Wenjie Gong and Zubia Hasan elected 2022 Soros Fellows!

April 14, 2022
Wenjie Gong and Zubia Hasan elected 2022 Soros Fellows!

Physics/Math senior concentrator Wenjie Gong and physics G1 Zubia Hasan are among the 30 New Americans who received the 2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships.  

Congratulations, Wenjie and Zubia!

Portraits of Wenjie Gong and Zubia Hasan
Wenjie Gong (left) and Zubia Hasan

Wenjie Gong, born in Shijiazhuang, China, joined her parents in the United States, where they were pursuing their graduate degrees, when she was four years old. As her family settled down, Wenjie moved throughout the country, relocating from Texas, to Kansas, and finally to Florida. In 2017, after living in the US for over a decade, Wenjie and her parents were naturalized as US citizens. 

From the very first physics class that she took in high school, Wenjie was enraptured by the subject. So, when she entered Harvard University as an undergraduate student, she explored various fields of research in physics. During her undergraduate career, Wenjie has grown thin films of high-temperature superconductorswith Professor Jennifer Hoffman at Harvard; formulated theory regarding entanglement measures at high energy colliders with Doctor Raju Venugopalan at Brookhaven National Laboratory; and simulated a cavity-couped silicon-vacancy center (SiV-) in diamond with Professor Mikhail Lukin at Harvard. Her undergraduate work resulted in three publications, including two first-authored manuscripts, and was recognized with the Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Her experiences in college inspired her interest in quantum information. By exploiting quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement, quantum computers operating with quantum bits, or qubits, may solve certain computational problems significantly faster than their classical counterparts. However, theoretical input regarding the physical realization of qubits, methods of noise reduction and error correction, and the capability of current noisy quantum architectures is necessary. 

After graduation, Wenjie will pursue a PhD degree in quantum information theory, specifically focusing on the intersection between quantum information and physical systems, at MIT's Center for Theoretical Physics. By working on theory with near-term impacts, Wenjie hopes to contribute to breakthroughs in implementing quantum information for widespread usage, helping lead modern technology beyond the classical era.

Zubia Hasan was born and raised in the bustling coastal city of Karachi, Pakistan, and came to the United States with her family in 2017. Zubia’s education, which coinsided with some of the most politically turbulent years in the history of Karachi, was often disrupted by strikes, bomb threats, and city shutdowns. In America, Zubia’s family dreamed of a future where security was not always under threat and basic needs not always a question. Determined to support others, Zubia has made it one of her primary goals to work towards promoting higher education in Pakistani and Afghani communities in America. 

Zubia graduated in 2021 with general and departmental honors from Johns Hopkins University where she majored in physics. The most instructive part of her undergraduate education was her research at McQueen Lab under the mentorship of Professor Tyrel McQueen, where she found her passion for condensed matter experimental (CME) physics. She saw this field as the perfect marriage of application and basic science research. Zubia also took classes in writing where she found a love for poetry and fiction writing. Combining her interest in writing and physics, Zubia graduated from Hopkins with a first author paper in which she wove a story about CuTeO4, the material she synthesized and studied at McQueen Lab. 

At Hopkins, Zubia also served as a PILOT Leader, a peer tutoring program for students struggling in STEM courses. Passionate about equal access to education in America, Zubia served as the undergraduate representative in the Committee for Inclusion and Diversity in physics at Johns Hopkins.  

Zubia is currently a PhD student in physics at Harvard University. Continuing her love for CME, Zubia is now conducting research in Professor Julia Mundy’s lab where she works to synthesize and study novel quantum materials in the thin film limit. As an aspiring scientist, Zubia hopes to be at the forefront of materials discovery while also being connected with the larger Cambridge community through mentoring and outreach efforts towards the large immigrant population in Massachusetts.


The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program honors the contributions of immigrants and children of immigrants to the United States. Each year, 30 New Americans—immigrants and children of immigrants—are chosen among students who are poised to make significant contributions to US society, culture or their academic field. Each Fellow receives up to $90,000 in financial support over two years, and they join a lifelong community of New American Fellows.