Occidental Graduate Awarded Luce Scholarship
Andrea Nieves '07 has been awarded a Luce Fellowship, which seeks to improve understanding of Asia among potential leaders in the United States.
She is the 15th Luce Scholar from Occidental since this prestigious award was initiated in 1974, and the College's fourth winner in as many years.
The fellowship, which provides a living stipend, language training and a job based on professional qualifications, is highly competitive. Of the 143 candidates nominated by 62 colleges and universities for the 2012-2013 class of Luce Scholars, just 18 were chosen. The Henry Luce Foundation launched the scholars program to educate young leaders with limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity to learn about a diverse area of the world that includes China, India and Japan as well as the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar.
"Luce Scholars gain new perspectives and cultural insights on their host countries through immersive living and working experiences in Asia," according to the Luce Foundation website.
A native of Pleasant Hill, Calif., Nieves graduated from Occidental with a bachelor's degree in American Studies and a law degree from New York University. She will begin her yearlong fellowship in June. Nieves, who has never been to Asia, doesn't yet know which country she will go to, nor what her job will be. But the latter will likely be based on her experience as an attorney. Nieves is a fellow at the Durham, N.C.-based Fair Trial Initiative, a nonprofit group that recruits and trains lawyers to work on death-penalty trials.
She's interested in working at Cambodia's Khmer Rouge Tribunal, as some previous Luce Scholars have done. The tribunal is a national court that tries senior members of the Communist-led Khmer Rouge for war crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity. But Nieves said she's also open to other meaningful work.
"I want to get a more international perspective before going forward with the rest of my career," she said of her decision to apply for the Luce program. "I think I'll be a better attorney if I can work with a different population and develop skills to work with diverse communities."