Dr. Richey Honored By Alma Mater

Dr. RicheyProfessor Jeff Richey has been named Alumnus of the Year for 2016 by his alma mater, the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California, where he completed his Ph.D. in 2000. The GTU is the world’s largest consortium of resources for the study of religion and theology, in part because of its inclusion of the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate Division, and grants more doctoral degrees in religious studies and theology than any other U.S. institution. Read more about Dr. Richey’s award.

Dylan Hunziker ’14: Full Scholarship in Taiwan

Dylan HunzikerDylan Hunziker ’14 has been awarded admission and full scholarship to National Taiwan University‘s M.A. program in geography!  Dylan, who spent the 2014-15 academic year traveling the world on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, is deeply interested in language and culture, especially the Chinese-speaking world, and hopes to enter a stateside Ph.D. program after his two years in Taiwan.  His long-term goal is to become a university professor.  Congratulations and 恭喜恭喜, Dylan!

Alum & Professor Jarrod Brown ’04 Receives Library of Congress Fellowship

Item from an Asian reading roomCongratulations to Berea College graduate and current visiting professor Jarrod Brown ’04, who has been awarded a Florence Tan Moeson Research Fellowship! This award will enable Professor Brown to conduct research using the collections of the Asian Division at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Professor Brown is completing his Ph.D. in Asian philosophy at the University of Hawai’i, where he expects to defend his dissertation in spring 2017.

Molly Baker Halstead ’11 to Study Japanese Art History

Molly Baker HalsteadAfter three years of professional experience as Curator and Art Gallery Manager at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia’s David L. Dickirson Gallery in Beckley, West Virginia, Molly Baker Halstead ’11 has decided to pursue her original post-graduate ambition: to become an art historian who specializes in pre-modern Japan.  Molly — who double-majored in Asian Studies and Art History, studied in Japan through the KIIS program, and assisted visiting scholar Dr. Sandy Kita in cataloging rare Japanese items in the College’s Asian art collection during her years at Berea — was accepted to the University of Kentucky’s M.A. program in Art History and Visual Studies, where she will study with Dr. Andrew Maske, a specialist in Japanese ceramics from the Edo period to the present.  Molly hopes to use her time at UK as a springboard to a top-ranked Japanese art history Ph.D. program elsewhere.  Congratulations and welcome back to the Bluegrass, Molly!

Professor Gray Selected for Southeast Asian Studies Institute

Congratulations to Dr. Gordon Gray, who has been chosen to participate in the East-West Center’s Institute on Infusing Southeast Asian Studies into the Undergraduate Curriculum (August 1-12, 2016)!  Dr. Gray and his colleagues from other colleges and universities will spend two weeks in Hawai’i working with leading Asian studies experts in a multifaceted and dynamic program of lectures, discussions, film screenings, and cultural events that is designed to help educators teach about art, gender, politics, religion, and youth culture in Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar (Burma).  Dr. Gray’s expertise in the anthropology and cinema of Southeast Asian cultures – and therefore, the learning experiences of Berea students — will be greatly enhanced by his participation in this intensive, multidisciplinary program.Southeast Asian masks

Sona Apbasova ’15 Wins Scholarship to Study in Germany and Georgia

Sona Apbasova

Sona Apbasova ’15 with Turkmenistan flag shirt.

Congratulations to Sona B. Apbasova ’15, who has been awarded a prestigious Deutscher Akademischer Austasch Dienst (DAAD) scholarship to pursue graduate studies in Germany and Georgia!  In partnership with the Civil Society Leadership Award (CSLA) scholarship program, DAAD is fully funding Sona’s intensive German language studies in Berlin this summer before sending her to Tbilisi, Georgia to complete CSLA’s Summer School program at Caucasus University.  At summer’s end, Sona will return to Berlin for more German language training and then begin her two-year master’s program in international relations at Katholische Universitaet in Eichstätt, Germany.   Sona’s deep interests in Central Asia, cross-cultural exchanges, and Europe’s connection to regions further east will be well-supported by these opportunities.  The Asian Studies program is very proud of your accomplishments and excited about your future, Sona!

