Every January, Lovett sophomores are invited to apply for one of three diploma distinctions--akin to a college major--in Global Studies, Service & Leadership, or Sustainability. Joe Sear ‘19 is on track to graduate with a distinction in Global Studies, representing five semesters of intentional co-curricular activities, readings, reflections, and classes designed to be perspective-broadening and empathy-building.
Joe came to the Upper School with an interest in Global Studies already well established, but the diploma distinction program has helped him to refine that interest. Since sophomore year, he has met his distinction requirements by studying the international tourism industry and its effects on global and domestic markets. The topic is personal, as traveling has been an important component of Joe’s teenage years. In addition to extensive personal and family travel, Joe enrolled in Lovett’s summer history and religion course in Israel last summer. He has traveled to 22 countries and most recently returned from a family trip to Antarctica--his seventh continent.
All students pursuing a diploma distinction are required to complete a senior project-- a capstone experience that allows them to drop some or all of their classes for the month of April, in order to pursue an academic or personal question or passion. For his senior project, Joe will work with Upper School history and economics teacher Wade Morris ‘00 and will focus his study on the effect that Chinese tourists have on the United States economy. Stateside, he will meet with several departments at Delta airlines, including finance, marketing and sales; he then plans to spend 10 days in Beijing and Shanghai, two influential economic and political hubs, where he will conduct a number of interviews with Chinese tourism companies.
Joe’s commitment to his diploma distinction has been exceptional, but it’s only a piece of his Lovett experience. He is also a member of the varsity cross-country team, a frequent lead in Lovett theater productions, a member of the Honor Council and student government, and a leader in Vestry. Joe’s multifaceted commitments speak directly to Lovett’s goal of developing students who know content and skills, know themselves, know the world, and are equipped to serve as change agents in their communities.