Nominating Institution: Furman University
Field of Interest: Civil Society and Social Justice
Placement Organization: The Irrawaddy
Placement Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
About Brandon(updated 6/2016) Brandon Tensley hails from the oft-maligned state of South Carolina. He spent his Luce year in Chiang Mai, Thailand , as an editor and a writer at The Irrawaddy , a news magazine covering Burma and Southeast Asia. Brandon graduated from Oxford University in 2015 with an MPhil in Politics. Before graduate school he was a 2012-13 Fulbright Scholar in Germany, where he taught a range of bilingual classes to middle and high schoolers in the urban Ruhr area and researched racism and social inequality in modern Germany. Brandon was a 2012 American Fellow of Humanity in Action and spent a summer in Denmark and Bosnia, an experience that he credits with solidifying his passion for grappling with issues of human rights. He received his BA in German Studies and Political Science in 2012 from Furman University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with highest honors. While an undergraduate Brandon traveled extensively throughout Western and Central Europe. But whenever he was not looking to ricochet across the continent, he was investing his time in Men of Distinction, a local mentoring program for at-risk middle school males, mostly from underrepresented backgrounds, that he founded as a junior and leading the university’s Model UN team. Brandon believes that context influences advocacy and that exposure to other cultures will enrich his professional work. He hopes to pursue a career writing about inequality both at home and abroad, having already been widely published, including in The Atlantic , Foreign Affairs , and The Washington Post . In his free time Brandon often finds himself learning new languages, advocating for Beyoncé, and doing gymnastics—when he was 6 years old, he taught himself how to do a back handspring on his parents’ bed.
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