MSLOC Student Lanier Zimmer Receives Luce Fellowship for Policy Work in Asia

MSLOC Student Lanier Zimmer Receives Luce Fellowship for Policy Work in Asia

SESP graduate student Lanier Zimmer received a prestigious Luce Fellowship to work and learn in Asia over the next year. A student in the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) program, she will begin with a language and cultural orientation this summer.

The Luce Scholars Program is a competitive national fellowship program of the Henry Luce Foundation that is designed to enhance understanding of Asia among potential American leaders. Every year 15 to 18 Luce Scholars receive stipends, language training and professional placement in Asia.

Zimmer says, “I was intrigued by the Luce Fellowship because it emphasizes leadership and provides an amazing opportunity to live abroad and work directly in your field of interest, which for me is education. I have limited experience with Asia, and I'm excited to gain a fresh perspective while learning about a new culture.”

It is likely that Zimmer will become the first Luce Scholar placed in Myanmar. Although her assignment is not final, she is tentatively slated to be the Interim director of admissions and financial aid for the new American University of Myanmar. “I will establish admissions practices and financial aid policies as well as train future staff members,” says Zimmer.

“The classes I've taken so far at MSLOC will be incredibly meaningful for my work with the university. I have a unique opportunity to assist in creating a strategic plan and best practices for the admissions and financial aid offices at the American University of Myanmar. My current MSLOC classes, Leading with Strategic Thinking and Executing Strategic Change, are providing me with very relevant theories and frameworks that I can directly apply to my future work. As many of my professors have said, I will have many ‘tools in my toolkit’ to help me when I'm abroad,” says Zimmer, who enrolled in the MSLOC program to advance her goal of leading an education nonprofit.

“I'm also really interested to learn the culture and expectations for the staff of the university,” Zimmer adds. “While the university is modeled off of an American liberal arts curriculum, it was started by a Burmese person, so there will be an interesting mix of backgrounds, cultural expectations, etc. I will be a part of shaping the organization's culture, and I couldn't be more grateful that the content of my MSLOC courses is directly aligned with what I will need,” she comments.

A psychology graduate of Claremont McKenna College, Zimmer currently serves as assistant director of recruitment and placement for the Golden Apple Foundation, a nonprofit that gives awards for teacher excellence and prepares future teachers through a college scholarship program. In her first year, Lanier led initiatives such as streamlining the application process, creating an online job board and using texting to communicate with high school students.

Previously, Zimmer worked for three years in admissions for the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, where she recruited and provided outreach to first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students from Chicago Public Schools and led an expanded early outreach program for underserved 9th and 10th graders. Earlier, Zimmer taught English in a Basque public high school near San Sebastian, and during college she spent a semester abroad in Quito, Ecuador.

After completing two months of intensive language study and then her full-time position in Asia starting in September, Zimmer will resume the MSLOC program in fall 2016. 

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