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Students who enroll in DEAL’s Distinguished Majors Program automatically become eligible for the annual Mastercard Scholarship, established by Mrs. Rebecca George and Mr. H. Eugene Lockhardt, Jr. to encourage the study of Asia. The scholarship is awarded based on merit as evidenced by excellence in language study and creative approaches to Asia-related topics.

The recipient for academic year 2013-2014 will be Maggie Rank, a dual East Asian Studies and Chinese Language and Literature major with a minor in Religious Studies. Having already finished her East Asian Studies major in her third year, Maggie has decided to take on the challenge of completing a Distinguished Major thesis in Chinese Language and Literature in her fourth year.

Her project will focus on a collection of previously untranslated short stories by pre-revolutionary Chinese fiction writer Shen Congwen. The stories tell mainly of experiences he had serving in the military during the 1920s. In translating them, Ms. Rank hopes to continue polishing her already formidable Chinese language skills.

In fact, Ms. Rank was born in China, and as the daughter of a State Department diplomat, she lived in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, and Beijing. In the summer of 2012 she returned to Shanghai with a study abroad program.

Her plan is to move back to China after graduating from UVA, possibly as a diplomat like her father, if the results of her Foreign Service Officer test are as successful as her program of study has been thus far. But if not, she says, there are plenty of other opportunities – working with an NGO, for example (possibly Teach for China). She says the perfect job combination for her would involve diplomacy, education, health education and related topics from a location in China. Please join us in wishing her the best of success in all her ambitions.