Yalies to study overseas via Luce, David-Weill scholarships

A Yale College senior and a recent alumnus will travel to Asia next year as Luce Scholars, and another senior will head for France as a recipient of a Michel David-Weill Scholarship.

A Yale College senior and a recent alumnus will travel to Asia next year as Luce Scholars, and another senior will head for France as a recipient of a Michel David-Weill Scholarship.

Joshua (Josh) M. Feinzig ’16 and Benjamin (Benji) M. Fleischacker ’17 were among 18 students from across the country to be named 2017-2018 Luce Scholars. They were chosen from 161 candidates nominated by 68 colleges and universities. The scholarship program was 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 Unlike other American-Asian exchange programs, Luce Scholarships are 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..

Zachary Young ‘17 has been awarded the 2017 Michel David-Weill Scholarship to pursue a two-year Master in Public Policy degree at the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs in Paris, France. The scholarship selects one American student each year from applicants at 30 top U.S. universities. Its criteria include: literary and scholastic achievements, capacity for critical analysis, demonstrated history of leadership, and proven commitment to the community.

Profiles of the students follow:

Joshua M. Feinzig
Joshua M. Feinzig

Originally from South Florida, Feinzig studied ethics, politics and economics at Yale, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and won the university’s Roosevelt L. Thompson Prize for his commitment to public service. He is now a Gates Cambridge Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he is studying for an M.Phil. in criminology.

Feinzig says he became increasingly aware of the need for criminal justice reform upon arriving in New Haven. After working with the police department and city government on various criminal justice initiatives, he co-founded Project Youth Court, an organization that takes trained high-school volunteers into federal courtrooms to serve as the lawyers and jurors in juvenile misdemeanor-offense trials. During one summer, Feinzig conducted criminal justice policy research at the White House Council of Economic Advisors. He has also done research for the Connecticut Governor’s Youth and Urban Violence Commission, and served as an appointed city commissioner on the New Haven Peace Commission, assisting in the application of restorative justice paradigms to policing oversight and youth crime.

As a Yale Law School Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow, Feinzig worked as an investigator for the New Orleans Public Defenders as well as for a public interest law firm in St. Louis, where he independently researched the municipal court and jail systems. The results of his study on discriminatory and “debtors’ prison” practices were written up in the Newsweek and have played a role in ongoing class-action lawsuits. Through these experiences, Feinzig says, he learned of residents’ deep-seated sense of estrangement from the criminal justice and political process, confirming that policy responses must foster inclusiveness in the criminal justice system to renew trust in government at large.

Feinzig hopes to attend law school, and ultimately guide the long-term reformation of the world’s criminal justice and prison systems through legal scholarship and a direct influence in policymaking. He is an avid hiker and rock climber, and enjoys playing bluegrass music as a bass player and mandolinist.

Benjamin M. Fleischacker
Benjamin M. Fleischacker

For reasons he can’t remember, Fleischacker requested a cello from his parents at age of 6. Since then, he has devoted himself to studying the instrument in orchestras, chamber music, and solo performance. Before college, Fleischacker spent a year teaching cello at a local music school in Costa Rica, where he developed both a love of teaching and a recognition of the many musical traditions that children bring to the music classroom.

Fleischacker is majoring in history, with a concentration in Latin American history. Aside from his academic interest in the discipline of history, he says he hopes to use the context of Latin American social history to develop a music curriculum that better takes into account the backgrounds and cultures of music students.

At Yale, Fleischacker has been the principal cellist of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, an avid chamber musician, and the business manager and a member of the all-cello rock band Low Strung, for which he arranged original covers of popular music. He pursues his interest in expanding the scope of classical music by performing in contemporary ensembles and premiering student compositions. In March 2017, he will be premiering a suite of seven pieces based on the Bach cello suites which he commissioned from composers at Yale.

The Yale senior has performed original research in Costa Rica on the national music education program, for which he taught in 2012. According to Fleischacker, the interviews with government officials, program directors, professional musicians, students enrolled in the program, and their families demonstrated the discursive limits of classical music education. He says he hopes to bring a global perspective to the challenge classical music poses to local traditions, and the opportunities communities have to expand their culture through music education and performance.

Zachary M. Young
Zachary M. Young

Young is an ethics, politics and economics major from Cincinnati, Ohio. During his time at Yale, he has been a forceful advocate for free speech and cross-party dialogue. He has been president of the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program, a team-member of the Yale Debate Association, and the founder of multiple campus discourse groups. Young is also a freshman counselor in Silliman College and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Through his studies at Sciences Po, Young plans to examine the policy implications of new communications technologies. “I want to assess how the rise of social media companies has altered traditional models of free speech,” Young says. He adds that Sciences Po’s multidisciplinary, hands-on curriculum would allow him to build upon his undergraduate coursework. “I hope to apply my knowledge of free speech to critical areas of public policy, from campaign finance reform to terrorist surveillance rules,” Young says.

The Yale senior says he is especially enthusiastic to be studying in France: “I have always dreamed of spending time there, and France’s free speech tradition represents a fascinating counterweight and complement to our American model.” There, he will be part of a student body whose members represent 150 nationalities.

Young has interned at The Wall Street Journal as a Bartley Fellow and at the U.S Senate Finance Committee. He has also worked at New Haven City Hall and in the office of Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). Before coming to Yale, Young spent a summer in Israel as a Bronfman Youth Fellow. He has been published in The Wall Street Journal and made several appearances on television and radio.

Of winning the Michel David-Weill Scholarship, Young says: “It’s an incredible honor, and I am fortunate to have received it. Now is a momentous time to be studying free speech, in Paris no less, and I am immensely thankful to the David-Weill Foundation for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

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