March 1, 2017
By Lucy Carr
The Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2017 Hefner Scholars are Chinwe Okere and Shania Do from the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics and Georgia Newman and Anthony Villalobos from The Webb Schools. The 2017 Hefner Ambassadors are Sara Marie Bodenstein, Mathematics Professor at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics and Neal Piper, Executive Director of the Presidential Precinct, a nonprofit organization in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The “Hefner Initiative – USA/ China/ Asia” 2017 program comprises an approximately 10-day cultural experience in Beijing and Suzhou, China. The trip will consist of six days spent in Beijing, during which the Hefner Scholars will stay with host families of students from Beijing High School No. 4, experiencing daily life in China firsthand. The group will explore the ancient city’s landmarks such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, along with visiting the National Museum and enjoying a Peking Opera performance. The group will then take a bullet train to Suzhou, a small city known for its beautiful architecture and gardens, which will allow the Scholars and Ambassadors to learn about a different dimension of Chinese culture. After their return, the Scholars and Ambassadors will write a post-trip essay and give a presentation to their community, in order to spread the knowledge they have gained on the trip and promote the importance of peaceful and cooperative relations between the two countries.