USC EASC

The East Asian Studies Center at the University of Southern California leads and supports education, research, and community research concerning East Asia.

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Apr 14 2014
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EASC Awards 10 Summer FLAS Fellowships

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Congratulations to EASC’s 10 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellows for summer 2014! Four outstanding graduate and six undergraduate students were awarded the U.S. Department of Education fellowship to study intensive Chinese, Japanese and Korean through domestic and international study abroad programs. Our Fellows come from a diverse range of majors such as Chemical Engineering, International Relations, Comparative Literature, and Environmental Studies. 

FLAS Fellowships are provided by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to enrich the nation’s pool of area and international specialists. 

Kelly Belter, B.A. junior
Majors/Minors: English (Creative Writing) and French majors, East Asian Languages & Cultures minor
Language of Study: Korean
Career Goal: Academic in Korean literature or Comparative literature with a focus on Korean literature and bring a greater understanding of Korean literature and culture to American scholarship.

Pleres Choi, B.A. freshman
Majors/Minors: International Relations (Global Business) major, Korean Studies minor
Language of Study: Korean
Goal: Local or international lawyer with a focus on helping Korean American immigrants and the community at large.

Cassandra Dierolf, M.A. 1st year
Program: East Asian Area Studies
Language of Study: Japanese
Goal: Academic in East Asian history with a focus on early modern Japanese history.

Fan Fan, B.A. junior
Majors/Minors: Comparative Literature major, History minor
Language of Study: Chinese
Goal: Academic in Asian/Latin American studies to inform policymakers and advance comparative studies.

Eric Fried, B.S. freshman
Majors/Minors: Chemical Engineering
Language of Study: Chinese
Goal: Utilize Chinese language and cultural understanding in global engineering field, particularly between the U.S. and China.

Jack Koppa, B.S. sophomore
Majors/Minors: Environmental Studies major, Digital Studies and East Asian Languages & Cultures minor
Language of Study: Chinese
Goal: Work to improve the condition of China’s environment, quality of life for the overpopulated country, and for the world.

Young Sun Park, Ph.D. candidate
Program: History
Language of Study: Japanese
Goal: Modern Japanese and Korean history academic with a research focus on childhood and the institutionalization of children in need, particularly Korean orphans and orphanages from 1900-1960.

Meredith Shaw, Ph.D. 2nd year
Program: Political Science and International Relations
Language of Study: Chinese
Goal: Academic with a research focus on East Asian regional issues such as historical awareness, national reconciliation processes, maritime dispute.

Caitlyn Stone, M.A. 1st year
Program: East Asian Area Studies
Language of Study: Chinese
Goal: Work for the U.S. government within an agency relevant to U.S.-Chinese relations, such as U.S. intelligence community as an analyst, open-source officer, or consultant; or non-governmental organizations dedicated to furthering understanding between China and the U.S.

Marisa Tsai, B.A. senior
Program: International Relations major, French minor
Language of Study: Chinese
Goal: U.S. State Department Foreign Officer or foreign affairs think tank specializing in Asia-Pacific region.


Mar 20 2014
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Global East Asia 2014 Scholars

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Global East Asia Korea 2013

Congratulations to EASC’s Global East Asia scholars for summer 2014! 41 students were accepted into this year’s competitive scholarship program to study abroad in China, Japan and Korea. Coming from a diverse range of backgrounds and 23 majors across 7 schools, our scholars will study, live and travel throughout each country, funded generously by a grant from the Freeman Foundation with matching support from USC Dornsife, Korean Studies Institute, and US-China Institute. 

Global East Asia China

  • Eri Aguilar, Political Science 
  • Charles Becker, Philosophy, Politics and Law 
  • Aissa Castillo, International Relations (Global Business)
  • Olivia Chui, Communication and Business Administration
  • Amanda Heston, East Asian Languages & Cultures, Economics/Mathematics
  • Scott Hung, History
  • Ethan Levin, International Relations and East Asian Languages & Cultures
  • Jeffrey Levine, Environmental Studies and International Relations
  • Steven Luong, International Relations (Global Business)
  • Aleen Mankerian, Public Relations
  • Coleman Monroe, International Relations and Economics
  • Christmas Myers, Philosophy, Politics, and Law
  • Sean O’Leary, Economics and East Asian Languages & Cultures
  • Diane Um, Policy, Planning & Development

