Congratulations, December 2014 Graduates!

The Asian Studies Program congratulates its December 2014 graduates: Julian Augustus ’14, Jacob Hart ’14, and Amber Welch ’14.  Julian is contemplating further studies in philosophy as well as a military career.  Jacob, a triple major in Asian Studies, Education Studies, and History, plans to teach high school-level history and pursue graduate studies in global history that will allow him to explore his interest in East Asian Christian traditions.  Amber will begin teaching English at Everyone R. Academy in Mishima City, Japan.  We wish all of our December 2014 graduates nothing but the best.  Hǎoyùn 好運!  Kōun 幸運!  Good luck!

Amber Welch ’14 to Teach in Japan

Amber WelchCongratulations to December graduate Amber Welch ’14, who has accepted a position as a teacher of English at Everyone R. Academy in Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture (just south of Mt. Fuji, two hours by train from Tōkyō)! Amber, who spent a year studying at Kyūshū University, is looking forward to spending the next few years (or more) back in Japan.

Sona Apbasova ’15 Wins Essay Competition

Sona Apbasova

Sona Apbasova ’15 with Turkmenistan flag shirt.

Congratulations to Sona B. Apbasova ’15, whose essay “Pan-Turkism of Republic of Turkey in post-Soviet Central Asian Republics in 1990s” (written under the direction of Dr. Robert Foster) has won the 2014 Kentucky Association of Teachers of History (KATH)’s Raymond F. Betts Undergraduate Student Writing Award! Thanks to Dr. Rebecca Bates for sponsoring Sona in this competition.

Tristan Lee Riven ’06 and John Sexton ’06 Start New Company in Borneo

Neorune logoVideo game designers and entrepreneurs Tristan Lee Riven ’06 and John Sexton ’06 have established a new venture called Neorune.  Based in Borneo, the company will focus on creating and producing narrative-driven adventure games such as its current project, Ley Line.  Visit Neorune’s website and Facebook page to learn more about how these Asian Studies alums are putting their degrees to work – for themselves!

Kelly Williams ’07: Taking Big Ass Fans to East Asia

Kelly Williams '07Kelly Williams ’07 has just accepted a position with Lexington-based Big Ass Fans’ International Sales Department as Vertical Accounts Specialist for East Asian Operations!  After graduating from Berea, Kelly spent several years, on and off, in South Korea, where he studied at Yonsei University, taught English, and ran a bourbon importing company.  Since returning to the United States a few years ago, he has worked for several different U.S. firms.  Now his Asian Studies education, on-the-ground experience in East Asia, and business expertise are taking him to the next level.  In his new position, Kelly will work with emerging markets for Big Ass Fans in East Asia.   Congratulations, Kelly!

Congratulations, Class of 2014!

Angela Rowe, 2014

Angela Rowe


Fatima King, Sharon Lee, 2014

Fatima King, Sharon Lee

The Asian Studies Program congratulates its May 2014 graduates: Fatima King ’14, Sharon Lee ’14 (both Asian Studies majors), and Angela Rowe ’14 (Asian Studies minor).  An aspiring computer animator, Fatima would like to design video game characters.  Following graduation, Sharon will begin teaching English in Japan as an employee of AEON.  Angela plans to complete a second undergraduate degree in nursing as well as a master’s degree in public health, and hopes to combine her graduate school field work with travel in Japan as well as Ireland.  We’re very proud of all of you!  Ichiro heian o inoru 一路平安を祈る (We wish you a smooth road)!

Bereans in Asia in 2014-15

China, Japan flagsAs the 2013-14 academic year draws to a close, many Asian Studies majors and minors are preparing to travel and study in Asia.  In Japan, Katrina Frailey ’16 will spend fall 2014 at Kansai Gaidai University while Jennifer Adams ’16 will spend the entire 2014-15 academic year at Kyushu University.   Also in Japan, Bethany Butters ’15, Nick Riley ’15, and Brittany Welch ’15 will accompany Professor Jeff Richey as participants in the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS)’ summer program, and Jaimah Pyburn ’16 will join three other Bereans for a summer internship at the Kiyosato Education Experiment Project (KEEP).  Meanwhile, Erica Berejnoi ’16, Hollister Doty-Griner ’15, and a dozen other students will travel and learn with Professors Rebecca Bates and Robert Foster in China this summer.  Including other students and faculty who will participate in these and other programs, over two dozen Bereans will spend part or all of the coming academic year in Asia.  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.

Aisulu Masylkanova ’06: From Asian Studies to Corporate Lawyer

Aisulu MasylkanovaAisulu Masylkanova ’06 now works as an attorney with the international law firm Dentons. At Dentons’ New York office, she specializes in securities and other financial matters, such as project financing and initial public offerings (IPOs) of company stocks. Prior to taking this position, Aisulu completed graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan and gained valuable experience working for the Aga Khan Foundation as well as law firms in Moscow, Russia and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Aisulu welcomes Asian Studies students and alums to visit her in New York, and to contact her if they are interested in legal careers. We’re very proud of your accomplishments, Aisulu!

Patton-sensei Joins Permanent Faculty in Fall 2014

Nathan Patton

Patton-sensei holding the kanji for “tomodachi” or friend.

After benefiting from his part-time instruction in Japanese language for almost two years, the Asian Studies Program is overjoyed to announce that Nathan Patton, better known on campus as Patton-sensei パットン先生, has signed a long-term contract and will join the permanent faculty beginning in fall 2014, thus stabilizing Berea College’s Japanese language program.  Patton-sensei is a highly experienced and respected teacher of Japanese who has co-authored a best-selling textbook on the subject.  In addition to teaching part-time at Berea College, he currently serves as Chair of the World Language Department at Scott County High School in Georgetown, Kentucky, location of both Toyota’s largest factory outside of Japan and the Yuko-en Kentucky-Japan Friendship Garden.  Although he is not a stranger on campus, Patton-sensei looks forward to deepening his connection to Berea through his new position here.  Yōkoso ようこそ!  Welcome!

Dylan Hunziker ’14 Wins Watson Fellowship

Dylan Hunziker '15Dylan Hunziker ’14 is Berea College’s 2014-15 Watson Fellowship winner!  Watson Fellows receive $28,000 to engage in one year of independent exploration and travel outside the United States.  Dylan’s project, “Tip of the Tongue: Language Balancing Among the Chinese Diaspora,” will take him to China and around the world to learn about Chinese communities and their relationship to the Chinese language with its various dialects.  Congratulations, Dylan!