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Monique Claiborne ’17 was awarded a Luce Scholarship, which allows her to spend a year in Asia, where she will work as an intern in arts and entertainment in Seoul, South Korea.

Claiborne, a philosophy major from Opelousas, Louisiana, said she will pursue work at a record label, film production studio, or arts magazine.

The Luce Scholarship, started by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974, aims to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential American leaders. Recipients have records of “high achievement, outstanding leadership ability, and clearly defined interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments,” according to its website. Claiborne joins 17 other students selected in this academic year.

Claiborne, a dancer, became interested in the Luce Scholarship after she started listening to Korean hip-hop music earlier this year. “This could be a way for me to get my foot in the door,” she said of the entertainment industry, and added that and the internship catered toward her intellectual interests.

Claiborne said she tries to take an “iterative approach to life” and is “open to possibilities,” noting that she expects to experience a lot of personal growth and development next year.

“A lot of academia is appealing to me,” she said. “It would be cool to have that foundation to be a public intellectual.”

Claiborne said she is almost certain she will pursue a Ph.D. in Philosophy.

On campus, Claiborne is a member of diSiac Dance Company, which she joined her sophomore year.

“Dancing has helped me realize that I do have a creative side,” she said. “It’s important to have that creative, artistic, expressive side of you, especially when you do something as analytical as philosophy. It’s been a really good way to humanize what I study.”

As a philosophy major, Claiborne is writing her thesis on the aesthetic experience.

“My thesis is trying to unpack the relation between beauty and utility and to mend that rift in philosophy that says they have to be completely separate and to explain the extent to which beauty can enable something’s function and vice versa, using interactive products specifically as an example,” she said.

“Monique was a stalwart of the seminar in Berlin,” wrote philosophy professor Benjamin Morison, who taught her last summer, in an email to the Prince. “It was her first time outside America, but you would never have known it. She found a favourite coffee-shop to work in which, I later learned from a Berlin native, was in fact the trendiest place in the whole city. Reading Plato’s Republic with her was a true pleasure, especially hearing her views about Plato’s critique of art and poetry.”

Claiborne expressed her excitement for having the opportunity to learn Korean in Seoul.

“The first two months, they’re funding an eight-week language course,” she explained. “It goes to show that the organization really does emphasize personal development.”

Claiborne said that a year ago, she never would have imagined she would be living in Korea.

“We grow and we change so much every day,” she said. “There’s a lot of freedom in not being a hyper-planner.”

Claiborne is also involved in peer academic advising, the Writing Center, Campus Iconography Committee, Orange Key Tours, Scholars Institute Fellows Program, and Princeton Faith and Action.

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