Senior Honors student, Jacob Bogart, has been named Ohio State's first Luce Scholar. The scholarship provides funding and training for a one-year professional placement in Asia. Eighteen scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding seniors and recent graduates across the country. This year, the Luce Scholars are from eighteen nominating institutions and were chosen among 155 nominees.
As a Luce Scholar, Jacob will spend a year in a yet-to-be-determined professional placement in an Asian country. A placement is individually arranged for each Scholar on the basis of his or her professional interest, background and qualifications. Past Luce Scholars interested in human rights, the field Jacob wishes to pursue, have been placed with the Human Rights and Development Foundation in Thailand and the Commission for the Disappeared & Victims of Violence in Indonesia.
"I am completely thrilled," Jacob said. "The Luce provides an incredible opportunity to have an experiential year abroad, combining vocational and cultural experience for a truly in-depth understanding."
The Luce Scholars Program was created by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to "enhance understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society" and is specifically targeted at students who have had limited exposure to Asia. Luce Scholars can have backgrounds in a variety of fields including the arts, law, science, public health, environmental studies, international relation and more. A professional placement is identified in consultation with each newly selected Luce Scholar and individually tailored for the Scholar's professional interest and background.
An Honors student majoring in Globalization Studies and French, Jacob is finishing his honors thesis, advised by Dr. Nina Berman and Dr. Terri Teal Bucci. Researching international aid in Haitian tent camps after the 2010 earthquake, he presented the results of this research last spring at an international professional conference in Japan. Jacob, a member of the Honors Collegium, spent his junior year abroad, interning with the NGO Human Rights Watch in Geneva, Switzerland, and then studying French at the Sorbonne in Paris. Last summer, he also participated in the Public Policy and International Affairs Summer Institute at Princeton University.
While interning with Human Rights Watch, Jacob was tasked with a major research project chronicling human rights abuses in North Korea, as part of a report for Marzuki Darusman, the UN Special Rappoteur on Human Rights in North Korea. The project served as a crucial point in shaping Jacob's interest in Asia – a region where human rights advocacy continues to grow. "My research on North Korea gave me great insight into the theoretical issues surrounding human rights. Now I feel I need an experience to challenge my understanding of how human rights policies are actually implemented on a country-specific level. The Luce provides an extremely interesting context and perspective in which to do this in Asia."
Outside of the classroom, Jacob has served as President of the Ohio State chapter of Amnesty International, was named to the 2013 Homecoming Court, and is an active member of the Collegiate Council on World Affairs-Model UN club. In the future, Jacob plans to pursue graduate study in international relations and human rights law before pursuing a career in human rights advocacy on the international level.
While Jacob is Ohio State's first student to be awarded a Luce Scholarship, the university does have a former Luce on faculty. Dr. Bruce Kimball, Professor in the Department of Educational Studies, was in the inaugural class of Luce Scholars in 1974, spending a year in Japan.
"Jacob is remarkably intelligent, articulate, informed, and poised and has deep concern for human rights. The finalists for the Luce Scholarship come from the finest universities in the nation and generally have several years of post-graduate study or experience. Jacob has done himself and Ohio State proud," Kimball said.
To compete for the Luce Scholars Program, students must be endorsed by one of 75 nominating institutions. Since Ohio State is not currently designated as such, Jacob was nominated in collaboration with Tulane University in New Orleans. "We are extremely proud of Jacob and his impressive accomplishments. Ohio State has many students who would be a great fit for the Luce program," said Linn Van Woerkom, associate provost and director for the University Honors & Scholars Center. "I hope Jacob's success this year helps move Ohio State toward becoming a nominating institution in the future."
Ohio State University students interested in pursuing national fellowship opportunities should contact the Undergraduate Fellowship Office, http://fellowships.osu.edu. More information on the Luce Scholarship can be found through the Henry Luce Foundation, http://www.hluce.org/lsprogram.aspx