Wei-Jen Chua, the daughter of Hsiang-Mei Amy Lu and Tony Chua of Taipei, has been named a McDonnell International Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from National Taiwan University, which is one of 15 leading Asian universities partnered with Washington University in St. Louis in the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.
Ms. Chua is pursuing a doctorate in immunology in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, and expects her study to continue another four or five years. She plans to become a university professor or researcher, with the goal of helping people understand more about health and disease.
“Wei-Jen Chua has already completed her first year of graduate study at Washington University and has made a very positive impression here,” said James V. Wertsch, Ph.D., the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences and Director of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy. “She is precisely the kind of individual who will be able to take maximum advantage of the Academy’s efforts to build a network of future leaders in Asia and beyond.”
The McDonnell International Scholars Academy is both new and unique. Employing an unusual structure and approach, it brings together top scholars from many countries to pursue world-class education and research while forging a strong network with one another. Key to this are partnerships Washington University has established with top universities and corporations around the world with an eye to increasing opportunities for joint research and global education.
The McDonnell Academy Scholars are considered future world leaders in their fields. As such, they are provided not only rigorous graduate instruction, but a thorough cultural, political and social education designed to prepare them as leaders knowledgeable about the United States, other countries, and critical international issues.
Once selected for this highly competitive program, each scholar is matched with a distinguished member of the Washington University faculty who serves as a mentor for the scholar and also as an “ambassador” to the university partner from which the scholar has graduated. The ambassador assists the McDonnell Scholar in academic and professional life and travels annually with the scholar to the partner university to build relationships between the two institutions.
Tuan-Hua David Ho, Ph. D., professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, is Chua’s faculty mentor-ambassador. Dr. Ho has expertise in plant biology, development biology and molecular genetics. He does research in barley genes and other agricultural processes. He holds a doctorate in biology from the Michigan State University.
The McDonnell Academy Scholars receive funding for full tuition, living expenses and travel to and from St. Louis. Most of the scholars reside in two fully equipped and furnished apartment buildings near campus.
Funding is provided through a sustaining endowment gift from John F. McDonnell, vice chairman of the Washington University Board of Trustees and retired chairman of the board of McDonnell Douglas Corporation, additional endowment pledges, and 11 multinational corporate and foundation sponsors. Sponsoring corporations also offer internships and on-site educational opportunities for the Academy’s Corporate Fellows.