Princeton senior Sophie Li wins Rhodes Scholarship for Hong Kong

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By Jamie Saxon, Office of Communications
Nov. 22, 2020

Princeton University senior Sophie Li has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford.

The prestigious fellowship funds one to three years of graduate study at Oxford. She will begin her studies at Oxford in September 2021. This is the first year Rhodes Scholars were elected entirely virtually, with all candidates and selectors participating safely, independently and digitally. Li will join an international group of more than 100 Rhodes Scholars chosen from more than 60 countries, and she is among several winners who have attended American colleges and universities.

The first Rhodes Scholar for Hong Kong entered Oxford in 1986. Rhodes Scholars for Hong Kong have pursued a variety of careers in fields including public service, academia, business, law and medicine. 

Li, of Hong Kong, is concentrating in politics and is also pursuing a certificate in journalism. At Oxford, Li will pursue an M.Sc. in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.

She has engaged with forced migration issues through a range of different perspectives at Princeton, both in and outside the classroom. Her courses have focused on migration journalism, human rights, comparative constitutional law, causes of war, politics of development and applied social statistics. She is a member of Forbes College.

Her interest in migration was first sparked in the summer following her first year at Princeton, when she interned at Resolve, a nonprofit organization in Hong Kong. In summer 2019 she was an Asia Program intern at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. Last summer, through the Office of Religious Life’s Faith-Based Internship program, she was a policy intern at the U.S.C.C.B. Office of Migration and Refugee Services in Washington, DC., where she honed her research and data analysis skills, while further immersing herself in the world of policy and government lobbying.

As part of the Religion and Forced Migration Initiative, she has served as a researcher supporting asylum applications with the Princeton Asylum Project, and has combined her passion for law, policy and storytelling with the Oral History Project on Religion and Resettlement. As an oral historian and student journalist, Li has amplified refugees’ stories in their own words.