Global East Asia Japan

  • Ryan Bobell, Film and Television Production
  • Natasha Cirisano, Fine Arts
  • David Collier, Physics
  • Andy Gause, Writing for Screen and Television
  • Charlsie Hoffman, International Relations (Global Business)
  • Qianying Hu, Accounting 
  • Kelli Kosaka, Public Relations and East Asian Languages & Cultures
  • Stephanie Liang, Business Administration
  • Sarah Nakamura, Fine Arts 
  • Kent Oya, Human Development and Aging
  • Lisa Peng, Accounting and Business Administration
  • Benjamin Surbrook, East Asian Languages & Cultures and International Relations
  • Cody Oyeda, English (Creative Writing) and Communications
  • Tanya Yang, Undecided

Global East Asia Korea

  • Esther Chang, Policy, Planning, and Development
  • Jane Hong, Mechanical Engineering
  • Chongiin Kim, Biological Sciences
  • Shalea Klepner, Cinematic Arts Critical Studies
  • An-Quang Nguyen, International Relations
  • David Shin, Political Science
  • Jiajing Tang, Accounting
  • Maria Pamela Vergara, Cinematic Arts Critical Studies
  • Margaret Waggoner, East Asian Area Studies and Cinematic Arts Critical Studies
  • Jiaqi Wang, Business Administration
  • Jiafeng Xu, Accounting
  • Nicholas Yamamoto, East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Eileen Yoon, Psychology

Nov 11 2013

EAAS GRADUATE ALUMNI RECONNECT THROUGH NON-PROFIT CAREERS

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2012 Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA. Credit http://www.ccdcus.com 

Chelsea Mason (EAAS ’10) and Ethan Xing (EAAS ’09) worked together as classmates in the East Asian Area Studies M.A. program, but never thought they would be collaborating as colleagues. Several years after graduation, however, they reconnected professionally through non-profit careers.

As Marketing and Communications Director of the Pacific Asia Museum, Chelsea has worked with Ethan, Program Planner and Public Relations Specialist of the Chinese Culture Development Center, on a number of projects. Most recently, they collaborated on a Mid-Autumn Festival that featured a variety of performances, activities and food related to Chinese culture.

Thinking back to his time as a Master’s student, Ethan enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of the program the most, which gave him opportunities to explore subjects and areas that were not on his academic radar to begin with. “I found that my original interest in Chinese history and cultural studies greatly benefited from courses I took in communication, public diplomacy, and political science. What I learned from all those classes complemented each other and better prepared me for my current career in cultural industry and public relations,” said Ethan.

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Ethan with other EAAS M.A. students. 

Chelsea echoed Ethan’s sentiments, adding: “The program really gave me the flexibility to pursue my own interests. Because I could take courses from several different departments, I feel I graduated with an understanding of different fields and approaches to cultural studies. I also liked that my cohort was small—I still stay in touch with many of my classmates!”

Chelsea also found that her background in East Asia studies gave her an edge when she started working at the Pacific Asia Museum as Membership Manager. Because she could connect to their members’ love of Asian art and culture, she was uniquely able to bring membership initiatives to a new level. Though she has recently accepted a position as Manager of Digital Marketing at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and will not be working specifically on Asian art, she continues to see the value of her graduate degree. “In the performing and visual arts, Asia is becoming more and more popular. You see more exhibitions and traveling performance groups coming through LA every year. I know that my background in Asian art and culture will continue to be useful,” said Chelsea.

For students interested in a career in the arts, Chelsea encourages them to “explore how you can gain concrete skills in addition to your knowledge of art and culture. This will make you extremely valuable. Learn media production, communications, event planning, anything!” She also advises students to look for opportunities to explore the field through internships and networking, and to be open to approaching the field from different angles. “Someone who wants to work in the field of Asian studies or the arts can do so not just by curating, but also through marketing, fundraising, programming and more. All of these directions will still get you constant engagement with your field.”

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Chelsea in Beijing, China. 

Ethan recommends that students use available resources to better prepare themselves for future careers. “You should participate in academic and career events organized by EASC and other USC units such as the U.S.-China Institute to build your connections with people already working in the fields you are interested. You never know which event will help you land an internship that might develop into a full-time position after your graduation.”

