The International Institute is pleased to announce Robert Rogers has been selected as a 2016-2017 Luce Scholar. He joins 17 other awardees from across the country who were selected from a pool of 162 candidates. He is the second Luce Scholar from the university in two years.

Rogers (BA Philosophy, ’14) will finish his master’s degree in globalization and public decision strategy at Sciences Po Aix, Aix-en-Provence, France, this spring. As an undergraduate he volunteered with World Medical Relief, sorting medical supplies destined for underserved countries. He also worked with Freedom House in Detroit, assisting with translation and English education for West African asylum seekers.

In addition, he spent three summers as a research assistant and project leader with the University of Michigan Health System, examining and evaluating the Project Healthy Schools initiatives in Detroit and Southern Michigan, which are focused on reducing childhood obesity. In 2015, he presented his research at the American Heart Association Epidemiology conference in San Francisco.

Rogers has focused on a career in public health and education policy, and his deep interest in both fields comes mostly from his involvement with Project Healthy Schools, as well as his current work with UNESCO in Dakar, Senegal, where he assists with the evaluation and implementation of HIV education programs in West Africa. “Through this work, I’ve seen how quickly and effectively educational interventions can make a meaningful impact on people’s lives,” he explains. “For example, you can distribute thousands of contraceptives here in Senegal, but without a complementary sexual education program, they will not be used safely and properly.”

While the details of Rogers’ project are still being worked out, he thinks he’ll be doing research with a public health NGO in Hanoi, Vietnam. “One of the amazing things about Luce is how much they care about your personal and professional development throughout the entire process,” he notes. “At this point, it’s hard to know exactly what role Luce will play in my life, but I feel incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity.”

The Luce Scholar Program is a national, competitive fellowship program, providing stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15 to 18 Luce Scholars each year. Founded in 1974 by Time Inc. editor-in-chief Henry Luce, to honor his parents who did missionary work in China, the program accepts applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia. This year, 71 top U.S. universities and colleges were invited to nominate up to three candidates per campus.

The Luce Scholars Program is administered by the International Institute, and students must be nominated by the university. For more information, please visit our Luce Scholars Program website.