Two Yale seniors – Megan He and Sarah Chao – and alumnus James Diaw 18 are among the 18 recipients of the prestigious Churchill Scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year.
The scholarships support a one-year master’s study at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, funding for full tuition fees, a competitive stipend, travel costs and the opportunity to apply for a research scholarship of $4,000.
Yale University is the first institution to have three Churchill Scholars in one group.
Sarah Gao is one of 16 students who will be selected for the Churchill Scholarships in science, mathematics and engineering. Megan He and James Diaw are the only two people to have been named Kanders Churchill scientists in science policy.
The scholarship program was established in 1963, at the request of Sir Winston Churchill as part of the founding of Churchill College, Cambridge, a mostly science and technology college named in his honor. It seeks to deepen the partnership between the United States and the United Kingdom to advance science and technology on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure future prosperity and security.
The Canders Churchill Scholarships, established in 2017, are awarded to applicants to a master’s program at the University of Cambridge in Public Policy. Each college or university is limited to just two nominations for the Churchill Scholarships in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering.
Megan is 22
Megan He is majoring in Environmental Engineering and Global Affairs at Yale University, where she will also earn a degree in Energy Studies. Her undergraduate research in the lab of Drew Gentner, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering, focuses on emissions of organic compounds into the atmosphere and their impact on air quality. She has also conducted research on atmospheric deposition at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. In 2021, she was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship.
At Yale, she serves as club chair for the Department of Environmental Engineering, an engineering tour guide and STEM representative in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and a fellow instructor in the Department of Physics. She is also active on the Executive Board of the Goldwater Society and the After School Evolutions Program at the Yale Peabody Museum. In Cambridge, you will delve into scientific policy as it relates to air pollution, climate and energy. After Cambridge, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in environmental engineering.
Sarah Jaw 22
Sarah Gow is pursuing a joint BA/MA in Statistics and Data Science at Yale University, along with a double major in Mathematics. Her main research interests are in the theory and development of new data science methods for complex real-world data, and she has worked on research in quantum information and computing, statistics theory, optimization, and geometric and topological data science methods. She also won the 2021 Goldwater Scholarship and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa.
Outside of research, she volunteers for the Yale Education Tutoring Initiative and dances for the Yale Movement. At Cambridge, you will pursue a Master of Philosophy. A degree in advanced computer science with a focus on machine learning.
James Diao 18
James Diao graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, majoring in statistics, data science, molecular biophysics, and biochemistry. He is now a third-year medical student at Harvard Medical School and MIT. At Yale, he developed tools for analyzing extracellular RNA in the lab of Mark Gerstein, Albert L. Williams Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Yale University School of Medicine, and performed with the Yale Dance Team. He was also a peer advisor for the Walden Peer Counseling Program run by undergraduates. Diao’s research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, featured in Nature and Science, and was cited in National Recommendations for Kidney Care.
He was awarded the 2021 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship and was named to the 2022 Forbes list of “30 under 30” in the healthcare category. As a Scholar at Canders Churchill University, he will take a Master’s degree in Public Policy at the University of Cambridge.