Graduate Alumni Spotlights

Alumni Spotlight – Nick Stember, MA ’16

The Alumni Spotlight is an interview series where we interview Asia Studies alumni about their career paths, how they became interested in Asian Studies and for any advice that would be useful to our students. This interview features Nick Stember, MA '16, who works as a freelance Chinese to English translator in Vancouver, BC.

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Clayton Ashton

Ph.D. Student - Early Chinese history
I study the political and intellectual history of early China. My dissertation is focused on the period of about 300 BCE. This was a period of history when people were beginning to ask some fascinating and original questions about some big topics that we’re still struggling with today: how to organize a state, how to balance individual desires with collective needs, and what it means to be ethical during a period of upheaval.

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Ben Whaley

Ph.D. Student - Modern Japanese literature, Graduated 2016
I research Japanese video games (Bleep Bloop!) and write about the ways in which they engage with social issues and national trauma. For my purposes, this means analyzing console games that address issues of natural disasters, a declining birthrate and aging population, and traumatic war memory in Japan.

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Douglas Ober

Ph.D. Student - Modern Indian buddhism
My dissertation rests at the intersection of South Asian history and Buddhist studies. Put simply, the conventional view in academia (and beyond) is that sometime between the 12th – 15th century, Buddhism “died” or “disappeared” from India before being “reborn” in 1956 when the Indian constitutionalist, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, converted to Buddhism along with half a million of his Dalit (“Untouchable”) followers.

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Franklin Rausch

Franklin Rausch, Ph.D. '11 is currently an assistant professor at Lander University (Greenwood, South Carolina). As part of the History and Philosophy Department, he teaches core history classes, general-education world history classes, and upper level classes in Asian history.

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Nathen Clerici

Nathan Clerici, Ph.D. 2013, is currently an Assistant Professor in the Languages, Literatures & Cultures Department at SUNY New Paltz.

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Oleg Benesch

Oleg Benesch graduated from our Ph.D. program and is currently an assistant professor at the University of York in the UK. His main project since leaving UBC has been his recently completed book, Inventing the Way of the Samurai: Nationalism, Internationalism, and Bushido in Modern Japan, which is due out from Oxford University Press September, 2014.

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Vickie Yau

Vickie Yau, BA '03, MA '08, currently lives in Hong Kong and is completing her doctorate in Education on the psychosocial influences of international and cultural experiences on student development. She also works part-time for a Foundation that aims to promote environmental awareness and understanding of a unique area in Hong Kong that is rich in environmental value and cultural heritage.

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David Moreton – Global

David Moreton, BA '95, is back for another interview. This time he discusses how he began working abroad after graduating and how life is like in Japan as a foreigner, particularly in a small town.

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Basil Tonks

Basil Tonks, MA '92, has been involved in the education publishing industry in Japan for the past 20 years as the Vice-President at Educational Venture Corporation. He currently resides in Yokohama, Japan.

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