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U. of I. architecture graduate named Luce Scholar

Melissa Mitchell, News Editor

Released 6/27/2007

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ryan Dick, a recent master’s degree recipient in the University of Illinois School of Architecture from Elmhurst, Ill., is among 18 students nationwide to be named to the Luce Scholars Program for a yearlong experience in Asia.

The Luce Scholars Program, an initiative of the Henry Luce Foundation, provides full stipends and internships for the recipients to live and work in Asia. The program was begun in 1974 to increase awareness of Asia among future leaders in American society. Students may be nominated from a select group of 67 colleges and universities, including Illinois. Nominations are based on a candidate’s record of high achievement, outstanding leadership ability, and a clearly defined career interest with evidence of potential for professional accomplishment. Applicants must not have had significant prior experience with Asia.

After consulting with Dick, the Luce Foundation has placed him at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. He will spend the upcoming academic year working with the university’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning, the largest architectural teaching program in China. Dick will co-teach classes for freshmen and sophomores and will assist the Foreign Affairs Office. He also hopes to gain some exposure on the World Expo 2010 project, which showcases sustainable architecture and planning.

Prior to leaving for Shanghai this fall, Dick will receive intensive training in Mandarin. In addition, the Luce Scholars program is providing all travel expenses, a stipend of $22,000, and a cost of living and housing allowance for his time in Shanghai.

As an architect, Dick plans to focus his attention on sustainability. He believes his studies in structural engineering as well as architectural design at Illinois will make him better able to design sustainable architecture.

“My time in Asia will help me develop and perfect my ability to understand and respond to the social, environmental, and economic constructs that pressure the built environment,” he said.

In addition to working as a research assistant, teaching assistant and student-organization leader, Dick completed summer internships with a building consultant, an engineering and research organization, and an architectural firm. Outside the classroom, he spent considerable time volunteering with children, including establishing a program to expand the number of tutors at Urbana Middle School and assisting at a crisis nursery center. He also runs in marathon races.

After completing the Luce Scholars Program, Dick plans to join a multidisciplinary firm, where he hopes to be able to work on projects on a scale that can influence change within the built environment.

“We are thankful to have Ryan Dick representing the university in the Luce Scholars Program,” said David Schug, who is in charge of the U. of I. Office of Scholarships for International Study. “It had been 10 years since an Illinois-nominated scholar received this prestigious award, which is a testament to Ryan’s exceptional personal and scholarly qualities.”

Schug said the office is recruiting applicants for 2008-09 awards from among current Illinois students and recent alumni. The application deadline is Oct. 29.

For more information, contact Schug at 217-244-0254 or