The Henry Luce Foundation named Jeremy I. Pivor one of 18 scholars in the 40th class of Luce Scholars this February. Chosen from a field of 168 nominees, he is the third Washington University student to be named a scholar in the past four years.
“Jeremy Pivor is a remarkable young man; he is extraordinarily well-prepared to continue his work in the field of ocean conservation; he is destined for leadership in governmental as well as scientific organizations; and he is eager to contribute to meaningful solutions to our most pressing environmental challenges,” said Joy Kiefer, PhD, director of undergraduate research and assistant dean in Arts & Sciences.
“Winning the Luce Scholars award is fitting recognition of Pivor’s potential to succeed,” Kiefer said. “Our success as an institution in this competition in the last four years is also due to a very productive partnership with our Career Center, namely with Amy Heath-Carpentier (assistant director, pregraduate school and career development).”
The Luce Scholars Program is a national fellowship program launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The program provides stipends, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia for a year.
The foundation was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents, who were missionary educators in China.
The program is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia.
The Luce Scholars Program is experiential rather than academic in nature and scholars are not expected to pursue independent research during their tenure.
Pivor, who grew up on the coast, in Boston, wants to become an advocate for the sustainable conservation and management of the world’s oceans.
Pivor was admitted to the Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability, a four-year educational program at Washington University led by Ray Arvidson, PhD, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, that allows a small group of students to study environmental issues through case studies and field trips.
Together with fellow student Jiakun (Summer) Zhao, Pivor founded Washington University Students for International Collaboration on the Environment (WUSICE). Through WUSICE, he organized Washington University’s first U.S.-China undergraduate conference on climate change and sustainability, inviting students from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, to St. Louis for the conference.
In the spring of that year, he participated in the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in San Diego.
In the fall of his junior year, he organized the university’s first delegation to the U.N. climate-change conference in Durban, South Africa. He also served as the Sierra Student Coalition’s international youth delegate, collaborating with students from other countries to draft the official youth constituency’s policy on fresh- and saltwater issues.
After the conference, he traveled to Madagascar to work on marine conservation projects in the remote fishing community of Andavadoaka as part of a study-abroad program.
This experience left a deep impression on him. “The local people understand the ocean is changing,” he says, “and have taken local actions to protect the reefs. Yet even with their passionate work, I fear that climate change will eventually destroy their reefs and way of life.
“I left Madagascar with a desire to dedicate my life not just to solving issues, but also to stand up for the millions of people around the world who depend on the ocean for their survival.”
From Madagascar, Pivor traveled to Woods Hole, Mass., for a Sea Education Association semester. The semester included intensive study at Woods Hole and a five-week voyage on the SSV Corwith Cramer, a brigantine that is also a fully equipped blue-water oceanographic vessel.
The students sailed from St. Croix to Bermuda and then back up to Woods Hole, studying the Sargasso Sea en route.
For his deep commitment to the environment, Pivor was awarded a Udall Scholarship in spring of 2012. He also holds two honorary scholarships (A J. Stephen Fossett Pathfinder and Florence Moog), and was a finalist for the Rhodes and Marshall competitive scholarships.