East Asian Studies
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Major: East Asian Studies (China focus)
Minor: Political Science
Study Abroad: China (extended term)
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Best Adjective to Describe You: Discerning
In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
5000 years of history, challenging but rewarding language study, food.
What initially drew you to this department? What keeps you coming back?
I studied Mandarin in high school and also took a course on Asian demographics, history, politics, and culture, all of which I found fascinating. Although I’m not one for the Dismal Science, I can’t ignore East Asia as a continuously emerging economic powerhouse. Professor Frost’s courses are engaging, challenging, and really fun. EAS isn’t the largest department on campus but we’re a cool little community of people with very wide ranging interests, so we keep learning from each other. Did I mention the free food?
What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Get your language courses and HIST 103 with Professor Frost out of the way ASAP. I took HIST 103 Freshman Fall and started CHIN 101 and they opened a lot of doors to more challenging classes. Also, with how rigorous Japanese and Mandarin Chinese language instruction can be, putting the 200s off until Senior year can be rough, and having 203 in the bag before going abroad gives you a huge leg up!
How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I really enjoy international politics and currently Asian politics are more relevant than ever. China and Japan also have beautiful pre-modern and modern literature, and I have even taken a French literature class on authors from Vietnam. The arts, sports, and more all collide in Asian Studies, and the region’s long history provides plenty of morbid intrigue and insight into the advances of the human race. Some of the courses even give you good background for the Tai chi/Kung fu course that K offers. EAS is just plain cool.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
I’ve learned that staying on top of responsibilities and managing priorities is important, but that sometimes the all-nighter really can pay off (not that I am recommending it, your mileage may vary!).
What has been your favorite class at K? Why?
Hard to say, but Professor Frost’s history courses on Modern China and Japan are both fascinating and very engaging, as history should be. They provided an in-depth look at the various facets of these societies from 1600 into the 21st century (which accounts for a lot of murder and mayhem). Professor John Dugas’s Drugs and Human Rights is excellent as well, particularly when he covers the situations in South America, his region of specialty. This course is a good offering to anyone with a Critical Theory concentration to Econ and Poli Sci majors. All three of these classes demand a lot of work and concentration.
What is your SIP?
My SIP concerns the political, strategic, and economic implications of the United States’ and the West’s heavy reliance on Chinese produced Rare Earth Elements, how this industry could affect trade, diplomatic, and military relations between China and the West in future decades.
What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I’m currently looking at work in the federal government at the US Department of State, however I am also deciding whether I would like to continue my higher education directly after graduation. Decisions, decisions…