UBC Asian Studies Class of 2022 Graduates Yearbook

Grad composite photo of undergraduate class of 2022 (partial).
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To the graduating class of 2022,

The UBC Department of Asian Studies heartily congratulates you on the completion of your degree in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia! We are extremely proud of you – an impressive achievement and hard-earned success overall!

To celebrate you, we composed this “UBC Asian Studies Class of 2022 Graduates Yearbook” page featuring graduates sharing their perspectives on Asian Studies and thanks for those who supported their academic journeys.

2022 Graduates Yearbook

Doctoral degree

Specialization: Punjabi Literature and Religion

Thesis title: When the tide goes out: Desi Left in British Columbia, 1978 to 1989

Supervisor: Harjot Oberoi

Master’s degree

Specialization: East Asian Buddhism

Thesis: Following Faxian to Kāśyapa’s gate: relocating India in the 1692 Jizu shanzhi

Supervisor: Jinhua Chen

Specialization: Modern Japanese Literature

Thesis: Following Faxian to Kāśyapa’s gate: relocating India in the 1692 Jizu shanzhi

Supervisor: Sharalyn Orbaugh

Specialization: Modern Japanese Literature

Thesis: Illustrations of war from a remote battlefield: images of the enemy in Japanese kamishibai and Chinese manhua, 1938-1945

Supervisor: Sharalyn Orbaugh

For me, Asian Studies is important for people to share their thoughts with each other beyond the barrier of the culture, language and history. My degree in Asian Studies made me more literate in different languages; I am capable of working in different countries to complete my research, and able to find the connection of world cultures between present and past. After being educated in different cultures, Asian Studies helped me to become a more empathetic person who can works in various environments.

I had a great and joyful education during my stay in the Asian Studies department, where the professors and staff are extremely helpful. I have been able to explore topics I'm interested in and went to Japan for few times for my field studies. I was able to go to my favorite Japanese university - Waseda University - to do part of my research. The pandemic brought a lot hard times; I was stuck in China for a long time and had to stop my research for a while. But I survived! I learned how to continue to find new research material and continue writing while I am far away from campus. The pandemic is definitely a traumatic experience for many people, but it's also a challenge for our generation; I hope we all could survive and continue our favorite research!

Bachelor’s degree

Major in Asian Area Studies, Minor in International Relations

The importance of an Asian Studies degree for me is learning an Asiatic language while simultaneously learning the context of Asian cultures in today's world. It is my goal to utilize this degree to further expand future relationships and communications between Western and Asian populations.

I'm most thankful for the friends I met by getting involved in the UBC community through sports and clubs. I am so grateful for pushing myself to get involved because these groups introduced me to some of the greatest people and have given me some of my best memories.

Major in Asian Area Studies

As a soon-to-be graduate student of Asian Studies, I think the importance of Asian Studies is to let more individuals from different cultural backgrounds understand the history of Asia. Being a member of Asian Studies, this degree provided me lots of chances to learn about my home country, China. Since I moved to Canada at an early age, I lost the opportunity to study the history and culture of my country. Taking this degree compensated for my pity. As a department that requires lots of reading and writing, the degree has greatly influenced and improved my reading and writing skills.

During my academic journey, especially during the unprecedented pandemic time, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my respected family members and professors who have made me firm in my life, helped me gain the motivation to pursue and left me with wonderful memories of my university life. In addition, I would also like to thank my cute dog Doro, who accompanied me through countless nights of staying up late.

Major in Asian Area Studies

The importance of studying Asian Studies is to learn the diversity of culture and history of Asian countries, and comprehend how the Asian civilizations influence the people from both ancient and modern times. Being Chinese, Asian Studies allowed me to understand how the Chinese philosophy, poems, and literature are powerful in shaping the civilization of East Asia, and together with the learning of the diversified Asian cultures, Asian Studies provided an opportunity to not only gain a deeper understanding of my country but also to discover a grander perspective.

I would first like to thank my family for always standing by my side, supporting me unconditionally, and encouraging me during many hard times. In my academic journey, I have encountered many professors who are worthy of respect and learning from. They have not only given me academic support, but I gained valuable lifelong lessons from their positive and motivating attitude towards teaching. Lastly, I would want to thank my dog, Doro, for joining the family and giving me support during the difficult pandemic time.

Major in Asian Area Studies, Minor in Creative Writing

With the advent of globalization and the increasing interconnectedness of the world at large, it's important to keep looking beyond what's merely in front of you. Asian Studies has helped me to do just that, looking beyond just Canada to study and learn about the cultures, relations, and extensive histories of Asia. In a quite literal sense, these past few years have expanded my worldview quite a bit. Of course, the pursuit of knowledge is never-ending, and one can always keep learning.

To single out exactly one person or thing to be thankful for would be far too difficult, so instead I'll go more general. As the support and assistance provided by UBC is already a given, I wish to highlight the support of my family and close friends for carrying me through the difficulties of being a student, as well as their continued support that will continue to be there after. Had it not been for their presence, I doubt I'd have been able to make it this far.

