Jason Mazique ’21 has been named a Luce Scholar by the Henry Luce Foundation for the 2021-2022 academic year. A political science major from College Park, Md., he joins a highly selective cohort of 18 college seniors, graduate students and young professionals who will live and work in Asia in diverse fields including public health, the arts, economic development and environmental science. Below, Mazique shares his plans for the scholarship and the future.
Congratulations on being named a Luce Scholar. What are your plans for the year?
Paradoxically, I’m somehow even more excited at the prospect of living in an Asia during the time of Covid-19. I think there may never be a more opportune time to understand how health systems respond to existential challenges, operate under immense financial strain and accommodate large swaths of sick patients. I’m hoping to spend my Luce year understanding how Asian health systems both adapted to the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and continue to provide equitable care to their populations. To accomplish this, my current trajectory is to study in either Japan, South Korea and/or Taiwan at a policy think tank, local NGO or healthcare research organization. But Covid-19 has left everything in flux, so I’m keeping an open mind to wherever I might be placed!
What part of this scholarship most excites you?
By far, [it’s] getting to know my fellow Luce cohort. We held our first meeting in early February, and I’ve already met such incredible people from across the United States and abroad. Whether it be the role of Australasian song in education or how to accommodate racial justice in urban planning, everyone in my cohort is genuinely passionate about improving the world around them.
As one of the youngest members of the cohort, I get the best of both worlds. I’m capable of learning from these amazing individuals as mentors and role models while also growing alongside them through our collective experience in Asia. Personally, I think that might honestly be the perfect situation.
Where do you hope to see yourself in five, 10 or 15 years from now?
In the next few years, I’m hoping to work alongside my home state of Maryland on modernizing their all-payer insurance model. Having seen firsthand the possibilities of this model, I’ve become passionate about incorporating facets of foreign health systems into our domestic framework and using Maryland as that conduit. But in 10 to 15 years from now, I’m really hoping to pursue future graduate education in health policy and healthcare management. In doing so, I hope to build a foundation in which I can directly work on national legislative healthcare reform, focusing on ensuring and enshrining health equity as pertains to black and Latinx communities. And of course, throughout the whole thing, I plan to continue to wear the purple and gold wherever I go!
What’s your motto in life?
Something I’ve learned and re-learned during my time at Williams [is]: Never stop asking questions. Whether in office hours or hanging out with friends, I think that rings true in all aspects of life at Williams. I’ve discovered amazing things about amazing people just because I stopped to ask a question.
Mazique is the sixth Williams student or graduate to be named a Luce Scholar since 2002. The program provides stipends, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year. Learn more about the latest cohort of scholars and the program itself on the Luce Scholars Program website.