Jarrod Brown awarded three-year grant for SARI Project

Visiting professor and 2004 alumnus Jarrod Brown has been awarded a three-year grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to support his research on environmental and agricultural ethics in Việt Nam’s Hòa Hảo Buddhist tradition.  Over the next three summers, Professor Brown, who is completing his Ph.D. in Asian philosophy at the University of Hawai’i and has been teaching at his alma mater in a sabbatical replacement capacity since fall 2015, plans to investigate Hòa Hảo Buddhist moral reasoning about environmental and agricultural issues, develop an environmental history of the three distinct Vietnamese communities that he studies, and produce an interactive map of the area based on interviews, photography and videography, high-resolution satellite imaging of changing land use patterns, and intensive field work.  “Happily for me,” Brown says, the project “allows me to seamlessly marry philosophy, religious studies, the study of Southeast Asia, and develop new pathways in the digital humanities.”  The project website may be visited at: http://www.sari.umd.edu/

Bereans in Asia, 2017-18

So many Bereans will spend some or all of 2017-18 in Asia!

Dominique “Domo” Jenkins and Samantha Blankenship will intern at the Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP) in Japan this summer, after which Domo will spend the next academic year at Kyūshū University.

They won’t be the only Bereans in Japan this summer – Becca Sizemore and Dionysus “Dio” Yearout will study there with the Kentucky Institute for International Studies.

Next door in South Korea, Kayla Santos will spend the academic year at Keimyung University, to be joined in the fall term by Dorothy Coe and Eden Morley.

Brandon Pollock will study in China during fall term 2017, and the Berea College Country Dancers will tour China this summer.

Finally, both Layne Sinkhorn and Courtney Combs will study in India – Courtney this summer and Layne in the fall.

Many thanks to Ann Butwell and the Center for International Education for making our students’ dreams of study abroad in Asia come true! Congratulations and safe travels, everyone!

Bereans in Asia

The Asian Studies Program congratulates its graduating class of 2017!

Chantelle Bottom (major in Asian Studies) will pursue an M.S. in Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Ultimately, she hopes to work in a rural public library.

Taylor Brown (major in Asian Studies) plans to work in Berea for a little while after graduation.  She would like to give back to her community, whether it’s here in Berea or back home in Birmingham, Alabama.  Her long-term goal is to live somewhere where the snow never gets higher than her ankles and land a job that will allow her to travel fairly often.

Emerald Flannigan (major in Asian Studies) has accepted a position as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.  By helping young Japanese learners of English, she will immerse herself in Japanese society and serve as a cultural ambassador between Japan and her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

Ethan Johnson (double major in Asian Studies and History) will pursue a J.D. at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law, having received a full scholarship to study there. After completing his legal studies, he plans to use the intercultural communication skills he developed at Berea to help develop new ideas about the Appalachian region and its place in the world.

Shadia Prater (double major in Asian Studies and Computer Science) plans to remain in Berea for a year after graduation in order to save money in preparation for relocation to Japan, where she hopes to teach English for a time.  Her long-term goals include pursuing a graduate degree in Museum Studies and finding employment as a curator of Asian art and artifacts.

Logan Smith (double major in Asian Studies and Peace & Social Justice Studies) will relocate to Iceland shortly after graduation.  In addition to improving her Icelandic, she hopes to continue her work to combat human trafficking and aid refugees.  Her long-term goal is to establish her own organization that helps survivors of trauma.

(Note: every single one of these graduates studied in Asia during their Berea years.)

We wish all of our May 2017 graduates nothing but the best. さようなら!  작별!  再見!  Farewell!

Bereans in Japan, Spring 2017

KG students, Spring 2017As fall term 2016 nears its end, 5 Berea students are preparing to travel to Japan.  Trisha Lucas, Hannah Musick, August Nye, Jacy Stanford, and Dylan Usher all will study at Kansai Gaidai in Ōsaka during spring term 2017, making next term’s complement of Bereans there unusually large.  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!

Sarah Resnick Reid ’11 Accepts Position at Western Michigan University


Sarah ResnickHaving served as Student Services Coordinator for Study Abroad at the University of North Texas since 2015, Sarah Resnick Reid ’11 has accepted a position as Study Abroad Adviser at Western Michigan University.  There, Sarah – who completed both a term of service as an English instructor in Japan with the JET Program and her M.A. in International Education Management at the Monterey Institute of International Studies prior to starting work at UNT — will advise students who seek to develop themselves by extending their educational experience overseas, just as she did by participating in Berea’s exchange with Kyūshū University in Japan.  Congratulations, Sarah!

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