College of Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts Alumna Receives Prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship

Thu, Dec 1, 2016
Jordan Metoyer
Jordan Metoyer

Jordan Metoyer, an economics and Liberal Arts Honors/Urban Studies alumna from The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a Schwarzman scholarship to study in Beijing.

Metoyer was one of 129 selected for the Schwarzman scholars class of 2018, which comprises students from 30 countries and 75 universities. She is the first UT Austin graduate to receive the award.

The Schwarzman Scholars program was inspired by the Rhodes scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace. The $450 million endowment supports up to 200 scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world for a one-year master’s degree program at Tsinghua University, an indispensable base for China’s scientific and technological research.

There, Metoyer will pursue her master’s degree in global affairs with a concentration in public policy, attending lectures, traveling and developing a better understanding of China. Although most courses in the program are taught in English, Metoyer will also be taking courses to improve her Mandarin.

“I want to dedicate my life to making cities more equitable, more sustainable and smarter,” Metoyer said. “Cities are the economic drivers of countries across the world, and in no place is this more true than China, which will have 221 cities — each with 1 million inhabitants — by the year 2025. Anyone serious about working in the urban planning and economic development space must have a sophisticated understanding of China. If Chinese cities can successfully integrate their migratory populations in a way that creates wealth and increased mobility for all people, the U.S. stands to learn a great deal.”

While a student at UT Austin, Metoyer launched a successful affordable student housing campaign, filmed a short documentary on suburban poverty and conducted research on the Fair Housing Act for the LBJ Presidential Library. She was named a 2013 Harry S. Truman scholar and spent two summers abroad in Accra, Ghana, and Beijing, China, through two UT Austin International Office programs.

Metoyer graduated with honors in 2014 and took a position with the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the Obama administration’s White House, she served in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Office of Management and Budget. She presently works in San Francisco at 18F, an office in the General Services Administration, where she works with cities to integrate new technology into their communities.

“I am delighted to learn about Jordan’s latest honor, but not at all surprised given her outstanding level of dedication and accomplishment both at UT Austin and in her postgraduate career,” said Randy Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “I have always known Jordan to be hard-working and a dedicated scholar, but her commitment to others is truly inspiring. We are so proud to call her one of ours.”

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