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Northwestern alumnus lands Yenching Scholars award for study in China

The Office of Fellowships is excited to announce that Nicholas “Nick” Corvino (WCAS ’22) has been chosen for the 2023–2024 cohort of Yenching Scholars!  Next year, Nick will travel to Beijing, China, to study for a graduate degree. 

Nick graduated last summer, with a BA in philosophy and international studies.  At Northwestern, he received honors in two departments and won the Frank Safford Award for Best Undergraduate Thesis with his paper “Unmasking Investor-State Arbitration.”

Photo of Nicholas CorvinoAfter graduation, Nick received a grant from the Center for Effective Altruism to found a philanthropic organization in his hometown, Los Angeles.  The organization focuses on reducing global suffering and existential risk, a risk factor that threatens humanity’s chances of survival. 

Nick is half-Taiwanese and has always known that he would regret it if he never lived outside of the West.  He plans to backpack through much of the Asian continent over the next two years.  After returning to the States, he plans to pursue a PhD in Western philosophy, studying normative and applied ethics.  He hopes to intermingle Chinese and Western ideology into his research, addressing topics such as suffering, morality, artificial intelligence, and existential risk. 

Nick’s international worldview and belief in cooperation led him to Yenching Scholars.

As he told the Office of Fellowships, “I live in a crazy time in history, in which there are tons of ways for humanity to destroy itself, yet not many solutions for mitigating these risks.  Amongst other things, how any of these issues will turn out seems highly contingent upon the actions of both the United States and China, and while in Beijing I might have a unique opportunity to learn how I can help foster cooperation through policy or research.”

Yenching Academy logoThe Yenching Academy accepts young leaders and innovators from all around the world.  Through the interdisciplinary China studies master’s program, scholars study China’s development and its role in world affairs.  The academy aims to train young leaders to become global citizens with the skills to engage in nuanced, cross-cultural dialogue between China and the rest of the world. 

Nick is the seventh Wildcat to be named a Yenching Scholar.  Joshua Henderson (BSOM & WCAS ’20) won the award in 2021, and Lucy Yang (WCAS ’20) received it the year prior.  In previous years, Maximillian Rowe (WCAS ’18), Julia Jacobs (Medill ’18, declined), and Allison Sherlock (WCAS ’17) attended the Yenching Academy.  Diana Chang (WCAS ’16) was the first Wildcat to receive the award in 2016.

Contact Amy Kehoe at to learn more about the Yenching Scholars program.