East Asian Studies
Hometown: Norwich, Connecticut
Majors: East Asian Studies and Biology
Study Abroad: Beijing, China; Harbin, China
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Coffee
Best Adjective to Describe You: Curious
In 10 words or less, why should someone want to be a part of this department?
East Asia is more interesting and important by the day.
When did you know you wanted to study this area? What pathway led you to this department?
When I came to K, I decided I wanted to learn a new language and explore a new part of the world. I wanted a challenge. So, I picked Chinese. Learning about the language got me interested in the culture, and I ended up taking a number of courses in the department. After completing a large amount of coursework, I decided I wanted to major.
What is the best way to get (and stay) connected to this department?
The professors are friendly, open, and supportive. A good way to start would be to send an email or stop in during their office hours. And never hesitate to visit just for the fun of it.
What would you miss the most if you were no longer a part of this department?
I would probably miss the small, discussion-based classes the most. It’s my favorite kind of academic environment. I am especially excited to continue my studies after my own experience abroad. I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking and talking about China. I often have to actively contain myself around my friends, and try not to talk about it too much. This is a feeling you’ll hopefully share about your country after you've spent some time abroad.
What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I am currently planning on applying to graduate schools in the fall to continue my study of molecular biology. However, I have also considered taking some time off before I continue on to graduate school. I’ve considered heading back to China for a bit in order to keep my Chinese up, and possibly look for jobs. There are so many great opportunities in East Asia. If I ever struggle to find a job in the States, I’ll return in a heartbeat.
What has been the biggest surprise you have encountered at K?
The uniqueness of my education. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted or expected from myself when I first came to K, but I couldn’t be happier with my choice. I spent a whole year abroad in China, and I’m double majoring—also majoring in Biology. I’m convinced that you couldn’t get this kind of experience at any other school, at least not in four years and with the full support of your advisor. In addition, after my year abroad, I can speak, write, and read Chinese quite well. I think that would have surprised me to hear or even think about as a Freshman—I had absolutely no background in Chinese before coming to K.
How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
Some of the more senior students in the department gave me terrific advice my freshman year, advice that ultimately inspired my decision to study in China. My year abroad was an experience that changed my life forever. Some of my professors have emailed me specifically about unique internships related to my field of interest (at the intersection of Chinese and environmental science, for instance). It’s great to know that people in the department are looking out for you.
What has been your favorite class at K? Why?
One of my all time favorite classes has to be “Occupiers and Occupied in Postwar East Asia.” Before coming to K, I had very little background in East Asian history, and the class’ focus on the issues and relationships surrounding
American occupation in Japan and Korea were very interesting to learn about. Also, Dr. Frost is the man.
What is your SIP?
I am studying the transformation and fate of engineered nanoparticles in the biological wastewater treatment process. I am currently working in a Civil and Environmental Engineering lab at Virginia Tech.