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Northwestern Student Named Luce Scholar

Feinberg School of Medicine student will study language disorders in Asia

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April 15, 2014 | by Marla Paul

Luce Scholar

Andrew Peters

CHICAGO --- Andrew Peters, a Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine first-year student, has been named a 2014 Luce Scholar to live and work in Asia.  

Peters is one of 18 young American leaders to receive the prestigious award, which gives highly qualified American students a professional and cultural experience in East or Southeast Asia. Recipients are placed in a 10-month internship that relates to their academic background.

Peters plans to conduct neurolinguistic research on aphasia or other language disorders.

He is particularly interested in speech disorders, an area where medicine and linguistics overlap. He currently studies speech disorders as a member of Northwestern’s Aphasia and Neurolinguistics Research Laboratory. Although Peters aims to pursue this research interest, he views working with patients as the primary focus of his future career.

A lifelong fascination with language, its content and structure drove Peters’ studies at Carleton College, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics. In 2012, he travelled to Kyoto for a trimester to study Japanese linguistics at Doshisha University. Peters also has studied Latin, Spanish and Japanese.

As an undergraduate, Peters spent three summers doing HIV basic science research at the Mayo Clinic. His work there and his experiences with Mayo physicians galvanized his desire for a medical career and, eventually, determined his move to Chicago in the fall of 2013 to attend Feinberg.

Peters’ experience at Mayo also helped shape his perspective on medicine. He became aware that doctors need to understand the dynamics of race, class, gender and health policies, factors that strongly influence disease manifestations, if they are to treat their patients effectively. 

Outside of class, Peters volunteers at an after-school science program for middle-school students in Chicago’s Humboldt Park. He has long been a musician, playing piano and horn and performing in orchestras in his hometown, Rochester, Minn., and at Carleton.

The Luce Scholars Program invites top universities to nominate up to three candidates per year. The Office of Fellowships holds an internal selection each fall to choose Northwestern's nominees. The Luce faculty committee, chaired by Amy Kehoe, welcomes seniors and alums in any field who have a strong professional interest in Asia (but do not major in Asian studies) to apply for consideration. Peters is Northwestern's ninth
Luce Scholar since the Office of Fellowships opened in April of 1998. He joins Northwestern luminaries Leo Martinez, Kian Gohar, Alexis Chiu, Alex Ortolani, Mark Little, Ayelish McGarvey, Nicole Ripley and Andrew Gruen.

For more information, contact Amy Kehoe or Sara Vaux.