Coleman Yorke (CC’20), along with Sarah Toscano (GSAS’23), have been named 2023 Luce Scholars. Established in 1974, the Luce Scholars Program offers early-career leaders year-long immersive, professional experiences in Asia, providing stipends, language training, and individualized professional placements.
Coleman Yorke was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from Columbia in 2020 with a major in English and a concentration in Psychology, specializing in 19th-century Victorian literature and its connection to the formation of character via models of attachment theory. While at Columbia, he worked as an editor on The Columbia Review, mentored high schoolers navigating the college application process through Columbia’s Double Discovery Center, and volunteered in patient escort services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
He then completed an MSc in Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience at Oxford, where he focused his dissertation projects on adolescent peer support programs and the cognitive learning effects of antidepressants in younger individuals. An aspiring child and adolescent psychiatrist, Coleman is currently completing his medical school requirements through a premedical postbaccalaureate program at Bryn Mawr College. In his spare time, Coleman loves to rock climb, read novels (especially those by Edith Wharton, Henry James, and George Eliot), and go to trivia with friends.
As a Luce Scholar, Coleman looks forward to engaging with the cultural nuances of mental health in a community outside of the American and Westernized healthcare systems he has worked within thus far. In doing so, he aims to establish more equitable and competent cross-cultural mental healthcare.
Coleman’s advice for prospective applicants?
“The fellowship application process is in many ways not a linear one; it’s about finding an opportunity that’s really right for you and that you connect with on a personal level. I went through several unsuccessful application rounds before finding the Luce and realizing that it aligned perfectly with my personal and professional interests. If you feel strongly that an opportunity is meaningful to you, don’t ever be afraid to throw your hat in the ring.”
Sarah, who is from Bloomfield, NJ, received her degree in American Studies and English from Barnard College in 2020 and will complete her MA in American Studies at Columbia in 2023. While at Barnard, she worked as a staff writer for the Columbia Daily Spectator and enrolled in various classes related to pop culture and media. Beyond campus, Sarah interned at various media companies in New York City, including Hearst, Bustle Digital Group, and SLAM. Post-graduation, she was also a Story Production Fellow at Insider Inc.
In her graduate studies at Columbia, she is continuing her investigations of pop culture phenomena, the global fandom experience, e-sports and gaming culture, and people’s relationships to icons and fictional characters. As an E-Commerce Writer, she specializes in creating content related to consumer tech, gaming, and fandoms. Her writing has been featured in publications such as Entertainment Weekly, People, Travel and Leisure, Verywell Family, and Business Insider.
As a Luce Scholar, Sarah aims to learn about pop culture and media on a more global level, ensuring that her understanding of pop culture and media is nuanced, with an expansive purview. Ultimately, Sarah aspires to work in academia, exploring and posing questions surrounding global pop culture’s ability to create bonds between people who are separated by both time and space, speak different languages, and have distinct cultural values, as well as the implications of these bonds that are made through the entertainment industry. “Overall, spending a year in Asia through the Luce Scholars Program will leave me with a better understanding of pop culture’s global relevance,” Sarah said.
For more information about the Luce Scholarship, please reach out to Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.