Jennifer Zelnick ’12 Named Luce Scholar
Only 18 U.S. students were named Luce Scholars this year by the Henry Luce Foundation and Jennifer Zelnick ’12 is one of them. She is the first Haverford student since 1999 to be be awarded one of the prestigious fellowships, which offer a year-long immersion experience in Asia for outstanding young America
Only 75 U.S. colleges and universities are invited to nominate candidates, who may be graduating seniors or graduate students. The fellowships, which provide a stipend, language training and a personalized professional placement, are aimed at individuals who have had limited experience in Asia, and the program describes itself as “experiential” rather than academic in focus. The goal is to stretch the minds of the participants, who are chosen based not only on academic achievement, but personal qualities such as creativity, humility, openness to new ideas, and cultural sensitivity.
Zelnick, an anthropology major, underwent a rigorous interview and application process under the guidance of Dean Philip Bean. “At first, during the finalist interviews, I expressed interest in Cambodia, Thailand, India, and Malaysia in addition to Indonesia,” she says. “However, the judges and the placement coordinator seemed confident that Indonesia would be the best fit.”
“We are all absolutely delighted that Jen, who exemplifies the fundamental values to which both Haverford and Luce are dedicated, has been chosen for this marvelous opportunity,” said Bean. “She was a wonderful candidate and it has been a great pleasure to work with her over the course of her career at Haverford. ”
Zelnick spent last summer in Bali and Java through an internship sponsored by Haverford’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC) that allowed her to do ethnographic research on the HIV+ community in Bali. She chose to apply to the Luce Scholars Program because she wanted to maintain her connection to Indonesia. In the future, Zelnick plans to continue her research and pursue a Ph.D. in, anthropology. “My hope is to continue to work within this community, and explore the ways in which individuals with HIV experience gender and sexual violence,” she says. Zelnick also wants to improve her Bahasa, which is one of the major languages spoken in Indonesia.
Zelnick says she feels grateful to Haverford College for the opportunities her education has offered, such as travel and exposure to other cultures. In addition to the CPGC-sponsored internship in Indonesia, Zelnick traveled to Turkey with the Bi-Co Chamber Singers during her junior year. While there, she did a “mini-ethnography” on honor killings that was later published in The Journal of Undergraduate Anthropology.
“Haverford's commitment to enacting social change through education and empowerment,” says Zelinick, “has motivated me to follow this particular life path.”
—Ananya Mukkavilli ’14 and Eils Lotozo