Alumna Yihong Yuan Receives Prestigious Chinese Government Award


Alumna Yihong Yuan successfully defended her dissertation in November 2013 (Chair: Adjunct Geography faculty member Martin Raubal at ETH Zurich), and she just wrote to say, “I recently received a government award (“Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad”). I applied for the award when I was still a UCSB student, so I thought this might be something interesting for the department news.

Here is some basic information: Since 2003, the Chinese government has been awarding grants to outstanding students who study in a foreign country on their own accord. The awards are given to students who are able to study abroad without government-funded sponsorships under the umbrella of the China Scholarship Council. The selection is based on students’ research achievements, publications, academic merits. and career potentials. This is one of the highest honors the Chinese government can award to students who study in a foreign country. Only around 500 young talents are selected each year all over the world, and each recipient receives an award of $6000.

A ceremony was held in the Chinese Consulate LA on June 1st 2014, and I was also selected as a speaker during the ceremony. It’s a great honor for me to receive this award, and all of this could not have happened without help from the UCSB Geography Department and my advisor Martin Raubal.”

Congratulations to Yihong! We suspect that we will be hearing a lot more about her achievements in the near future.

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Jian Liu (left), the Consul-General of China in Los Angeles, presenting Yihong’s award. Dr. Yihong Yuan received her B.S. from Peking University in 2009 (Geographic Information Systems), where she ranked first in her class, graduating with Honors. She became a UCSB Geography graduate student in 2009, and, apart from her PhD in Geography, she also completed a master’s degree in Applied Statistics.

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Yihong’s awards and honors while a Geography grad student at UCSB include an internship with ESRI, 2011; Excellence in Research, 2012; Graduate Division Dissertation Fellowship, 2012-2013; Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program, Department of Transportation, 2012; and Dangermond Travel Awards, Department of Geography, 2010-2013