International student at MSU lands prestigious summer fellowship at Princeton

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Feifei Zeng (Photo submitted/Anna Barker)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A top international student at Mississippi State has received a prestigious fellowship that will enable her to pursue summer studies at a prominent Ivy League research institution.

Feifei Zeng, a senior marketing/international business and supply chain management major in the university’s College of Business, is a 2017 recipient of the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Fellowship. Those selected participate in a PPIA Junior Summer Institute presented through partnerships with universities across the country. Zeng will study at The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

For more than 30 years, the PPIA summer institute has brought together students with diverse backgrounds and life experiences who are seeking to further their commitment to public service and leadership through domestic and international affairs. For more, visit

Also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in foreign language with a concentration in Spanish, Zeng is a Montgomery Leadership Program Fellow at MSU and member of the university’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College.

Along with serving as an ambassador for the College of Business and the MSU Foundation, she is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies. She also serves as an alumni advisory council appointed member and represents Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at local, regional and national programs.

At MSU, Zeng has been presented with numerous honors over the years. Most recently, she was one of 14 who received a 2017 Spirit of State Award, the university’s premier student recognition for exceptional personal contributions to campus life.

Prior to coming to the U.S., Zeng, a native of China, lived for seven years in Italy. She returned in summer 2015 to complete a six-week study abroad program at Cornell University’s Summer Program in Turin. She also holds an associate of arts degree in business administration from Carl Albert State College in Poteau, Oklahoma.

Tommy Anderson, MSU professor of English and director of the Office of Prestigious External Scholarships, praised Zeng’s “rare intelligence, incredibly optimistic spirit and uncommon willingness to take risks – all attributes that make her a great leader.”

“Feifei is a remarkable student whose lived experience has provided texture and depth to her academic pursuits,” Anderson said. “Her selection as a Junior Fellow in the PPIA Program at Princeton this summer recognizes her potential as an international ambassador, who will lead her generation in solving some of the world’s most challenging political issues.”

Zeng currently is completing a six-month global sourcing finance co-op at International Paper headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. In June, she will travel to Princeton, where she will take classes and network with fellow students and professionals sharing her passion for public policy and international affairs work. She looks forward to returning to MSU for the fall semester and plans to graduate in 2018.

“I visited Princeton over spring break, and the campus was beautiful. I met and talked with people from the Woodrow Wilson School about the PPIA fellowship program, and that got me even more excited,” she said. “This program draws such a diverse group of students who are driven to serve others, and I’m very excited about the opportunities we will have to learn from each other and the friendships that can come from this experience.”

Zeng also expressed immense gratitude for her Mississippi State family, without whom she said the fellowship and other experiences would not have been possible. In addition to Anderson, Zeng said she is especially thankful for Chris Snyder, professor and dean of the Shackouls Honors College; Sharon Oswald, College of Business dean; Checky Herrington, marketing research analyst for the Office of Public Affairs; and MSU alumna Jamie Aron, who participated in the Princeton PPIA fellowship program in 2015.

“Mississippi State is an amazing place with good people who have provided me with phenomenal opportunities. As an international and transfer student, it meant a lot to me that the faculty and staff here saw something special in me and encouraged me to dream big, get out of my comfort zone, and learn something from every experience,” Zeng said.

“Being a family – that’s what Mississippi State is all about. Before I came to State, I never could have imagined all of these opportunities and that I would be on this journey. I am and will always be very grateful,” she said.

For more about MSU’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, visit; College of Business,; Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures,; and Office of Public Affairs,

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Monday, April 24, 2017 - 10:00 am