He finds his current job rewarding because he is able to meet and work with interesting people from very different social strata in both China and the U.S., as well as be part of an expanding industry. This same benefit, however, is a challenge, as the Chinese Culture Development Center grapples with “how to translate the public’s interest in China into a workable business model that yields sustainable profits in the long term.”

Chelsea enjoyed her four years at the Pacific Asia Museum because “working at a small organization allowed me to learn many new skills, particularly in digital media.” The most challenging part of her experience was dealing with a small budget, but this also encouraged her to be creative and resourceful, traits that employers look for.

In the future, Ethan looks forward to continuing his work at the Chinese Culture Development Center and expanding their business in the cultural industry and strengthening relationships with partners in the U.S. and China. Chelsea hopes to remain in the LA nonprofit arts community and grow as a professional marketer. Both alumni are excellent examples of how East Asian studies translates to diverse career paths.


Oct 24 2013

EASC FUNDS FELLOWS’ RESEARCH, LANGUAGE TRAINING, LEARNING

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Each year, EASC supports undergraduates, graduate students and faculty through a number of funding opportunities made possible by federal, foundation and donor support. In summer 2013 and academic year 2013-14 alone, we gave $278,227 in fellowships to 15 undergraduate students, 23 graduate students and 5 faculty from 22 different departments and schools at USC. We are committed to supporting a breadth of research and disciplines in order to build a stronger East Asian studies community across the University. Here is a look at some of the people and projects we funded in the past year:

Tsai Fund for Taiwan Studies

Joshua Hsieh (Master of Fine Arts student, Film Production)
Project: Research concurrent trends in Taiwanese film industry co-productions with the People’s Republic of China. As a result of connections made through his research, Josh is working with the USC School of Cinematic Arts to screen select Taiwanese films at USC.

Chin-Hao Huang (Ph.D. student, Political Science and International Relations)
Project: Conduct a research study on Taiwan and cross-strait relations. His findings were integrated into a paper co-authored with Professor Patrick James entitled “Blue, Green, or Aquamarine?: Taiwan and the Status Quo Preference in Cross-Strait Relations,” which has been accepted for publication in The China Quarterly. This paper also received the Best Paper Award presented at the 2012 Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA)-West.

Tin-Yu Tseng (Lecturer, East Asian Languages and Cultures)
Project: Develop a new advanced Chinese language and culture course entitled “Chinese through Theater and Drama” at USC.

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship

Maracel Guevarra (B.A. student, Animation and Digital Arts and East Asian Area Studies)
Project: Study advanced Korean through an intensive 8-week Cal State University San Bernadino program. She hopes to use her Korean language and cultural studies with her professional digital arts training toward a future career in the animation or documentary industry that facilitates collaborations between American and Korean companies.

Shannon Haugh (Master of Public Diplomacy student)
Project: Study Japanese and East Asian security issues and diplomacy at USC. After graduation, she plans to work to promote bilateral US-Japan relations in the Los Angeles area or pursue a position with an international organization in Japan in the field of strategic communication, public diplomacy, or intercultural relations.

Vivian Yan (B.A. student, Comparative Literature and History)
Project: Study advanced Chinese at the Inter-University Program in Beijing, China. Her goals are to use her Chinese language skills towards a career as a researcher or academic examining the relationships and identities of diasporic Chinese communities in China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Association for Japan-U.S. Community Exchange (ACE) - Nikaido Fellowship

Yasuhito Abe (Ph.D. student, Communications)
Project: Conduct fieldwork in Japan to research the role of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) reports of radiation measurement data in shaping post-Fukushima nuclear crisis Japanese society.

Jesse Drian (Ph.D. student, East Asian Languages and Cultures)
Project:  Participate in USC Kambun Workshop on late medieval materials, reading pre-modern kambun text in classical Japanese, discussing the meaning in modern Japanese, and preparing English translations.

Amanda Kennell (Ph.D. student, East Asian Languages and Cultures)
Project: Conduct field research in Japan on the production and consumption of Japanese mass media through visiting museums and libraries, acquiring materials and connecting with Japanese scholars and industry personnel. 


Oct 21 2013
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Job Opportunities

The October 21, 2013 issue of the EASC eNewsletter included several job opportunities for those interested or specializing in East Asia. 

