Yao Named 2019 Rhodes Scholar

Yao Named 2019 Rhodes Scholar

By Kendra Parks

Yao Named 2019 Rhodes Scholar

By Kendra Parks
Miami Business School alumna Kristiana Yao is one of 32 Americans included in the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2019.


The selections were announced on November 17.

Yao will begin her graduate studies in England at Oxford University in October 2019.

During her tenure at University of Miami, Yao earned two degrees – a BBA in Health Management and Policy from MBS and a BS in Public Health from the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

“The Health Management and Policy program provides an interdisciplinary education to help undergraduate students navigate the complex health care landscape. My classes went beyond technical skills in challenging me to think deeply about the ethical implications of business decisions, the politics of health policy, and strategies to improve public health with limited resources,” said Yao.

Yao credits the HMP faculty for being so supportive of her professional goals in health policy and says they helped to prepare her to be a better public servant.

“My favorite part of UM has always been an incredible faculty. When I reflect on my experience at MBS, I think about discussing current health news with Health Management and Policy Associate Professor Karoline Mortensen or talking about the Affordable Care Act with Business Law Professor Anita Cava,” said Yao.

Dr. Mortensen also had kind words to say about Yao and her days as an HMP student.

“Kristiana continues to impress us with her intelligence, maturity, and commitment to service. I’m so proud to see her thrive, and I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to learn from her in the classroom,” said Dr. Mortensen. “I miss the conversations about health care reform while she was a Congressional staffer, and I’m looking forward to seeing the change she will make in the world after she represents Miami at Oxford.”

Yao’s studies and experience as a Congressional staffer allowed her to see first-hand that many improvements are needed within the American health care system.

“What are the most effective, efficient ways to improve public health when our health system is so fragmented? I would be encouraged to see a continuation of the shift to value-based care – paying for value rather than volume – and strategic integration of social services with health care. However, testing new delivery and payment models will not fix runaway health care spending without larger reform.”

We look forward to following Yao and her future endeavors.

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