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A scenic view of campus, downtown Knoxville, and the Tennessee River at sunrise from the River Bluff overlook
A scenic view of campus, downtown Knoxville, and the Tennessee River at sunrise.

Two recent graduates of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have been named Schwarzman Scholars and will study in China.

The Schwarzman Scholars program is one of the world’s most prestigious graduate fellowships, providing recipients with an opportunity to study in a fully funded one-year master’s degree program in global affairs at Schwarzman College on the campus of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The program is designed to build a global community of future leaders who will serve to deepen understanding between China and the rest of the world.

Meet the Recipients

Nainika Sudheendra

Nainika Sudheendra of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, graduated from UT in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management and business analytics and again in May 2020 with a master’s degree in global supply chain management.

Sudheendra plans to study the effects of China’s policies and funding allocations on innovation and development in the emerging logistics technology field.

“To me, the Schwarzman scholarship represents an irreplaceable opportunity for on-ground research and study in China with a tight-knit, hyperfocused, results-oriented cohort,” said Sudheendra.

Cyrus Yoshimoto

Cyrus Yoshimoto of Knoxville is a May 2022 graduate with a degree in honors classics.

Yoshimoto looks forward to working with the program’s distinguished advisers as he studies global affairs and explores Chinese culture and society.

“I’m honored and immensely grateful for the opportunity to help mend relationships between China and the United States through the Schwarzman Scholars program,” said Yoshimoto. “I hope to use this opportunity to help build mutual understanding and a more harmonious future, not only as an aspiring medical doctor but also as a citizen of the world.”

This year, 151 candidates were selected from an initial pool of nearly 3,000 applicants. Recipients hail from 36 countries and 121 universities around the world.

UT’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships supports students and alumni as they apply for a wide range of nationally competitive fellowships, including the Schwarzman award. URF’s support includes individualized advising that helps students develop competitive candidacies, application essay writing workshops and interview preparation.

Students and recent graduates interested in applying for the Schwarzman Scholars program and other nationally competitive awards are encouraged to visit the URF website and set up an appointment.


Maggie Palmer (865-974-3993,

Laura De Furio (865-974-3518,