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Kiryl Puchyk ’16 Is Named a 2019 Luce Scholar


The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded its highly competitive Luce Scholars fellowship to Hunter alumnus Kiryl Puchyk.

Puchyk graduated from Hunter with a major in political science, a minor in international relations and a 4.0 GPA, and earned a master’s in international relations from University of Chicago. Now a senior domain expert at the global information-discovery company Dataminr, he is one of only 18 winners of this year’s Luce Scholars award – a fellowship in an Asian country, designed for outstanding young American scholars with limited experience in Asia or Asian studies.

To qualify for the fellowship, applicants must also have excellent academic records, proven leadership abilities, and clearly defined career goals. If selected, they receive full funding for two months of intensive language study and 11 months of immersive living and professional work abroad. Puchyk hopes to spend his Luce year working for a think tank or other policy-oriented institution in China or South Korea; he’s currently awaiting the program’s approval of his request.

Born in Belarus, Puchyk came to New York completely on his own when he was 20, quickly settled in Brooklyn, and enrolled at Kingsborough Community College. He transferred to Hunter after learning that its Department of Political Science was one of CUNY’s best.

“Hunter defined my path,” he says, citing the strong influence of Cynthia Roberts, associate professor of political science and an expert on national security and international relations. A devoted teacher and mentor, Roberts offered him invaluable guidance as he focused his honors thesis on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“At Hunter and the University of Chicago, I focused my studies on Europe. Now, as Asia becomes more and more important on the global stage, I want to diversify.” Puchyk says. “I know this fellowship will be a life-changing experience.”

To get expert help with applying for the Luce Scholars Fellowship, Marshall Scholarship, Fulbright grants and other national academic awards, Hunter students and graduates should contact The Ruth & Harold Newman Office of Prestigious Scholarships & Fellowships at (212) 396-6910 or ops@hunter.cuny.edu.

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