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2018 Valedictorian Ready for the Ivy League

Shu Ye ’18 (China) will major in Art History at the University of Pennsylvania, selecting the distinguished Ivy League school over Vanderbilt University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); University of Southern California (USC); and New York University (NYU).

A well-rounded and highly accomplished student described by her teachers as “first-rate, outstanding, earnest, diligent, steadfast, and inquisitive,” Shu closed her three-year career at TASIS with a 3.95 GPA, scored 36 points on her IB Diploma assessment, was inducted to the inaugural TASIS chapter of the Cum Laude Society, and earned three prestigious awards at her class’s Commencement Ceremony: The Excellence in History Award, The Shah Akbar Khan Award for Excellence in Mathematics, and The Valedictorian Scholarship Award.

Shu believes the depth and breadth of the TASIS curriculum prepared her well for college and helped her determine her future course of study. “The challenging IB Diploma got me ready for the heavy workload in the future, and I learned to manage my time well,” she said. “Also, the history and architecture classes, the various Academic Travel trips, the class field trips, and the regular exposure to cultural events gave me a professional knowledge of art history, the field I want to research more deeply in the future.”

Shu said the courses she’ll remember most fondly are 10th-grade European History with Dan Kirsch and the two-year IB Architecture program guided by Master Teacher Mark Aeschliman, and she credits these teachers and the TASIS College Counseling Office for setting her on the path that ultimately led her to UPenn.

What I’ll miss most is the close bond between students and teachers and amongst the students themselves.


“Before I got to TASIS, I dreamed about going to a US school, but I did not have a clear goal,” she said. “Then I studied European history and architecture, went on an amazing faculty-led trip to Florence, and began to develop an interest in art history. Mr. Birk [Director of University and College Counseling] suggested several great schools with strong Art History programs, and he also encouraged me to apply to the most challenging schools even though I felt like I was not qualified for them. Throughout the whole process, I always felt less stressed after talking to Mr. Birk, and the valuable suggestions he and Ms. Abisi [College Counseling Assistant] had for my essays also strengthened my application profile.”


Shu’s remarkable dedication to her studies did not stop her from also being highly engaged in the TASIS community outside the classroom. She was a two-time participant in The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) conference in the Netherlands, rediscovered her love for the piano and several times performed as a soloist with the backing of a professional orchestra, co-founded a Culture Salon designed to promote a deeper understanding of the impressive cultural diversity existing within the TASIS student body, served as a student leader of the Serving Southern Africa Global Service Program group and traveled to Zambia and Botswana her sophomore year, and chronicled many of these experiences (and more) through her role as a prolific member of the Journalism and Video Production Internship team.

“All of these activities challenged me from different perspectives and helped me change from a quiet girl to a more open, confident, and active TASIS student,” she said. “They made my life here busy but memorable.”

Shu made the most of her three years at TASIS, leaving an indelible mark on her teachers and peers while carrying forth enough memories to last a lifetime. “What I’ll miss most is the close bond between students and teachers and amongst the students themselves,” she said. “And I won’t soon forget the view from my Lanterna room’s window or the artistic atmosphere that is always present on campus.”

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