MPH student in disaster management named Schwarzman Scholar

College of Public Health MPH student Elizabeth Hardister will continue her studies in China next fall as one of 142 students selected internationally as Schwarzman Scholars, a program designed to prepare the next generation of leaders with an understanding of China’s role in global trends.

The incoming class was narrowed down from a pool of 4,042 international candidates and is comprised of students from 39 countries and 97 universities. This marks the third group of Schwarzman Scholars since the highly competitive program opened to applicants in 2015.

The fully funded, yearlong master’s program in global affairs is offered at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Students live and learn on the Schwarzman College campus and focus their studies on public policy, economics and business, or international studies.

Hardister, from Dunwoody, is completing a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and a master’s in public health with a focus on disaster management

A CURO Honors Scholar, Hardister studies issues related to emergency response and weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation and plans to pursue a career in consequence management.

To further her knowledge of international security, she interned for the U.S. Department of State, the UGA Center for International Trade and Security and TradeSecure LLC. Hardister gained emergency management experience working for Counterterrorism Operations Support in Las Vegas, Nevada; the Greater New York Hospital Association in New York City; the American Red Cross of Georgia in Atlanta; and, at UGA, the Institute for Disaster Management, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Office of Emergency Preparedness, UGA Red Cross, UGA Medical Reserve Corps Field Medical Team, and UGA Campus Emergency Response Team.

Through her work for the State Department, Hardister was selected to attend and produce summary reports for the international nonproliferation trade controls conference in Prague hosted by the U.S., Canada and Czech Republic, and a subsequent regional seminar in Marrakech, Morocco, hosted by the U.S. and Morocco.

Most recently, Hardister was selected to speak on disaster management through community involvement at TEDxUGA: CONNECT in March 2018.

Hardister is a reading tutor in Athens at Barrow Elementary School and was a teaching assistant for the Honors Program and a service ambassador for ServeUGA. She is a member of the Palladia Women’s Honor Society and Sigma Iota Rho, an honor society for international studies.

As a Schwarzman Scholar, Hardister will concentrate in international studies to learn more about China’s emergency management system, nuclear safety and security culture, and contributions to international nonproliferation regimes.

For more information on the Schwarzman Scholars, visit

Posted December 4, 2017.

Read the original news release at UGA Today. Additional coverage ASPPH Friday Letter and The Red & Black.