Major in Asian Studies

Majoring in Asian Studies has allowed me to nurture a global perspective and become more open-minded. I had a blast learning about the language, history, and culture of Japan, and I look forward to being able to utilize my knowledge as a participant of the JET Programme.

Shout out to Dalia for being a great friend, and thank you to Dr. Yi, Ayaka, Haley, and all the instructors in the Japanese department for being great teachers and awesome people.

Major and Minor in Asian Language and Culture

I think Asian Studies helps enhance one’s cross-cultural appreciation and develop a clearer positionality, especially in a city as culturally diverse as Vancouver. Asian Studies has allowed me to connect more in-depth with my cultural heritage and look at familiar aspects of my culture from new perspectives. For instance, I took a great course on Cantonese music examining the linguistic and cultural influences of topics ranging from Cantonese opera to Cantopop, which I grew up listening to but would probably never have considered from an academic viewpoint. This degree has also put me in a better position to facilitate intercultural communication between my main areas of study (China and Korea) as well as between Asia and North America.

I am grateful to have had some amazing professors who made my undergraduate experience engaging and enjoyable. I would like to specifically thank Professor Eurie Shin, who fuelled my interest in Korean language learning starting in my first year at UBC. As we transitioned to online learning, Professor Shin’s enthusiasm for teaching and genuine kindness made me not only look forward to her classes but also feel comfortable approaching her to talk about anything. I have learned more than just Korean vocabulary and grammar from Professor Shin; she has made an impact on the kind of person I strive to become, for which I am very thankful.

Major in Asian Area Studies

Asian Studies really enlightened me about culture and languages. I learned how to analyze the arts with a critical perspective. I am able to evaluate the phenomenon of Chinese society in a professional manner.

I am thankful for Professor Fuyubi Nakamura's detailed feedback on my paper. Honestly, this was extremely helpful to increase my academic writing skills. I am also very grateful to the Professor Renren Yang, Xiaowen Xu, Jeffrey Kotyk who wrote recommendation letters for me. They inspire my interest in new topics. You are the best forever.

Double Major in Asian Language and Culture and Honours History with International Relations

In my four years of studying and learning about the world through the lens of Asia, I have seen Asian Studies as not just an academic study (or just a set of fun courses), but also a method of understanding the world. At a time of increasing uncertainty and strife, when innovative ideas are needed, and new questions need to be asked, I feel fortunate to have been able to learn from such an array of international scholars. Asian Studies helped me look across the Pacific – but it has also given me the space and critical insights to think locally and introspectively about my relationship to the local community, local histories, and indigenous understandings of space and place.

I am thankful to all the Asian Studies faculty I have had the privilege of learning and working with. However, my mind goes immediately to Dr. Hsiangning Wang from the Chinese Language Program who coordinated the 2019 Go Global Seminar version of CHIN 234 in Taiwan. It was one of the first Asian Studies courses I took entirely by chance after walking past a poster in the LIFE Building. At that time I was considering majoring in Music and History. By the time I came back from Taiwan, I knew that Asian Studies was where I needed to be. Dr. Wang continued to be a mentor as my WorkLearn supervisor and helped me develop into the person I am today.

Double Major in Asian Area Studies and International Relations

For me, the importance of Asian Studies was in getting to learn in-depth about the history, language, and culture of a region I was previously unfamiliar with. This degree has opened new doors to different paths that I never knew could be possible for me. I've become a more well-rounded and knowledgeable person than I was four years ago.

I am so thankful to the professors in the Asian Studies department who helped me adjust to UBC as a transfer student in the middle of the pandemic. My experience in coming to UBC was immensely challenging, but I felt so welcomed and was somehow able to find my place thanks to the wonderful people I met through this degree.

Honours in Asian Language and Culture

I feel that the importance of Asian Studies lies in the fact that through exposure to languages and cultures offered within the program, your perspective broadens considerably. This in turn affects how you view and contextualize the world around you beyond normalized Western points of view. My degree has taught me to not only translate between English, Korean and Russian, but also conduct research that is integral to me as a queer woman. As I grew up in a community that had little to no LGBTQ+ representation, and I found the representation I was seeking in modern Korean literature. This heavily influenced how I approached the rest of my degree, as I chose LGBTQ+ representation in modern Korean literature as my primary research focus.

I am particularly thankful for the welcoming community within the Korean studies program at UBC. In the three years since the beginning of the pandemic, every class I have taken has had a friendly environment that encouraged learning. It is thanks to this environment, and the wonderful class discussions, that it was easy to establish long-lasting friendships with classmates. The sense of community within the Korean studies program has also allowed me to foster strong connections with my professors - namely Drs. Bruce Fulton and Ross King. This made my experience at UBC unforgettable, and was the deciding factor as to why I chose to continue my studies here this fall, in the Asian Studies department’s Master’s program.

