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Indiana University

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EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

May 2008

Student Updates

Undergraduate Award Winners

The following undergraduate students have been awarded EALC scholarships:

  • Brian Clampit has been awarded the Yasuda Scholarship, which was created in honor of Professor Emeritus Kenneth Yasuda for undergraduates demonstrating excellence in Japanese studies.

  • Lisa Ferguson, Whitney Mayfield, and Eric Cox have been awarded Uehara Scholarships. This scholarship was created in honor of the late professor Toyoaki Uehara for undergraduates showing excellence in East Asian studies.

  • Dylan Kwapy has been awarded the Gines Scholarship, given by EALC alumnus James Gines and his wife Noriko, for undergraduates combining excellence in an East Asian language with excellence in professional school studies.

  • Andrew McIntire has been awarded the Paul Nutter Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was created in memory and honor of Paul Nutter, an EALC undergraduate Japanese major, for students in any East Asian language demonstrating the same heart and commitment to learning that Paul expressed.

  • Annabeth Young has been awarded the Korean Visiting Scholars’ Award. This award was made possible by the IU Korean Visiting Scholars Association and was established to help promote excellence in the study of Korean language and culture.

The following undergraduates have been awarded EASC prizes for excellence in East Asian studies: Keith Seidel—the SOFOKS Award for Korean Studies; Stephanie Louraine—the Alpine Prize for Japanese Studies; and Jacob Levine—the Undergraduate Award for Chinese Studies. Congratulations to all for their hard work!

Summer 2008 and Academic-Year 2008-09 FLAS Awards

Good news: The U.S. Department of Education has awarded EASC an additional academic-year FLAS fellowship for 2008-09, bringing the total number awarded this year to four, for having a high percentage of our fellowships meet the Department’s eligibility priorities. In addition, our partner center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has given EASC an additional summer 2008 FLAS fellowship for a total number of three.

Summer 2008 awardees
  • Alicia Fehring (M.A. in EALC) will study Chinese at Middlebury College’s summer language school.

  • Erika Kuever (Ph.D. in Anthropology) will continue her study of Chinese at the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

  • Tim Rich (Ph.D. in Political Science) will use his FLAS to study Chinese at the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University in Taipei.

2008-09 academic-year awardees
  • Suzy Cincone (M.A. in EALC) will study Japanese at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama.

  • Michelle Hertzfeld (M.A. in EALC and M.P.A. in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs) will continue her study of Chinese at IU. She is interested in environmental policy in China.

  • Tim Rich (Ph.D. in Political Science) will use his academic-year FLAS to study Chinese at IU, with a research focus on how the democratization of Taiwan has altered cross-strait and U.S.-China relations.

  • Andrea Smith-Rippeon (Political Science) will enter the doctoral program in Political Science in the fall and will focus her research on minority policy and Chinese legal reform.

The FLAS program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education to make funds available for foreign language and area or international studies. The program has three main goals: (1) to assist in the development of knowledge, resources, and trained personnel for modern foreign language and area/international studies; (2) to stimulate the attainment of foreign language acquisition and fluency; and (3) to develop a pool of international experts to meet national needs. The benefits of the FLAS Fellowships include tuition fee remission, a stipend for living expenses, and enrollment in the graduate student health insurance program (for academic-year recipients only).

Applications for summer 2009 and academic year 2009–10 FLAS fellowships will be due February 1, 2009. Information will be available on the IU FLAS Web page.

Student News
  • Dave Boyd (Ph.D. in Religious Studies and EALC) will be instructor of Chinese Languages and Culture for the Department of Foreign Languages at the U. S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He will be teaching Chinese language and culture classes and will lead cadets on annual culture and language immersion trips to China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. He also received travel funds from EASC to present a chapter of his dissertation at a conference at Stanford University this spring.

  • Ju Young Jin (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature), SOFOKS fellowship recipient for 2007–08, attended the Association for Asian Studies/Southeast Conference in January and presented a paper about the Korean film 3-Iron and the ways in which it challenges and upholds Guy Debord’s concept of “society of the spectacle.” She also participated in the Northeast Modern Language Association conference held in April and presented a paper about Korean cultural icon Jeon Hye Rin on a panel titled “Fascination and the History of Affect.” Both papers are under review at journals.

  • Jonathan Pettit (Ph.D. in EALC & Religious Studies) will be teaching R250 Introduction to Buddhism this summer for the Department of Religious Studies. He presented papers at this year’s American Oriental Society Annual Meeting, the Midwest Conference on East Asian Thought, and the 2008 IU Religious Studies Graduate Student Conference. He translated a paper from Chinese into English on medieval Chinese monuments for the book project “Ritual, Pantheons, and Techniques.” He also received a 2008–09 IIE Fulbright Fellowship for dissertation research in Taiwan.

  • Travis Selmier (Ph.D. in Political Science) taught I300 Globalization Past and Present: States, Emergence of Global Markets, and Governance for the International Studies major this semester.

Student Profile: Travis Selmier

Travis SelmierUnlike most people, who end their formal education when they start their professional life, Travis Selmier is a “returnee” to graduate school, having left his first career in international investments and entered the Ph.D. program in IU’s Department of Political Science in 2003. Twenty years in a profession as intense as international investments was enough for Selmier: “Deciding to pursue a Ph.D. was the classic case of ‘push and pull’: the push came from that ‘enough is enough’ feeling, the pull from the excitement of entering academia and researching those areas I was interested in,” he said.

Selmier earned a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. There, he focused on Asian politics, economics, and Mandarin Chinese, an interest he carried with him after his undergraduate work when he studied Mandarin at the Mandarin Daily News Language Center in Taipei and Japanese at Sophia University in Tokyo. It was in Taipei that he decided to pursue a career in international equity investments. “Being in Taiwan when the stock market was booming in the early 1980s put me in touch with investors and the buzz of the market.” He followed language study with an MBA in finance from IU—never ceasing to study languages—and then launched his career in investments.

Now at IU again, researching the politics of cross-border bank acquisitions, he has taught multiple courses for the Department of Political Science, the Kelley School of Business, and the International Studies major including I300 Globalization Past and Present: States, Emergence of Global Markets, and Governance this spring. Teaching is not dissimilar to work in the business world, although he believes it to be simpler because teaching (even in political science) has fewer politics. “Teaching requires knowledge, organization, communication, and follow-up. My area of business required all of this, lots of luck, and continual political fighting,” he said. “One folk theorem in politics teaches us that as money increases, so does the level of politics. It is hard to say which way the causal arrows go, but the amount of politics on Wall Street, and the ‘quality’ of the players, is extremely high.” His experience with Wall Street politics will no doubt prove useful as he completes his dissertation and moves on to a new career in academia.