If I were to pursue undergraduate research, I would want to focus on something related to the humanities and culture and how those are affected by different developmental factors. For example, something I have always been interested in is how cultures and their correlated literatures are able to be translated across languages and understood in other cultures. In order to start this research project, I’d imagine the obvious very first step would be to approach faculty members who have some sort of experience with that kind of thing, whether it be someone I know from my major department who specializes in cultural anthropology or someone else that I don’t currently know. I’d also have to do some preemptive research on how research is usually conducted, so that I am able to get a slight feel for things beforehand. Some potential challenges I anticipate to face is going to be that process of finding a faculty member who does research related to something that I’m interested in, or that when I do since it will be a completely new experience there will likely be a tremendous learning curve. Another huge challenge I will probably find is locating faculty members who would be willing to write a letter or recommendation for me, mainly because I always feel weird asking for one. The focus area that interests me relates to the topic of international affairs because it encourages learning more about other cultures as well as just overall having a more “globalized” point of view.
Event: Career Building Workshop – Global Resumes
Date: February 6, 2020, at Hagerty Hall
The Career Building Workshop at Hagerty Hall presented by Stephanie Ford was very much like the East Asian Language Skills and Global Competencies workshop I attended in the past. The workshop focused instead on language majors and how to communicate language and intercultural competencies through a resume and instead was a more general workshop pertaining to resumes. The presentation allowed us to learn how to communicate relevant skills as well as tips for polishing resumes to become more professionally acceptable for people seeking employment in a global environment. One thing that really stuck out to me from the presentation was the information on how to touch upon various types of skills that employers in our future target jobs would screen for. They broke down skills into three categories, specialized, adaptive, and career readiness competencies. Specialized skills are essentially “tools of the trade,” and relate to a general knowledge of industry regulations. Adaptive skills are those that pertain to self-management skills and personal traits, such as being energetic, diplomatic, and/or flexible. Career readiness competencies relate to the skills needed to succeed in most work environments, like leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving.
A major resource that was pointed out in the workshop was a database called GoinGlobal, which features country-specific resumes. This relates to international affairs in a major way, especially for those who are wanting to work in foreign countries and need help formatting their resumes to fit the professional standards of said country. I think this will be an incredibly useful resource for me in the future as I work towards my degree in Korean and future career goals in Korea and other countries.
Date: November 18, 2019
Event: Internment: Now and Then (Non-IA/Campus Event)
Internment: Now and then was an event sponsored through the Center for Ethnic Studies. The discussion began by giving a brief history of internment and what exactly internment is, as well as connections into today’s current state of affairs. Describing internment using the words “exclusionary and marginalizing,” I learned a lot about Japanese internment between the years of 1942-1945 that to be quite honest, I had not previously known about. One thing that was pointed out was the constant changing of descriptors referring to internment camps back in the day. By not explicitly calling these camps internment camps and shifting between calling it an “assembly center,” a “relocation center,” “isolation center,” “temporary camp,” or “Department of Justice camps” instead of what it really was, a concentration camp kept liability off Americans by making these camps seem like less of an injustice than they really were. I think this is important as it relates to international affairs today because the United States is a nation built on exclusionary policies and then blatantly “forgetting,” as if a loss of historical memory means you haven’t committed certain acts. The “family detention centers” that we have today are very much related to Japanese internment camps of World War 2. Even recently, the United States’ has planned to house migrant children at Fort Sill, which was formerly the site of a Japanese internment camp. This repetition of history that we see in global affairs is not new, nor is it refined only to migrants. Learning more about such a significant event that occurred in the US’ past further allowed me to make connections between what’s happened before and what’s happening now. Being able to make these connections is wildly important to be aware of in our current political climate.
Event: East Asian Language Skills and Global Competencies Workshop
Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019
The purpose of the East Asian Language Skills and Global Competencies Workshop was for students majoring or minoring in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean to learn how we can explain the skills and competencies we’ve developed from these majors and minors to future employers and companies. This workshop was the 2nd installation in the East Asian Studies Center’s Professionalization Workshop 2019. It is useful as being a language major, sometimes it is very difficult to explain what skills I have learned and developed beside the obvious, the language I’ve studied. By the end of the workshop, I was better prepared to identify what skills I have learned from my major as well as how to best implement these skills into a resume and future interviews.
During the workshop, we were given sample resumes from language majors showing what skills they had and more importantly, how they were able to use them. Rather than being vague and simply highlighting what skills we have, we were told to present them in a format that shows exactly how we used them and in what manner. Using this format, it explains your experiences while also giving insights into what skills you have, so that there isn’t necessarily a need for an entirely separate section listing skills without any further information.
The workshop also helps me understand what multicultural competencies I’ve gained from being a language major, and how I can explain this to future potential employers as well. This relates to the topic of international affairs simply because you need to be able to understand cultural differences in respectful manners, without trying to make sense of it in terms of your own culture but for what it is in its own terms. Cultural relativism is important for everyone, not just for language majors.
Event: Genocide in Rwanda (Smith Steeb Glass Classroom)
Date: September 12, 2019
The Genocide in Rwanda event, even though I had heard about the topic before, reinforced and brought the Rwandan genocide back to the forefront of my mind. I learned a few more things than I knew before about it. I thought it was interesting how one of the first questions to get us interacting was a question based on if anyone could identify two more genocides that are recognized widely across the world as having happened in America, but that the United States refuses to recognize themselves. The two other genocides that were talked about briefly were the genocides against native Americans and African Americans.