Major in Asian Area Studies, Minor in Creative Writing

The Asian Area Studies program really helped open my eyes to different cultures, and therefore different ways of thinking. I feel lucky to have read literature, watched films, and learned the histories of different Asian countries - and it's motivated me to travel to those places as soon as I get the chance!

Dr. Christina Yi, who I've taken several courses with, stood out to me as an exceptional professor. Her conduct was professional, yet never hid her immense enthusiasm and genuine interest in the subjects she taught, which made her classes all the more engaging. Thank you again for all your help and guidance!

Major in Asian Area Studies

Asian Studies really broadened my horizon of Asia and Asian countries and allowed me to experience cultures and histories that are so rich and unique. As someone who never learned about Asia in high school, this degree introduced me to new ways of thinking and let me learn and understand how cultures change and shape people in their communities and abroad.

I feel very thankful for the people and friends I met along the way. Joining a club in my final year was so much fun and allowed me to meet so many amazing people who shared my interests. Since the pandemic really impacted many peoples chances to socialise, being in a club helped me end my year with a lot of fun memories!

Major in Asian Area Studies

The importance of Asian Studies to me is being able to learn the drastic change of the politics and economy of Asia in general in the recent years. I learned to appreciate more of the cultures and languages.

I feel thankful for my professors and peers for helping me out in my academic journey as well as friends which I met in various student clubs. I also met many other amazing people in my other elective courses (especially Russian courses), especially during the pandemic time.

Major in Asian Area Studies

Asian Studies has helped me learn more of my roots and how they connect with the world.

There are too many people to appreciate! None of us gave up gratefully!

Major in Asian Language and Culture

Asian Studies offered me a chance to see a different perspective for where I am from via a “western” world. It taught me how to “think” and to “criticize” as objectively as I can.

I’d like to thank all the professors and my classmates that I’ve met during my academic life at UBC. They enabled me to see more perspectives than I’ve ever thought before.

Major in Asian Area Studies

As many have mentioned, Asian Studies allows us to broaden our knowledge of different cultures as well as their beginnings and how far they've come. I went in wanting to learn more about my own culture and left with a newly found passion for Asian literature.

I am most thankful for my supportive family and friends as well as the accommodating professors who have made my years at UBC fulfilling and enjoyable. Peace out and continue #slaying

Major in Asian Area Studies

Honours in Asian Area Studies

Asian Studies provided me with the key ability to analyze, scrutinize, and enjoy Asian culture, literature, and arts. It opened up a new perspective to explore the world I grew up in. This inspired me so much, and I'm glad to say that this experience totally influenced the style and scope of my creative works and made me a better and more mature writer.

I'd like to thank my supervisor and and all the amazing instructors I've met in this department, and especially give a big thank you to my friends Tesia and Kina, with whom I took many ASIA courses.

Major in Asian Area Studies

I think Asian Studies is important in parts that require collaboration in various parts of the world with Asian culture and Western culture, especially due to the rapid globalization. This degree is a recognition for me that I've successfully mastered essential academic discussions and courses within Asian Studies and that I am suited to work for the harmonization of Asian culture and Western culture to benefit our society.

I feel so much gratitude toward God, my Lord for leading me through this journey and for being my shepherd. All my strengths and abilities are gifts from my Lord and without him, I could not have done anything. Thank you Lord so much for being my everything.

Major in Asian Area Studies

Studying Asian Studies at UBC was a precious journey for me. It really broadened my views to the diversity of Asian cultures and histories and allowed me to think critically with different perspectives that I will continue to engage with for the rest of my life.

I would like to thank all of my professors, families, classmates, and friends for helping me and supporting me along the way. I would also like to thank myself for all the progress that I made during my academic journey at UBC. It was not easy and stressful during this unprecedented pandemic time, but we made it!

Honours in Asian Language and Culture

I was once majoring in Economics. However, my passion for Asian Studies eventually drove me to change my specialization. In the Department of Asian Studies, I studied various aspects of different East Asian societies. While this knowledge is precious, they are not just knowledge from books. As someone of Asian heritage, studying these courses and listening to our brilliant instructors' lectures helped me understand my origin, define who I am, and have a vision of what I can be. These life lessons were the most significant gains while pursuing my degree. I will take them along with me to start a new journey. Changing my specialization to Asian Studies was the most beautiful decision I have ever made.

I have to thank my families for supporting me throughout this journey, especially my sister, who sacrificed many moments of her own to light my spirits during the unprecedented pandemic. I would like to express my gratitude to all instructors in the Asian Studies department, too, for coordinating these fabulous Asian Studies courses. Also, many thanks to Dr. Ayaka Yoshimizu, who supervised my honours thesis with love and responsibility. Finally, I want to thank every one of my peers that I met at UBC and my best friend Felicia Feng, who supported my whole academic journey while she was outside of Canada.