U-M’s first Schwarzman Scholar selected to study in China


University of Michigan student Eduardo Batista has been selected as a 2019 Schwarzman Scholar and will undertake a one-year master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing next year.

It is the first time a U-M student will be part of the program that sends young leaders from around the world to China. About 5 percent of the 2,800 applicants worldwide were chosen, and that number includes students from 38 countries and 119 universities.

Photo of Eduardo Batista
Eduardo Batista

The program is designed to prepare future world leaders to meet the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century and explore the economic, political and cultural factors that have made China a global power.

“I am thrilled to be part of this selected group of people,” said Batista, a senior from Brazil who is studying business and cognitive science. “I’ve been always interested in having a better and deeper understanding of China, because of its influence in Brazil, in the United States and in the world. So it is more than important to understand it from direct experience.”

Henry Dyson, director of the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships who advised him during the application process, said Batista’s dual degree is preparing him for a future leadership career in Brazilian politics, and this scholarship is a perfect fit toward his professional goals.

“He has an inspiring vision, and the skills and character needed to make it a reality,” Dyson said. “The Schwarzman Scholars program and future mentorship within the network will be a huge boost in this future project.”

Through the program, the 22-year-old student will pursue his interest in global affairs and public policy.

“I want to be the mayor of São Paulo, the city I was born in and the largest metropolis in South America,” Batista said. “My hope is that I learn a lot from the Chinese and from what they are doing to become such a global economic strength. In the future, I want to apply this knowledge in São Paulo. The city has a tremendous potential that has not been explored.”

On campus, Batista served as the youngest president of the Michigan Emissary Group, a student-led strategy consulting group created to serve its only client: U-M. For two years, he was an adviser in the Office of the Vice President for Student Life, supporting policy decisions that impact the campus, such as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative.

“I have been involved in many different activities on campus. And all of them have prepared me to live this moment,” he said.

Batista said his experience as an international student at the university also gives him a new perspective on Brazil’s politics and culture. That is why he decided to research the role of trust and corruption in democratic societies for his senior thesis at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

“I believe all my steps are preparing me for a political career in Brazil,” he said. “And during this scholarship, I hope to create a network with these future global leaders. We will share the common bond of the program and maybe will be able to collaborate and help one another on future projects.”


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