Jingwen Zhang Receives Honor from Chinese Government

More than 300,000 Chinese students studied in the United States last year, and on April 29, the New York City Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China honored a select few to receive the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad.

Annenberg Doctoral Student Jingwen Zhang, who will graduate with her Ph.D. in Communication on May 16, was one of them.

This award, founded in 2003 by the Chinese government, rewards academic excellence in Chinese students studying overseas. It is given to no more than 500 students worldwide whose educations were not previously financed by the Chinese government. The awards, which grant each recipient $6,000, are given by the student’s nearest Chinese consulate; the region covered by the New York Consulate is considered the world’s most competitive.

Jingwen Zhang (L) receives her award from Ambassador Zhang Qiyue, Consul General of China in New York

Professor John B. Jemmott III, Zhang’s faculty advisor, was invited to speak at the ceremony on behalf of all of the winning students’ faculty mentors. In his speech, he praised Zhang and the other winners for their drive, intellect, persistence, intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm and problem-solving skills, among other laudable qualities.

John B. Jemmott III delivering the faculty address

Zhang received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, before coming to the United States for her masters degree in Communication from Clemson University. She joined Annenberg’s Ph.D. program in 2011.

Her research interests include health promotion, youth sexual health education, and HIV/AIDS prevention utilizing innovative online communication platforms. Her dissertation was entitled, “Networked Social Influence: Online Social Network Physical Activity Interventions for Young Adults.”

This fall, Zhang will join the faculty at the University of California, Davis as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, where her specialty will be persuasive technology.