Outreach Assistant, USC U.S.-China Institute
Chinese Language Program Director, University of Michigan 

Oct 18 2013

FELLOW ALUMNI FEATURE: BILLY NOIMAN

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Billy Noiman graduated from USC with a double major in Business Administration and East Asian Languages and Cultures in 2010. While at USC, he received the EASC Area Studies Abroad (ASA) Fellowship, funded by a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, to study abroad in Beijing, China. He was also a USC Renaissance and Global Scholar and Deputy Editor of U.S. China Today. Currently, Billy lives and works in Daegu, South Korea as the Academic Director of YGM Language Academy. He manages a staff of English instructors and oversees branch recruitment and development.

How did you become interested in East Asian studies?

Many people ask me this question, and I never really have a good response. I was born in a hospital near Chinatown in Los Angeles, so my father believes that that could be part of the reason why I was so “naturally” attracted to China. However, I did grow up with lots of friends that had ancestral ties to Asia. For example, my high school was around 40% Korean. I’m sure all of my Asian friends played a major role in my decision to come live in East Asia.

What did you enjoy about being a double major in East Asian Languages & Cultures and Business Administration and how has it helped you in your career?

I really enjoyed the flexibility that I received from being a double major. There are so many business majors out there, so studying EALC was a differentiating factor for me. Whenever I would go into interviews, the recruiter would always show an interest in my decision to study Chinese.

Also, learning Chinese has really accelerated the process of learning Korean. So many Korean words come from Chinese, so it’s much easier for me to memorize them. In a workplace where Microsoft Windows and Office on all of the computers are in Korean, learning some Korean is extremely important. My double major definitely prepared me well for this experience.

How was your experience studying abroad in Beijing, China and what impact did it have on you?

Studying abroad in Beijing, China was one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences that I’ve ever had. When you are in an environment that is unlike anything you have ever experienced, you are forced to adapt and learn quickly. During my time abroad, I broadened my understanding of the world, created special relationships with people from all over the world, and learned to embrace uncertainty. I could literally spend days talking about the people I met, the places I visited, the food I ate, and the knowledge I gained through my study abroad experience. If you are a student, and you have an opportunity to study abroad, do it! It’ll change your life!

Of course, none of this would have been possible if it were not for the very generous financial support provided through fellowships such as the EASC Area Studies Abroad Fellowship. It was a comfortable feeling to know that I could travel around the world and learn about another culture with a lightened financial burden. The EASC Fellowship gave me this peace of mind, and for that, I’m extremely grateful. I’m also happy to announce that I’ll be starting my own scholarship for students looking to study abroad in the spring of 2014. I believe in the study abroad experience, and I would love to help other students just as I was helped. 

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Billy with Chinese students while studying abroad at Peking University.

Why did you decide to teach English in Korea?

After graduating college, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I half-jokingly tell people that at that point in my life, I had a list of companies that I knew I didn’t want to work for. I can trace my decision to come out here back to my friends. One day, while having lunch with some friends from high school—all of whom happened to be Korean Americans—one of my friends challenged me to try and live in another Asian country since I had already been to China. He shared his experiences in Korea and mentioned teaching as a possible opportunity.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Inception, my situation was pretty much just like that. Someone planted an idea in my mind, it grew, and I just ran with it.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current position as Academic Supervisor? What are some challenges?

I love stories, and I believe everyone has a story to tell. So, the best part of my job is my constant interaction with so many different people. In the classroom, I learn a lot from my students as well as watch them grow and develop. With the Korean staff, I see the inner workings of a Korean company. And it’s always great to work with our foreign teachers. They come from many different backgrounds and have unique experiences.

As for the challenges, I don’t particularly enjoy writing lengthy reports. Who does? But it’s a part of the job. It’s a good challenge. Sometimes, it’s also difficult to manage the many different—sometimes competing—interests and desires among our customers (students), the foreign teachers, Korean staff, and Seoul head office.

What advice do you have for students thinking about working in East Asia after they graduate?

If you want to work in East Asia, you must come with an open mind. Living in East Asia is great, but I’ve seen many people struggle because they aren’t willing to learn about the culture and adapt. You don’t have to be fluent in the local language to be successful out here, but you must put in the time and effort to learn about the people and the culture.

