Adriana Akers ’09 has won the prestigious Luce Fellowship. The Luce Scholars Program, a nationally competitive fellowship program, was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society.
"I am honored and thrilled to have been named a 2011-2012 Luce Scholar, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn a new language and gain a broader perspective through working on urban planning issues in Asia," said Akers.
Each year, the program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia.
An urban studies major at Barnard, Akers was a writing fellow and senior editor of Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development.
"Barnard was, from the beginning, incredibly supportive of my application to the Luce Scholars Program," noted Akers. "Dean Runsdorf offered a great deal of guidance and helped me confidently navigate the application process and interviews, and multiple professors took the time to sit on my mock interview panels, even though none of them had taught me or even met me when I was at Barnard. It was clear that Barnard really wanted me to succeed, and I am so thankful for the continued support that the College provides to alumnae."
After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, Akers was named a New York City Urban Fellow, working with the Deputy Commissioner of Energy Management.
Akers took the lead on a number of projects, including the creation of a new financial incentive policy to promote energy conservation, which has been approved by the Deputy Mayor. She currently works as a sustainability analyst for New York City.
Akers, who intends to continue in the field of urban planning, hopes her year in Asia, in a location to be determined, will afford her a broader understanding of how other cities are thinking about and responding to questions concerning sustainability.