Williams College Alumna Yue-Yi Hwa '11 Wins Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 18, 2016—Recent Williams College graduate Yue-Yi Hwa ’11 has been awarded the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. in education at St. Catharine’s College at Cambridge.

hwa_yue_yi_fullHwa is currently doing education policy research at the Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After earning an M.Phil. at the University of Oxford in 2013, she taught in a high-need school for two years with Teach for Malaysia. Her plan for graduate research at Oxford is to acquire expertise in education policy. Afterward, she plans to work in the Malaysian government or at a research institute or university doing policy research.

Hwa graduated from Williams magna cum laude with highest honors in political economy. She had a second major in Arabic studies. Hwa was the recipient of a Williams Donovan-Moody Fellowship to study for her master’s degree at Oxford. While at Williams, she served as editor-in-chief of The Williams Record, co-founded The Williams Telos, volunteered at shelters for homeless and at-risk youth in Springfield, Mass., and built Habitat for Humanity houses in New Orleans.

There are two rounds in the application process for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The first is for U.S. citizens, and the second is for non-U.S. citizens. In the international competition, 3,730 applicants applied, 101 were invited for personal interviews and 55 were awarded scholarships. Candidates are selected on the basis of intellectual ability, leadership potential, a desire to improve the lives of others, and the ability to be a good fit at Cambridge. In total, 90 scholarships will be offered this year.

Hwa is the ninth senior or recent alumnus from Williams to be named a Gates Cambridge Scholar, following Evelyn Denham ’12, Jose Martinez ’10, Nathan Benaich ’10, Leah Katzelnick ’10, Emily Gladden ’07, Shannon Chiu ’08, Alan Rodrigues ’07, and Shawn Powers ’04.

The scholarships were established in October 2000 with a donation of $210 million to the University of Cambridge from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.