Also, there are so many opportunities, but it’s difficult to see them when you are not here. I’ve met people who started off teaching English, came across a good opportunity, and then decided to start a company. Once you get here, doors will start opening up for you.

What are your future career goals?

The first step is grad school. After that, I hope to come back to Asia and work. I’ve got a lot of ideas about things that I’d like to do, but I need more time to sift through them.

Ultimately, I’d like to start a trade company that ships goods from countries like China and Korea to Kenya, my ancestral homeland. We’ll see where God leads me!


Oct 07 2013

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Global East Asia China 2013 Reunion Dinner
See more photos on our Facebook page.

Global East Asia China 2013 Reunion Dinner

See more photos on our Facebook page.


Oct 07 2013

Fall 2013 EASC Faculty Luncheon Wrap-Up

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EASC affiliated faculty from different schools and departments across the university joined us at the University Club on Tuesday, October 1 for the Fall 2013 EASC Faculty Luncheon Meeting. Held every semester, the EASC Faculty Luncheon Meeting offers affiliated faculty members an opportunity to hear about the latest from EASC and its community. 

Following the premiere screening of the EASC Video and self-introductions from each guest, Director David Kang shared EASC news and activities for the academic year. Topics included the future of the Global East Asia program, upcoming events, EASC academic programs and new affiliated faculty, all of whom were in attendance. 
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Also addressed were the U.S. Department of Education Title VI NRC/FLAS grant proposal and EASC courses. Both of these are areas where EASC is always grateful for faculty support. We would like to remind faculty to please send us your CV and fill out the online form if you have not already done so. We also invite faculty interested in teaching one of our undergraduate or graduate courses to contact us.

Photos from the event can be found on our Facebook page and our Google account. If you were unable to attend this time, we will hold the Spring 2014 EASC Faculty Luncheon Meeting in April, so please keep an eye out for the announcement. 

Sep 30 2013

EASC Staff Attend Dept. of Education Workshop

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In preparation for a major Title VI National Resource Center federal grant proposal, EASC staff Grace Ryu (Associate Director) and Eva Luc (Program Specialist) were in Washington, D.C. last week to attend the  Department of Education’s International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) Technical Assistance Workshop. With over 550 participants from universities across the nation, the conference addressed such topics as international education competencies for K-16 instruction; collaborations with professional schools and community colleges to increase foreign language and area studies from elementary to postsecondary education levels; and use of technology for teaching, learning and dissemination. They also met with David Brown, Executive Director of the USC Federal Relations Office.
 
Also in attendance were our UCLA Asia Institute partners, with whom we form the consortium  UCLA-USC Joint East Asian Studies Center (JEASC). Since our designation as a Title VI National Resource Center in 1975, JEASC has been the driving force behind a remarkable expansion in training, research and outreach related to East Asia and its languages, making a significant contribution to meeting the national need for citizens knowledgeable about the world while dedicating itself to serving the people of Los Angeles and southern California. 
 
A full report about the Title VI proposal and our efforts to address national need for international competencies in education will be forthcoming. 

Sep 20 2013

EASC Visiting Fellow Feature: Julian Wang


We are pleased to welcome Chun-Ping (Julian) Wang as an EASC Visiting Fellow this academic year. Currently a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Politics at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, Julian received his Ph.D. in Diplomacy from National Chengchi University (NCCU) and B.A. in Management Science from National Chiao Tung University. His research interests are geopolitics, Chinese strategic culture, theory of balance of power, pre-modern East Asian international relations, and naval history and strategy.

While at USC, Julian plans to complete an academic paper on pre-modern China’s strategic culture of sustaining diplomatic relations with neighboring polities. He will examine the practice of confidence building mechanisms (CBMs) as a major instrument for mutual trust between Chinese empires and their major security threats, particularly between the Chinese Song Dynasty and the Liao Empire of the Khitan.

Born and raised in Taichung, Taiwan, Julian has lived, studied and worked in Taipei for the last decade. He and his wife enjoy traveling to Japan, especially to the island of Hokkaido. He is working to publish his dissertation entitled, “Potential Super Power: Rising China’s Geostrategy and its impact on Asia-Pacific Security” and looks forward to the rest of his year at USC. He can be reached at chunpinw@usc.edu.


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