Luce ScholarGAMBIER, Ohio (April 15, 2010) Michael Machala '09 will pursue his interest in renewable energy in Southeast Asia thanks to the Henry Luce Foundation, which named him a Luce Scholar for 2010-11.
Machala is one of eighteen Luce Scholars selected by the foundation from a field of 159 candidates nominated by 65 colleges and universities. He is an Idaho native who recently completed a term as a Transatlantic Renewable Energy Fellow in Dresden, Germany, where he continued his research into the development of low-cost solar cells. That fellowship is an initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office. He attended the U.N. Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, last year.
"I've always wanted to experience how renewable energy integration in rural, poor areas impacts culture and quality of life," Machala said. "I am truly honored to be selected as a Luce Scholar."
The New York City-based foundation created the Luce Scholars Program in 1974, targeting high-achieving, young American leaders with little experience in Asia. The program is an opportunity for the scholars to learn about their host countries and make a professional contribution to their host organization over a ten-month visit. Scholars will first engage in a two-month language-study program.
Machala has not yet decided on a career course. "My academic coursework was based in chemistry and physics, and I designed my own major to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the science behind renewable energy technologies, in particular, solar cells. Much of my experience has been in researching low-cost solar cells."
Machala was an All-America award winner in swimming in 2009 and was co-captain of the national championship team that year. He also played the violin in symphonic orchestra performances during his time at Kenyon.
"At Kenyon I was able to uncover, explore, and pursue some of my greatest passions with the support and guidance of faculty, coaches, friends, and the community," he said. "I believe Kenyon has prepared me well to appreciate what the world has to offer - a truly holistic experience I will always cherish."