- Marshall Scholar (2021)
- Wells Senior Recognition Award (2018)
A Herman B Wells Scholar, John McHugh graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Highest Distinction with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures and minors in Political Science and Central Eurasian Studies. He received the Uehara Scholarship for Excellence in East Asian Studies, awarded to the department's top graduating senior. John has studied abroad in both China and in Kyrgyzstan. In China, John has studied with Middlebury College and the U.S. Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship Program. At Middlebury College's School in China, he received the best thesis award for a Chinese-language research paper. In Kyrgyzstan, John studied at the American University of Central Asia.
On campus, John serves as President of the Board of Aeons, an institutional research group within IU's Office of the President. He founded Project Pengyou at IU to promote U.S.-China relations. He has served on the China Remixed Student Committee, Provost's Taskforce on Diversity and Inclusion, and Cabinet of Student Leaders. John has also held leadership positions within the Civic Leaders Center and Oxfam IU.
Beyond Bloomington, John has pursued China-related professional experiences. John has worked at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., for a former Deputy National Security Advisor to VP Biden. He also interned in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where he led a project evaluating China's impact on Kyrgyzstan's political economy.