Logo: University of Southern California

Viterbi School Astronautics Senior Miles Killingsworth Wins Luce Scholarship

March 21, 2007 — Miles Killingsworth, a Viterbi School undergraduate senior majoring in astronautical engineering, has won a 2007 Luce Scholarship.

The highly competitive Luce Scholars Program provides stipends and internships for 18 young Americans to live and work in Asia each year. The program’s purpose is “to increase awareness of Asia among future leaders in American society,” particularly those

Miles Killingsworth
students who have not spent a significant amount of time in the region.

“I was so honored and thrilled to hear that I had won,” Killingsworth said.  “When I got the letter in the mail with the news that I had been selected, I couldn’t believe it.  I had to read it a couple of times to make sure that I wasn’t somehow mistaken.”

Killingsworth is a USC Trustee Scholar and National Merit Scholar. He was admitted to USC as a member of the Resident Honors Program, which allows exceptional high school juniors to skip their senior year and start USC early.

Killingsworth participated in the Thematic Option Honors Program at USC, as well as the Rusch Engineering Honors Program. After returning from his overseas internship, he plans to enter law school and study international law, which he will use later to pursue a career in environmental public policy.

“This may sound like a big jump from astronautical engineering, but I don't really feel that it is,” he said.  “Making intelligent policy decisions toward global warming mitigation requires a high degree of technical ability, and too many policymakers without adequate technical literacy make poor decisions, failing to consider less appealing, but far superior, solutions.”

Originally from Mount Shasta, Calif., Killingsworth has been very active in research, working for several years in the Collaborative High Altitude Flow Facility at USC.  The graduating senior said he hopes to receive an internship in China, working on issues of global warming and alternative energy resources. 

“China is poised to become the world’s most powerful single economy,” Killingsworth said. “I think the experience of working with China’s language and culture would be an asset to anyone in any field, but for me, it would be especially valuable to understand a little about the Chinese people and their culture. “

Killingsworth was one of 18 students selected nationwide for the prestigious Luce Scholarship and becomes the 13th Luce Scholarship from USC.  In recent years, USC Luce Scholars have spent their year in Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia. 

The Henry Luce Foundation, which awards the Luce Scholarships, was founded in 1936 by the late Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc.