Another Luce Scholar Heads to AsiaGAMBIER, Ohio (March 17, 2008) For a second consecutive year, a recent Kenyon graduate will travel to Asia as a Luce Scholar.
Allison Jones '01, a teacher at John Hanson Montessori, a public school in Prince George's County, Maryland, hopes to enhance her skills as an educator in an Asian setting over eleven months in 2008 and 2009. "The fellowship will give me the opportunity to become familiar with the political situation and educational policy of an Asian country," Jones said.
Her career goals include bringing Montessori's nurturing principles to underserved students, something she has already accomplished once by helping to establish a Montessori school in Dakar, Senegal.
She joins Samuel Polk '04 as a Luce Scholar. Polk is currently on assignment with the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Henry Luce Foundation, based in New York City, selects eighteen young scholars culled from multiple nominations offered by sixty-seven colleges and universities. The Luce Scholars Program is coordinated by the Asia Foundation, based in San Francisco, California, which arranges internship placements in East and Southeast Asia and provides support services.
Scholars will work with the Asia Foundation to find the best fit for their skills and will learn about their specific assignments this spring. The journeys begin in late August.
The "very competitive" selection process is designed to find scholars who will take best advantage of a cultural rather than academic experience and return to share that knowledge in the United States, said Michelle Douenias, a program assistant at the Luce Foundation.
Wendy Singer, the Roy T. Wortman Distinguished Professor of History, is the College liaison with the Luce Foundation and has recruited candidates for the fellowship. She studies elections and politics in India. "I'm thrilled," Singer said. "My greatest dedication is to Asian studies, and I love people going to Asia. We want it to be a transformative experience."
Singer attributes Kenyon's success in the Luce program to a growing interest among students in the global community and a focus on the College's International Studies Program.
"We want to find people who have a career and are willing to go to Asia and work with other professionals and engage with them as colleagues," Singer said. "This will change how they approach their own careers when they come back to this country."
Jones, who is twenty-eight, was an international studies major at Kenyon and, after graduation, enrolled in a Montessori teacher-training program in Paris, France. She then spent three years helping to develop the Montessori program in Senegal. She later earned a master's at Loyola College in Maryland.
In her statement to the Luce selection committee, Jones said she hoped to observe and learn teaching techniques as practiced in other countries and to eventually set up Montessori schools abroad. "One of my major aims is to teach my students to be world citizens," she said. "The time spent in Asia will allow me to cultivate in my students a truly international understanding for generations to come."
Scholars receive a monthly stipend based on local cost-of-living expenses. Required language study is also supported by the foundation.