Our Fellows & Scholars

Fellows, Scholars & Artists-in-Residence

The Foundation has supported many Fellows and Scholars from the following universities: Borough of Manhattan Community College, Case Western, Columbia, Marietta, Wooster, and Yale. Scholars receive Foundation grants ranging from $500 to $9,000. Over the years our Foundation Artists-in-Residence have included a poet and a modern dancer with plans for a novelist/screenwriter to be awarded in 2018.

J. Luce Fellows.

Our Fellowship Program is a calendar-year program in which approved Fellows support the Foundation’s mission of supporting young global leadership by applying their own specific training and skills, either in person or virtually, to address the challenges of the Foundation.

2017 J. Luce Foundation Fellows were Vanessa Cabezas (U. of Barcelona), Neil Tournoux (Ohio State U.), and Ryuichiro Higa (Cornell U./Keio U.), working with our Human Resources Committee. Other Fellows are Aruditya Singh Jasrotia (India, 2016), Xuan “Isaac” He (China to Columbia, 2016), and Yang “Frank” Yi, China to Case Western, 2015). Chinh Duong (Yale, 2018) has been nominated for our 2018 Fellowship.

The first Luce Fellows were from Marietta College. For 2015-16, these were: Mandee Young (Soph., Advertising & Public Relations), Amanda Davis (Soph., International Business, Economics), Matthew Johnson (Fresh., International Leadership Studies, Spanish), McKenzie Fleeman (Fresh., Psychology), and Celeste Prince (Soph., International Leadership Studies, Psychology). See Huffington Post story here.

Vanessa Cabezas

Luce Fellow ’17

Working on her Doctorate at the University of Barcelona, Vanessa graduated with honors from Hofstra University. She is a member of the Council of Elite Women’s Entrepreneur group as well as the Hispanic Public Relations Association.​

Xuan “Isaac” He

Luce Fellow ’16

A native of China, Isaac earned his B.A. at the University of Manchester in Electronic Engineering, a M.A. Georgia Institute of Technology in Computer Engineering, and today studies at Columbia University in the City of New York. His volunteer activities included Georgia Tech Pride Alliance and the Manchester University’s Choir and Orchestra Society.

Ryuichiro Higa

Luce Fellow ’17

Ryuichiro graduated from prestigious Keio University in Tokyo with a Bachelor of Law degree, and now is a Master Degree candidate at Cornell University School of  Industrial and Labor Relations with a concentration in Human Resources and Organizations. He chairs our foundation’s Human Resources Committee. While studying at Keio, he organized events for disadvantaged children and, upon graduation, interned for the United Nations Population Fund where he worked to increase awareness of U.N. Cares initiatives and resources for HIV+ and LGBT employees.​

Neil Tournoux

Luce Fellow ’17

A graduate of Capital University’s Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program, Neil studied at the Ohio State University School of Nursing. His interest in psychiatric nursing became clear after beginning clinical rotations in this field. He felt such a strong pull towards this field that he requested to be placed in a psychiatric behavioral health unit for the following semester, Neil feels a strong personal connection to this population. The youngest of three siblings, Neil witnessed the hardships of mental health in his older brother Shane’s experiences with bipolar disorder growing up. Neil was drawn to this field because he felt like he could utilize his strengths of empathy and interpersonal communication. Neil currently works as a nurse at Ohio State University’s psychiatric hospital on the adolescent unit. He has plans to further his education in the future by becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner. He is the recipient of scholarships by the Luce Foundation and its Bauer Fund. See The J. Luce Foundation’s Bauer Fund Announces 2017 Award Recipients.

Yang “Frank” Yi

Luce Fellow ’16

Completing his Masters degree at Case Western Reserve University, Frank graduated from the University of International Relations in Beijing with his junior year spent at Marietta College. In college, he has participated in both the Model United Nations and Debate Team, as well as the The LGBTQ Alliance, and Global Connections.​

Aruditya Singh Jasrotia

Luce Fellow ’16

Aru received his M.B.A. from the Central University of Jammu in India, where he also received his Ph.D. Today he is a research scholar at the same institution, specializing in Travel & Tourism Management

J. Luce Scholars.

Tsewang “Keii” Lhamo (BMCC ‘16), and Hector Liang (Baruch ‘18?) and Brendan Adkinson (Yale Ph.D.), Thanh Dang (College of Wooster ‘16), and Rylie Wahl (Marietta College ‘19) were our Luce Scholars for 2016.  Each will be given a $500-$1,000 stipend in 2016. Past Awardees were Jamil Patacon Fuller, Yu “Jeff” Guan, and Jeremy Leong ($9,000). We have agreed to have Marietta College nominate one Luce Scholar per year. 


