Maria Silva and Lizabeth Bamgboye named Schwarzman scholars

The prestigious award fully funds a master’s program in global affairs at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

Graphic with dark blue background and two images of Maria Silva and Lizbeth Bamgboye.

UNC-Chapel Hill alumna Maria Silva and senior Lizabeth Bamgboye have been awarded the prestigious Schwarzman scholarship, which fully funds a master’s program in global affairs at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. They are Carolina’s 12th and 13th Schwarzman scholars since the scholarship began in 2015.

Silva received a bachelor’s degree from Carolina in 2022, double-majoring in economics and Italian with a minor in business administration. She was a Morehead-Cain scholar, an Honors Carolina laureate, a Buckley Public Service scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa. Currently, Silva works for Ernst & Young as a financial services consultant.

Bamgboye is a Carolina senior, double-majoring in global studies and political science with a minor in creative writing. She is an Honors Carolina student, a Phillips Ambassador, a Buckley Public Service scholar, president of the Ebony Readers/Onyx Theatre, a global studies research assistant and member of Phi Beta Kappa.

A poet and data scientist, Bamgboye sees the Schwarzman scholarship as the “culmination” of her Carolina career, which included studying abroad in Taiwan as a Phillips Ambassador. At Tsinghua University, she will work to “unite scholarship with community” by exploring her “passions for social science research and poetry across new dimensions.” Bamgboye emphasized “that in this next stage of globalization, we must be creative, courageous and empathetic.”

Originally from Peru, Silva has already lived on four continents. At Tsinghua University, her studies will focus on ways to ease international trade and other partnerships. “Being selected as a Schwarzman scholar represents a unique opportunity to delve into the complexities of international relations and business,” said Silva. “For me, it’s not just an academic pursuit; it’s a gateway to becoming a part of a global network of leaders who are poised to tackle pressing challenges.”

“Lizabeth Bamgboye and Maria Silva are exemplars of Carolina students who combine academic excellence, community-centered leadership and global engagement,” said Marc Howlett, executive director of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships. “As Carolina’s 12th and 13th Schwarzman scholars, they will continue strengthening connections between Chapel Hill and a growing community of global leaders.”

Next year, Silva and Bamgboye will go to Beijing to join an international cohort of 150 Schwarzman scholars selected from over 4,000 applicants. The Schwarzman scholarship is designed to build a global network of leaders who will deepen understanding between China and the rest of the world.