Ravi Kavasery, a 20-year-old Johns Hopkins University senior from Coram, N.Y., has been selected as a Luce Scholar, the Henry Luce Foundation has announced.
Each year, the Luce Scholars Program provides stipends and internships for 15 young Americans under 30 with bachelor's degrees to live and work in Asia. Dating from 1974, the program's purpose is to increase awareness of Asia among future leaders in American society. Kavasery, the senior class president at Johns Hopkins, is the youngest Luce Scholar this year. He anticipates that his Luce Scholarship will take him to Shanghai, Seoul or Tokyo. He wants to combine his interests in technology with his concern for urban development to work for a company looking for solutions to problems like pollution and traffic congestion. Kavasery is also hoping to work on other projects that require technology solutions, especially the digital divide that exists in many Asian countries.
"The Luce Scholars Program offers me an eye-opening opportunity to work in Asia, which is one of the most technologically advanced regions in the world," Kavasery wrote in his application essay. "Each Asian country is different from its neighbors in its methods of technological innovation, largely influenced by distinct cultures and political landscapes. At the same time, Asian cities are faced with complex issues that command serious attention, including overpopulation, pollution and traffic congestion. Now more than ever, these problems must be addressed, because further escalation might make them unmanageable in the future."
In May, Kavasery will earn a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering with minors in economics and mathematics. He plans to prepare for his year in Asia by enrolling in an intensive language study at Middlebury College this summer. The Luce Scholars program begins in August with an orientation in the United States. After several months in Asia, the scholars come together for further orientation in Hong Kong. At the end of the program year in July, scholars present final reports at a wrap-up session in Asia.
Kavasery is the second Johns Hopkins student in two years to win a Luce Scholarship. Zina Deretsky, last year's winner from Johns Hopkins, is currently in Mongolia working as an illustrator for a botanical institute. For more information on Deretsky, visit her Web site, www.levelfive.com/ZINA/.
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