Alumni News

Academy Director connects with McDonnell alumni

LauraBenoist Chuanmei Zhu

McDonnell Academy alumna Chuanmei Zhu, who earned her PhD in Plant and Microbial Bioscience from WashU in 2014, recently reconnected with Laura Benoist, director of the McDonnell Academy. Zhu currently serves as the VP of Data Science, Partnership, and Outreach at Premier Strategy Consulting, LLC. Her success is a testament to how McDonnell Academy graduates excel in their careers and make a difference in various industries.

Additionally, Melody Yunzi Li and Laura Benoist reconnected over coffee last spring. Melody is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Houston. While visiting St. Louis, she participated in McDonnell Academy events and met with leadership.

These types of casual meetings not only allow for reminisce about some of the experiences shared at WashU, but also present an excellent opportunity for the Academy to strengthen its ties with its graduates and celebrate their accomplishments. Such reunions reinforce the close-knit community that the McDonnell Academy fosters, as it continues to nurture exceptional talent and provide a solid foundation for future leaders in various fields.