Bereans in Asia in 2016-17

BC in Asia with globeAs the 2015-16 academic year draws to a close, 17 Berea students and 1 Berea faculty member soon will be either traveling to or from East Asia, including many Asian Studies majors and minors! As Emerald Flannigan ’17 and Logan Smith ’17 return from their year of study at Kyūshū University in Fukuoka, Japan, Elaine Barkley ’18, Regan Edonmi ’18, and Lilia Mundelius’18 will be heading off to take their place as Berea’s exchange students there for the 2016-17 academic year. In spring 2017, they will be joined in Japan by Angela Reinhard ’18, who will study at Kansai Gaidai in Ōsaka, just as Shadia Prater ’17 has been doing throughout spring 2016.  Olivia Cundiff ’18 will spend more than half of 2016 in Japan – first by interning at KEEP in Yamanashi Prefecture, and then by spending fall term studying in Akita.  Also traveling to Japan this summer are seven Berea students, including Asian Studies majors Chantelle Bottom’17, Taylor Brown ’17, and Morgan Lester ’18, as well as Professor Jeff Richey, all of whom will participate in the KIIS Japan program.  Finally, two students will spend fall 2016 in South Korea: Nancy Gilliam ’18 at Konkuk University in Seoul and Joseph Shinji Leis ’18 at Keimyung University in Daegu.  The Asian Studies Program is proud of these students and faculty and grateful for the invaluable assistance provided to them by our campus’ Center for International Education and Office of Internships!

Congratulations, May 2016 Graduates!


AST Class of 2016 collageThe Asian Studies Program congratulates its May 2016 graduates!

Jennie Adams (major) plans to take a year off from formal studies while continuing to develop her Japanese language skills. By the end of that year off, she hopes to be working in Asia or enrolled in a graduate program.

Erica Berejnoi (double major with Business Administration) has been accepted by the M.S. program in Sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU), where she will begin her graduate studies in fall 2016. At ASU, she will serve as a research assistant, helping to implement sustainability practices and enhance quality of life in underdeveloped neighborhoods in Phoenix, Arizona as well as in her native Bolivia. She also plans to continue her Chinese studies at ASU with the goal of returning to China following graduate school in order to help implement sustainability practices there.

Christine Gilbert-Crawford (double major with Sociology) plans to defer enrollment in graduate school in order to polish her Japanese language skills and pursue employment opportunities in the field of international education. Within one year, she hopes to be working in Asia or preparing for entry into a master’s program, either of which should help prepare her for career success in a culturally-diverse environment.

Emilee Rubio (double major with Psychology) is in the process of applying for case management positions in the field of disability services. In the near future, she hopes to relocate to Columbus, Ohio and find work with a non-profit organization in order to gain more experience and broaden her interests before undertaking graduate studies.

Derek Thompson (double major with Computer Science) is seeking employment opportunities related to computer hardware repair or programming. After a year of working stateside and saving money, he hopes to relocate to Japan or South Korea to teach English for a time.

Haleigh George (minor; major in Computer Science) is seeking employment in the fields of computer security or software engineering, preferably in a city located on the East Coast. There, she plans to live happily with her sister and her kitten.

James Sickels (minor; major in Music) plans to relocate to Colorado, where he will dedicate the next year to gaining work experience, traveling, and discerning his next move in life. His eventual goal is a master’s degree in music.

We wish all of our May 2016 graduates nothing but the best. さようなら! 작별! 再見! Farewell!

New Professor of Chinese Joins Faculty

Dr. Jianfen WangThe Asian Studies and Foreign Languages programs are delighted to announce that Dr. Jianfen Wang will join our faculty in fall 2016 as an assistant professor of Chinese and Asian Studies.   Dr. Wang, a native of China’s Hunan province, recently completed her Ph.D. at Ohio State University, whose Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures is well-known for its excellence in the field of Chinese language pedagogy.  In addition to teaching Chinese language, Dr. Wang will offer courses on Chinese culture, including a course on Chinese mythology during the fall 2016 term. Huānyíng 欢迎 and welcome to Dr. Wang!

Daniel West ’12 Accepted by JET Program

Daniel West

Daniel West ’12 has accepted a position as an English language teacher with the highly competitive Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program! Since 1987, nearly five thousand college and university graduates from all around the world have taught their native languages in Japan through the JET Program, which is administered by the Japanese government in cooperation with 38 other national governments.  Daniel has been teaching English at private institutions in Japan since 2013, so he will bring a great deal of hard-won experience and expertise to his work with JET.  He will join fellow Bereans Celeste Lee ’04, Nick Riley ’15, Amber Welch ’14, and Noah White ’13, all of whom currently hold appointments as English teachers in Japan.  Congratulations and おめでとう, Daniel!