The Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch Fellowships in Asian Studies

About the Fellowships 

It is important for America to continue to train future leaders with strong expertise in Asia. To mark its 35th anniversary, the F.Y. Chang Foundation launched the Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch Fellowships in Asian Studies with the support of LiUNA, Laborers’ International Union of North America. The JCB Fellowships will nurture the next generation of Asian specialists and Asia-engaged leaders in the U.S. by encouraging student research on Asia, particularly China, and its important relationship to the United States.

These competitive awards are open to undergraduate students at specific institutions, beginning in 2023 with students at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Miami. The awards will provide each fellow with $2000 to complete a research project on strategic, political, economic, or socio-cultural issues related to Asia. 

Criteria and Eligibility

Undergraduate students currently studying at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Miami are welcome to apply, with preference given to proposals from junior and senior students. Applicants with a major in Asian regional studies or international studies are preferred but not required.

Fellowship recipients may use the funds for: 1) thesis/research writing; 2) field research, and 3) attending academic symposiums. To be nominated for this fellowship, each recipient will be required to submit: 1) an application form; 2) a resume; 3) a research proposal no longer than 3 pages single-spaced; 4) a budget breakdown of utilization of awarded funds; and 5) a letter of recommendation from university faculty or administration. At the end of the fellowship, recipients will submit a short report to USCET on their use of the fellowship and completed research project.

For more information on the fellowship and to apply, please contact

Meet the 2023 Fellows:

University of California at Berkeley Cohort 2023

Jalene Chok is a senior in the Sciences Po-UC Berkeley Dual degree program, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies at UC Berkeley. Born in Taiwan and raised in the United States, her background inspired her proposed research project. As an Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch Fellow, Ms. Chok will study the construction of national identity in contemporary Taiwan. Ms. Chok is also interested in city planning and forestry.

Luca Zislin is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. She is interested in U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy. Ms. Zislin previously interned for the Council on Foreign Relations and is currently a Ronald Reagan National Defense Fellow in partnership with the Alexander Hamilton Society. She was formerly a Travers Fellow at the Commonwealth Club of California. In the future, she hopes to attend law school.

University of Miami Cohort 2023

Skylar Bentlin is an undergraduate at the University of Miami. She triple majors in Political Science, Chinese Language and Culture, and Religious Studies, and minors in Military Science. She has received two international scholarships to study Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan. Ms. Bentlin is in the Army ROTC program and will be commissioned into the United States Army this spring, where she hopes to work in the Indo-Pacific field. Ms. Bentlin is interested in the international affairs of Asia and plans to research U.S.-China relations, China-Russia relations, and China’s Global Dominance in the 21st Century.

Nolan Dietz Velarde is an undergraduate at the University of Miami, double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy and minors in Environmental Science and Music Business. He holds multiple scholarships for academic excellence.  Currently, he is conducting heat-related environmental research for Miami-Dade County. Mr. Dietz Velarde plans to use the fellowship to study key NGOs, notably the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace, and their role in environmental relations between the U.S. and China.