Howard Graduate and Karsh STEM Scholar Named in Eighth Cohort of Schwarzman Scholars

Schwarzman Scholars, one of the world’s most prestigious graduate fellowships, recently announced its eighth cohort which includes Howard University graduate Cameryn Burnette.

Burnette was selected from among an initial pool of nearly 3,000 applicants to matriculate at Schwarzman College on the campus of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. She will join 150 additional candidates selected from 36 countries and 121 universities around the world for the fully funded, one-year master’s degree program in global affairs. Burnette is the second-ever Howard student to join Schwarzman Scholars, according to a press release.

Burnette graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in civil engineering in 2022. Burnette is a proud member of the second cohort of the Karsh STEM Scholars Program and has taken part in numerous research programs. Notably, Burnette participated in the Amgen Scholars program at UC Berkeley and worked for Amazon through The Hasnine Lab at Howard.

“I am grateful to both the Karsh STEM Scholars and Schwarzman Scholars programs for recognizing my potential as a leader in academic research and entrepreneurship in the area of development engineering. My future research and businesses will focus on culturally relevant and environmentally sustainable materials designed to build stronger buildings and safer communities,” Burnette said.

Burnette’s dream career combines her interests in sustainability and engineering with global outreach to blaze trails in international development. Burnette currently realizes this vision through her current work in Benin with Energicity, where she helps develop solar microgrids for rural communities. Understanding of China’s political and economic objectives is essential in this field, as China is one of the major players in worldwide efforts to improve and influence infrastructure in the Global South. Burnette has a longstanding commitment to exploring Chinese perspectives. Under her belt are years of Chinese study, including participation in HU’s Chinese Culture Club and completion of all the University’s Chinese language courses.

While in Beijing, Burnette looks forward to immersing herself in Chinese culture, improving her Mandarin, and expanding her capacity for international collaboration. Upon her return to the states, Burnette will begin studies for a PhD in material science. Burnette credits the Karsh STEM Scholars Program for augmenting her analytical curiosity, work ethic, and commitment to becoming a future STEM educator.

Burnette’s passion for the environment led her to co-found and lead the Howard University Water and Environment Association, the campus’ largest sustainability organization. Burnette is equally passionate about engineering outreach; as a NSBE, Jr. mentor, Burnette inspired an appreciation for STEM discovery in K-12 students. She also represented her department at industry events such as the U.S. House of Representatives Women’s History Month Summit. Burnette additionally served the Howard community through Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

“I am excited by the eighth cohort’s potential,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, founding trustee of Schwarzman Scholars. “As the geopolitical landscape grows more complex each day, I am inspired by this year’s selected Scholars and their readiness to engage thoughtfully with global issues and drive change. We are confident that this inspiring cohort of young leaders will make the most of this unique opportunity.”

Xue Lan, dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University, offered his congratulations to the incoming class. “Congratulations, eighth cohort! I see great potential, diversity, and talent in this group. I am sure these young leaders will enrich the community at Schwarzman College, at Tsinghua University, and beyond.”