Among the posters of the 2017 Tsinghua Top Grade Scholarship candidates, a student in a military uniform giving the military salute drew a lot of attention from onlookers. Who is he? Li Chenning from the School of Aerospace Engineering. As a Tsinghua national defense student, he is a student, a soldier and a contributor to the building of national defense.
“Every young boy has a dream to be a general.” Li has been a military enthusiast ever since he was young. His uncle, who have had military experiences was his idol. It came as no surprise that he chose to be a national defense student.
Although Li has achieved his dream of being a national defense student at Tsinghua, he also faced many challenges when he first entered Tsinghua. Li said that being surrounded by so many outstanding students made him realize just how much work he needs to do, “Engineering courses have always been a hard nut to crack for me.” Every week, Li has nearly 10 hours intensive military and political training. However, additional academic pressure inspired his soldier’s morale. After the physical trainings in the evening, he would go back to study and ensure that time has been well used. After three years of study, Li has completed 187 credit courses and got a minor degree in computer studies. Every year he got the highest GPA in his class. Li said, “I’m not an intellectual genius. I just give it my very best. ”
In addition to his academic excellence, Li is also a soldier. As a national defense student, he volunteered to join a heroic regiment in the army. The grass-roots experiences in the army have strengthened his national defense dream. Due to his outstanding academic and military performances, he was elected the company commander of the national defense students. Alongside his comrades, their performances in theory and military practice earned them much honor in Tsinghua.
Entering his senior year, Li continues to challenge himself. He aims to be a contributor to the building of national defense with dedicating himself to scientific research. He undertook five SRT (Student Research Training) programs, gained experiences in interdisciplinary laboratories, conducted research related to engine control, electrochemistry, rocket dynamics simulation and more. He has gained support from student research promotion projects in Tsinghua and carried on summer research in Georgia Institute of Technology. In September 2017, he traveled to Indonesia for a cultural immersion program. “Tsinghua told me that national defense students can also be very international,” Li said.
“I chose to wear this uniform. I salute to the military spirit and my nation. I aim to be an outstanding Tsinghua students and a soldier dedicating to the scientific research and the building of national defense.” Li said it was the courage and dream that Tsinghua gave him that has allowed him to do what he wants.
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