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U. of I. graduate among 18 nationwide named to Luce Scholars Program

5/7/2009 | Sharita Forrest, News Editor | 217-244-1072;

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Mark Wehling, of Washington, D.C., a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is among 18 students nationwide to be named to the Luce Scholars Program for a yearlong experience in Asia.

An initiative of the Henry Luce Foundation, the Luce Scholars Program, founded in 1974, provides full stipends and internships for recipients to live and work in Asia. The program’s purpose is to increase awareness of Asia among future leaders in American society. Students may be nominated from a select group of 67 colleges and universities based upon high achievement, 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 Wehling, the Luce Foundation placed him in Beijing with the China National Textile and Apparel Council. Prior to leaving for Beijing in the fall, Wehling will receive intensive language training in Mandarin at Middlebury College. The Luce Scholars program also will provide a $22,000 stipend.

As an undergraduate at Illinois, Wehling spent a year studying in Spain and a semester studying in France, where he also played basketball and was awarded the Medaille D’Aix by the mayor of Aix-en-Provence as the American student most integrated into local culture.

Wehling also served as a community development intern in Morocco through the student organization AIESEC. At Illinois, Wehling promoted international opportunities to other students, particularly greek organizations, and was outreach assistant for the European Union Center. He served as a Global Intern mentor with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and as a language trainer with the Intensive English Institute, capping his undergraduate career by traveling with university officials as a delegate to the National University of Singapore Global Education Convention.

Wehling earned a bachelor of arts degree – with a double major in international studies and Spanish – at Illinois and graduated in August 2005.  Since graduating, he has worked as a program and research associate with Futures Group International, and worked in Peru for eight months on a Latin America-wide program on reproductive health programs and policies funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Luce Scholars Program is administered at Illinois by the campus’s Office of Prestigious Scholarships.

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