10 July 2017

English Major from CUHK Awarded Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship to Study Abroad



Miss Carissa Ma Ming Yan, a graduate from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) majoring in English, has been awarded the Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship to pursue a Master of Studies in English (1900-present) at the University of Oxford starting from October this year. 

Carissa feels humble and greatly honoured to be granted the Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship. ‘Professors from both the English Department and CW Chu College have offered me very useful advice and great support along the way, for which I am extremely grateful. I am a lover of words and have been writing poetry for a few years now. One of my poems has been published by Cha, an online Asian-themed literary journal. I aspire to teach at CUHK and to pursue publication and research projects, hopefully inspiring more young people to fall in love with literature.’ 

Carissa has always been drawn to modern English literature. Her current research interests include contemporary English literature, ecological literary criticism, and object-oriented ontology. 

Contrary to the belief that studying the arts and humanities is less useful for career advancement, Carissa thinks that the most important things to consider before choosing a major are your interests and abilities, as opposed to utility. She believes that effective learning comes down to three main things: curiosity, passion, and perseverance. ‘If you care about and love the subject you’re studying, enough to keep finding out more and asking questions that aim to provoke rather than comfort, you will most likely do well,’ said Carissa.

CUHK places strong emphasis on whole-person education. Besides imparting knowledge, teachers serve as mentors who provide students with timely advice. Carissa was inspired by Prof. Evelyn Chan, also a graduate from CUHK in English. Professor Chan was awarded the prestigious Sir Edward Youde Memorial Overseas Fellowship in 2007 and went on to do a Ph.D. in Modernist English Literature at Cambridge University. Seeing Professor Chan as her example, Carissa was motivated to start planning for her future and to seriously consider pursuing a career in academia. 

In accordance with the memorandum of the Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship, awards are granted to candidates who meet the academic criteria, have a respect for humanity, possess a curious mind, moral integrity and a spirit of adventure, and demonstrate the potential to make a contribution to the well-being of the community. The Selection Committee has found Carissa an ideal candidate who has fulfilled all these conditions. Carissa feels strongly that she has a moral obligation to serve others. In her first year, she was the Vice-chairperson of the eleven-strong CW Chu College Service Team. They launched their first social service project in collaboration with Breakthrough Youth Village and Po Leung Kuk C W Chu (PLKCWC) College, helping teens build confidence and set their own goals. During her overseas exchange at UC Davis, California in 2014, she joined Lions Club International, which is the world’s largest service club organization. She participated in a variety of projects, such as the annual eye glass collection event, in which glasses collected are donated to developing countries. She also fundraised for My Sister’s House, a community outreach organization serving women and children affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. 

The Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship, tenable at the University of Oxford, was established with funds from the estate of the late Dr. Esther Yewpick Lee, whose family has had strong connections with and affection for both CUHK and Oxford. The award fully sponsors the scholar to study a postgraduate programme. It covers the University and College fees at Oxford, a return economy class air fare and an annual personal allowance which is expected to take care of board and lodging and other maintenance costs, for a maximum period of 3 years. 

CUHK offers different types of scholarships, prizes and academic awards to undergraduate students each year.  Apart from Honours at Entrance and an Admission Scholarship, a University Exchange Scholarship can also be offered to support outstanding admittees for their participation in outgoing exchange programmes. 

The results of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education will be announced next Wednesday, 12 July.  JUPAS candidates can modify their programme choices during the assigned timeslot from 13 to 15 July.  Application results will be released on the JUPAS website on 7 August.  For enquiries on admissions to CUHK via JUPAS, please contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 3943-8951 or 3943-8947.

Miss Carissa Ma
Miss Carissa Ma

Miss Carissa Ma (2nd left, first row) serves as the Vice-chairperson of the CW Chu College Service Team during her first year at CUHK.
Miss Carissa Ma (2nd left, first row) serves as the Vice-chairperson of the CW Chu College Service Team during her first year at CUHK.

Miss Carissa Ma takes part in voluntary teaching services in Fujian.
Miss Carissa Ma takes part in voluntary teaching services in Fujian.