We are considering Indian-American author Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla for 2018.  Poet Manav Sachdeva Maasoom (India) received this award in 2015.  Our 2016 Award for Artist-in-Residence was presented to contemporary dancer & choreographer Rohan Bhargava (India) whose troupe performed at both our Annual Awards Reception and August YGL Graduation Ceremony.


Rohan Bhargava

Artist-in-Residence ’16

A modern dancer and choreographer, Rohan was born and raised in New Delhi, India. He began his formal dance training at The Danceworx Academy of Performing Arts, and then relocated to New York City to pursue his B.F.A in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, He has performed in works by Bill T. Jones, Deborah Jowitt, and Laura Peterson, and danced for the Cameron McKinney/Kizuna Dance and Live Arts Collaborative. Rohan is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Chief Choreographer of the Rovaco Dance Company.

Manav Sachdeva Maasoom

Artist-in-Residence ’15

Maasoom was born in Punjab, India Manav has lived there on and off for nearly two decades out of his nearly four, with his point of home reference being NYC. He is a mystic who loves languages, music and dancing, and his first anthology The Sufi’s Garland was reviewed enthusiastically by The Huffington Post. He has lived and traveled with the United Nations and other international organizations in over forty countries. He is Poet Laureate to the foundation. See the HuffPo piece entitled Exploring the World and Self, Poetically, Through The Sufi’s Garland.​​​

Honorable Mention for Leadership.

Honorable Mention for Leadership 2017 goes to Soumyajit Chatterjee, a Finnish volunteer from India at the Hatzikyriakio Orphan Institution in Greece. The award in 2016 went to Ghislain Joël Nkontchou, an AIDS activist with Cameroon Humanity First who is seeking political asylum in the U.S. It was given in 2015 to both Evin Floyd Robinson (listed, Forbes 30 Under 30) and Jessica Santana of New York On Tech; 2014 to Adil Qays Adil, an aspiring dancer, choreographer and filmmaker in Baghdad, Iraq; 2013 to Elián Gonzalez of Cuba; 2012 to Eric Niragira, an ex-child soldier from Burundi who founded a training center for development of ex-combatants known as CEDAC; in 2011 to Ranjan Kumar, founder and president of the Gyanjyoti Rural Development Welfare Trust in Bihar, India; in 2010 to Jin In, founding director of 4Girls GLocal Leadership — Inspiring Girls, Transforming the World; and in 2009 Omar Ghraieb, freelance journalist in Palestine and translator for MSF/DWB. ); and in 2008 to Phadoul Amisial, Administrator of St. Damien Hôpital, Port-au-Prince, the first director of Orphans International Worldwide Haiti in 2000.


​Eric Niragira

Hon. Mention ’17

An ex-child soldier from Burundi who founded a training center for development of ex-combatants known as CEDAC in 2011. See his own story in The Daily Kos entitled Ex-Child Soldier, Hutu, Now Leads Training Centre for Ex-Combatants.

Omar Ghraieb

Hon. Mention ’17

Freelance journalist and social media expert in Palestine, Omar was the first English-language columnist from Palestine for The Huffington Post , has been featured on Al Jazeera Media Network, and is considered among top influential Arabs online with a large social media following. He has also worked with organizations such as ACF (Action Against Hunger) and MSF (Doctors without Borders). Omar studied Mass Media, Journalism and Public Relations at Al Azhar University. See HuffPo piece entitled Meet Luce Leader Omar Ghraieb of Palestine.

​Ghislain Joël Nkontchou

Hon. Mention ’17

Joël is an HIV & AIDS Educator who worked with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people through the organization “Cameroon Humanity First” in his native country in Central Africa where he was forced to confront homophobia and eventually flee into exile to the United States. Joël was a Master’s Degree student in Business Law at the University of Yaoundé before he was forced to flee. His ordeal as an activist and human rights defender – including insults, abuse, and even assaults – was documented by local and international press.

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