About Ji

Ji is a recipient of the Bonderman Fellowship offered to four graduating seniors from the University of Michigan every year. The fellowship grants 20K and requires solo travel to a minimum of six countries in two non-western regions of the world over eight months. 

Ji was born in Guangzhou but grew up in Michigan and has called Ann Arbor home. Her desire to understand the physical Earth led her to pursue a bachelor's degree in earth and environmental science. Ji enjoys challenging herself and trying unfamiliar things. She has spent summers in between semesters exploring the United States by pedaling a bicycle from Ann Arbor to Lake Tahoe and along the Pacific coast from Seattle to San Diego. Ji hopes to inspire people to go out there and do crazy things! 

Ji will be packing a sense of wonder as she travels the world. Her tentative itinerary includes India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Morocco, Ghana, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil. 

The Fellowship

The Bonderman Fellowship originated in 1995 through a generous donation by David Bonderman to his alma mater, the University of Washington. The idea of an unstructured travel and solo study abroad fellowship came from Mr. Bonderman's own experience as a Sheldon fellow in which he traveled the world in this manner and was profoundly impacted.

Then in 2013, Mr. Bonderman's daughter and nephew-in-law decided to bring the Bonderman Fellowship to the University of Michigan, their own alma mater. A generous donation to the Center for Global and Intercultural Study made it possible for the first cohort of maize and blue Bonderman fellows to embark on journeys of their own in 2014.

The open ended nature and focus away from academic origins allow the fellowship to be a catalyst for new perspectives. Though every experience is unique, every fellow shares a mission of growth by challenging predispositions and transforming personal conventions. 

Stephen Dowker, Jamal Jenkins, Kelly O'Donnel, and Ji Ye make up the 2017 cohort of Bonderman fellows from the University of Michigan. 





Jamal Jenkins

Kelly O'Donnel


For more information on the fellowship and how to apply, visit the MCompass page.