurricular engagements, including editorial service for journals and magazines, such as the Harvard Advocate, Harvard African, and the Harvard Review of Philosophy. At Cambridge, I plan to follow the MPhil in Criticism and Culture, expanding a project that began with my senior thesis on human-animal relations in the work of J. M. Coetzee. In addition, I would like to broaden my background in philosophy and the history of science. Thereafter, I hope to pursue graduate study in the humanities, alongside projects academic and otherwise on the ethical and political issues concerning our interaction with the natural world.