Alumna Mary Rzepczynski named 2023 Yenching Scholar

Author: Erin Blasko

University of Notre Dame alumna Mary Rzepczynski, of Concord, Massachusetts, has been named a 2023 Yenching Scholar. She is Notre Dame’s 10th Yenching Scholar in the past eight years.

Selected from among hundreds of applicants nationwide, Yenching Scholars participate in an interdisciplinary master’s degree program in China studies at the Yenching Academy of Peking University, with tuition and other expenses fully covered by the academy.

As with previous winners, Rzepczynski worked closely with the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) at Notre Dame in applying for the award.

“We are excited to send another Notre Dame alumna to study at the Yenching Academy,” said Emily Hunt, student engagement program coordinator with CUSE. “It has been a pleasure for the CUSE staff to work with Mary over the last few years as she has pursued funding opportunities to conduct research and undertake higher education abroad. These experiences will undoubtedly assist her on her path toward a Ph.D. in architectural history.” 

Rzepczynski is a 2021 Notre Dame graduate in architecture and Asian studies with a minor in historic preservation. She was a member of the DHARMA Laboratory led by Associate Professor of Architecture Krupali Krusche and the Daedalus Laboratory led by Associate Teaching Professor of Architecture Guissepe Mazzone, the latter with support from a summer research grant from CUSE. She conducted research in Bulgaria as a Fulbright Scholar in 2022. Also in 2022, she completed a master’s degree in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. She is fluent in Chinese.

Rzepczynski is currently employed as an architectural designer with Duncan G. Stroik Architect in South Bend. Stroik is a practicing architect, author and professor of architecture at Notre Dame.

As a Yenching Scholar, she plans to study design and construction within the Qing court to better understand the process as well as the workings of the court and its relationship with labor and the environment.

“I am incredibly grateful and excited for this opportunity,” Rzepczynski said. “I would like to thank my family for their encouragement, Emily Hunt for her assistance in the application process, and the faculty I worked with at Notre Dame for their support, particularly Professors Lionel Jensen, Ingrid Rowland and Duncan Stroik.”

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Originally published by Erin Blasko at on June 23, 2023.