Sam Lewis'15 Receives Luce Scholars Fellowship

Media contact:  Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., March 2, 2015—Williams College senior Sam Lewis has been named a Luce Scholar by the Henry Luce Foundation for the 2015–2016 year. Each year, between 15 and 18 college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals are chosen for this recognition, which provides funding, language training, and professional placement for college seniors and young professionals interested in working in Asian countries.

SamuelLewis_Headshot_webEach year, more than 75 colleges and universities nominate candidates with limited experience in Asia or who might not otherwise have an opportunity to work in Asia.  Luce Scholars can possess an academic background in any field besides Asian studies.  Lewis, a biology major from Delmar, N.Y., is interested in global health research and policy. He plans to pursue advanced degrees in public health and medicine, then go on to work in reducing global health inequality. His interest in the Luce Program was partly inspired by his 10-week internship in Burkina Faso last summer, where he worked as a research assistant for Innovations for Poverty Action.

“It is a true honor to receive such an exceptional and unique opportunity,” Lewis says. “I am extremely excited to learn from my host community, work placement, and fellow scholars over what will surely be a challenging and rewarding year.”

At Williams, Lewis is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Williams Environmental Council, and has acted as a teaching assistant and peer tutor. In 2013, he was named a Amgen Scholar for biology research, and is the recipient of several other fellowships and awards, including a Gaudino Fellowship. During his junior year, Lewis studied abroad in Paris.

“To me, what sets Sam apart are the depth and breadth of his intellectual passions, coupled with an extraordinary constellation of empathy, commitment to thoughtful reflection as well as action, and leadership potential,” Lois Banta, associate professor of biology, wrote in her recommendation of Lewis. “Sam has the intellectual potential and the passion to become a true international leader in the field of global health.”

Lewis is the fourth Williams student to be named a Luce Scholar. The most recent previous recipient was Erin McGonagle in 2012.

The Luce Scholars Program was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The Luce Foundation aims to strengthen international understanding and foster leadership in academic, policy, religious, and art communities.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.