BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Rotary International has awarded Illinois Wesleyan University
alum Jia “Muyi” Yang ’18 a 2019 Rotary Peace Fellowship to pursue a master’s degree
in peace and conflict studies at Uppsala University in Sweden.
Each year, The Rotary Foundation awards up to 50 fellowships for master’s degrees
and 50 for certificate studies at premier universities. Master’s degree program candidates
study peace and development issues with research-informed teaching and a diverse student
body. The program lasts 15 to 24 months and includes a two- to three-month field study,
which participants design themselves.
“I am always curious about how the world ‘works,’” said Yang regarding his participation
in the peace and conflict studies master’s program. “After years of working in foreign
trade with many countries around the world, I became more and more fascinated by the
diversity of different cultures and traditions, and more so, the thriving, or the
lack thereof, of their interactive development. I pursued social sciences hoping to
have myself enlightened in some way and if possible, help more people.”
Yang worked toward the highly competitive fellowship by garnering three years of full-time
work and volunteering experience related to peace and conflict resolution, including
work as a Chinese business representative in the import and export industry that allowed
him to witness the disparity of basic living securities across the countries and prepared
him for a career in global conflict resolution. Yang was an international studies
major and political science and economics double minor at Illinois Wesleyan.
“Designed for professionals, the Rotary Peace Fellowship requires the applicants for
the master’s program to have at least three years of full-time work or volunteer experience
related to peace-building and international development,” Yang said. “People at IWU
like Dr. William Munro, Dr. Scott Sheridan, Dr. Karen Schmidt, and Warren Kistner
have helped me navigate my past experiences, making me realize that my whole career
had been revolved around peace.
“Knowing that I have been endorsed by the local Rotary club and selected by the Rotary
International, I feel truly honored, but more grateful of all the help, support, and
love that I have received along the way.”