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June 13, 2007

Bloomberg School Student Named Luce Scholar

Wen-Chih Yu

Wen-Chih Yu, a master of public health/master of business administration student in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of International Health, was named a 2007–2008 Luce Scholar. She is one of 15 Americans who will live and work in Asia from August 2007 to July 2008.

The Luce Scholar program was established in 1974 to increase awareness of Asia among future leaders in American society. It is directed at young men and women from a wide range of fields who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study in Asia. Luce Scholar administrators work with the Asia Foundation to match individual scholar’s backgrounds, experience, training and aspirations with an appropriate internship.

As a Peace Corps volunteer in the equatorial Pacific nation of Kiribati, Yu helped establish a Women’s Center for the island of Tabiteuea South. While doing so, she realized the potential of corporate partnerships in public health work. The involvement of local businesses could have lent valuable management and financing expertise to the project. Yu researched corporate social responsibility and learned that American corporations contribute only about 1.5 percent of their pre-tax income on philanthropic activities. In comparison, Japanese corporations donate 4.8 percent. By combining her skills in public health and business management, Yu hopes to encourage more corporations to value and develop strong corporate social responsibility departments.

“As a Luce Scholar, I will have the chance to explore how corporate social responsibility can positively impact public health and bring that knowledge home with the aim of becoming a leader in guiding American corporations into this realm of effective and generous giving,” said Yu, who wants to intern with an Asian multinational corporation that has established a systemic corporate philanthropy program. In addition, she’d like to interact with governing bodies and Japanese associations that are dedicated to encouraging corporate giving and corporate social responsibility.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna Lowe or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.