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Salma Anguiano ’22 Named First Yenching Scholar from Whitman College

By Mónica Hernández Williams

Whitman College alum Salma Anguiano ’22 has been accepted into the Yenching Academy Scholars program in China. Anguiano is the first in Whitman’s history to be awarded the prestigious fellowship, according to the Fellowships and Grants office. 


The program at Peking University selects students from around the world who have demonstrated leadership and innovation. This year’s incoming cohort includes 116 students from 31 countries.

Anguiano also received a Schwarzman Scholars fellowship in 2022, in which she earned a Master of International/Global Studies from Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Anguiano credits her success to her Whitman education and her relationships with her professors.

“When I first received the news, I immediately shared it with my Whitman professors in the Chinese Department. We were all so excited!” said Anguiano. “My ability to receive these two prestigious fellowships and study at the two top universities in China is a testament to their dedication to their students.”

Anguiano’s first study abroad experience was through Whitman’s Off-Campus Studies Office. She spent the summer of 2019 in China through the faculty-led Crossroads.

At the Yenching Academy, Anguiano will earn her second master’s degree—this time in China Studies—by examining the country’s development and role in the world. She plans to focus her research on the economic impact of migrant workers.

Salma Anguiano '22 poses with the United States flag while in her graduation regalia in Beijing, China.

Anguiano’s interest stems from personal experience.

“Growing up, I saw my parents work in harsh working conditions for little pay. Once I turned 10 years old, I too endured these conditions during the summers,” she recalled.

As part of her senior thesis at Whitman, Anguiano spotlighted the experiences of undocumented and migrant workers in an exhibit at the Stevens Gallery titled “Protegiendo Nuestras Raíces” and screened her documentary film at the Gesa Power House Theatre. She also held various leadership positions in campus committees and student groups. Through the Career and Community Engagement Center, Anguiano sought out internship opportunities at immigration law firms and public policy organizations.

While at Whitman, Anguiano received the Garrett-Sherwood Scholarship, which offers unique opportunities to socialize, network and travel to New York City to connect with alums who are leaders in their fields.

"I am proud to be a Whitman grad and be able to represent the college as I further my education with this opportunity,” she said.

Published on Sep 14, 2023
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