Cristal Zhu

Hi! My name is Cristal Zhu, and I’m overjoyed and honored to be part of the Baldwin family.

I was born in China and went to Singapore for high school. Growing up as a girl in a traditional family, I was taught to be a passive listener rather than an active change maker. Hence, the 4-year scholarship opportunity for me to study in Singapore was a turning point in my life. I attended an all-girls’ school in the first 2 years and was amazed by girls’ potential to lead. Inspired by girls around me, I gradually stepped out of my comfort zone, identified problems in the community, and came up innovative solutions to initiate changes. In the later 2 years, I realized that I could also be a role model of others even in a co-ed environment, empowering women around me.

I’m fully aware of how privileged I am to be able to study abroad in Singapore, and now being a blue devil and a Baldwin Scholar. I believe in taking up the social responsibility to help others in need whenever I’m able to. In my free time, I interact with the elderly, underprivileged children and intellectually disabled via volunteering sessions, fundraisers and scientific research.

I came to Duke thinking of majoring in biology. However, the liberal arts education at Duke allowed me to explore fields that I didn't have access to in the past. I found myself intrigued by computer science and other disciplines such as business and environmental science. I’m now involved in Business Oriented Women, Duke China-US Summit business development team, Sustainability Ambassador Program and research. Carrying on my work as the secretary of Chinese Society and captain of my dorm in high school, I’m also a freshman representative of Chinese Student Association at Duke, as I believe in creating a home away from home for international students.

I’m by no means defined and limited by the short introduction of myself here. I look forward to making full use of the resources Duke and Baldwin have to offer, discovering my potentials while delving deeper into my passions. Meanwhile, I can’t wait to learn from the community of aspired and self-aware women leaders at Baldwin!

photo of Cristal Zhu