This event relates to the topic of international affairs because it’s important to know about things that have happened in other places outside of America. The genocide that happened in Rwanda is in itself a historical event that should be not only spoken about but taught about as well. As international scholars, we must be able to understand these relationships within larger cultural contexts outside of our own.
This event also relates to a concept I’ve learned in other coursework, specifically a class I’m taking currently, Rural Sociology. Rural sociology is based upon the concept of the sociological imagination. The sociological imagination is defined in the class as the intellectual ability to see relationships between individual behaviors and attitudes, and a larger societal context. It’s a type of critical thinking that allows people to think outside of their personal experiences. Our community acts as a filter between us and trends, issues, and events in the world. Applying it to the genocide in Rwanda, it happened in 1994 and consisted of a rapid mass killing over the timeframe of about 90 days. Not many people I know, even the ones who were alive at the time, know or have even heard about the genocide against the Tutsis that happened in Rwanda. This is related to our communities filtering how we perceive events. For example, obviously someone living in Rwanda at the time of the genocide has personal experience with it and has in some way been affected by it, but others, like us, experience the event through news stories, without a personal experience attached to it for the most part.
I do have some questions after attending the event. Since learning about the sociological imagination in my rural sociology course, I think it would be interesting to look at newspapers and articles and assess how thorough the coverage of this event would have been, in turn, to see how people in communities like mine may have been exposed to it. I do think, since it was mentioned that the US and other western entities did not want to label the genocide using the term “genocide” as it would have made it so that these entities would have had to do something, that there probably wasn’t very much coverage at all to lend to the effort of escaping responsibility as well.
Event: OSU Model United Nations conference (OSUMUN)
OSUMUN was essentially a high school Model United Nations conference that was held over the course of 3 days. For these 3 days I participated in the conference as a staffer which meant that I was basically one of the people who would help create the story for the purposes of the conference. The committee that I was assigned to was titled The Future of Yugoslavia. With rising nationalism, a bad economy, and a national government that was on the brink of collapse, some of the committee members possibly thought unity was needed the recover from the problems that they were facing while others may have thought that keeping Yugoslavia together was overall a lost cause. The goal of our delegates was to work together and find an appropriate solution to the struggles that Yugoslavia was having after they had separated as a nation and collapsed for the second time due to the death of their leader Tito.
We had a lot of very creative delegates. For instance, one of them whom I cannot remember his name, kept trying to blow up churches for who knows why. Another delegate, Hassani eventually became president and they limited his powers immediately to only being a speaker and figurehead for them because they were bitter it wasn’t them who ascended to presidency and emotionally biased. There were many poisonings too although not many people died, a few delegates would visit other delegates in jail to poison their food for weeks and even had me flood another one of the delegates houses. Overall the conference was fun and the delegates of our committee since they couldn’t come to a proper agreement or actually pass any useful directives all ended up dying due to nuclear warfare with the involvement of the USSR and the US.
This ties to international affairs in the fact that this was a model United Nations conference. Though it probably did not have much resemblance to an actual conference in the real world, the participation of the delegates allowed them to home their advocacy skills and to foster a stronger interest in world affairs in the United Nations. The conference allowed the high school students to show their abilities in critical thinking, debate, and both historical and current affairs. Within the individual committees students had to work together and fight to gain recognition within to either be recognized as new and independent nations or to come together for the unity that they sought.
Taste of OSU 2019 was an incredibly culturally diverse event. Even though I was on trash duty walking around with my big old trashcan, I was able to interact with a lot of the tables and see what they had going on. I didn’t buy any food tickets but I was able to taste a Somali(?) cheesecake kind of food that was really good. The Pakistani Student Association’s display really caught my attention. They had a whole sort of display showing the efforts of some kind of project for youth in Pakistan.
Another entertaining table at the event was the Japanese student’s table. They made Ramen and were all dressed in traditional Japanese clothing which made them stand out in my opinion. Not a lot of student orgs dressed up for Taste of OSU so the fact that they did was really fun. Honestly, the Pakistani and Japanese set ups are the only ones that I really remember well.
My one disappointment pertaining to the event was the fact that I was on trash duty. I originally volunteered to be either on guest check in or directing of the guests. Since it was such a culturally diverse event, a lot of people from different cultures showed up. I think it would have been quite an entertaining job to be able to interact with everyone. Overall, I’m not upset or anything. I just wish I had a better responsibility than picking up everyone’s trash.
The performances on the other hand were amazing. After my volunteer shift was over, I went down to the first floor for about a half hour so that I could watch some of the performances. By the time I got down, they were in the middle of a number on J2K (Japan 2 Korea) performances. Those were really fun to watch. I watched those before they moved into the Black/African org performances. It was really nice seeing both the culture I am fascinated by and my own culture be represented on the stage. I really enjoyed watching.
Event: Letter to The Editor Workshop held by #Fight4Her
Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 @ 6pm
#Fight4HER is a national campaign focused on mobilizing action against Trump’s Global Gag Rule and in support of the bill to block it, the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act. Activists, organizers, and community leaders around the country are working together to take direct action that puts pressure on members of Congress to support the HER Act. Donald Trump’s attacks on reproductive rights threaten people and communities across the country and around the world. By imposing dangerous restrictions that defy logic and eliminating necessary aid, his policies are having harmful and deadly consequences. The point of the event was to aid in continuing to fight against efforts to restrict reproductive rights and demand laws that respect, support, and empower women, girls, and people seeking reproductive health care both here and abroad.
The campaign event relates to the topic of international affairs in the sense that even though the fight begins here at home in everyone’s individual states, it is an effort for not only us but for women abroad in other countries as well. Trump’s Global Gag Rule expands offensive restrictions on health care that will have life-threatening consequences such as putting ideology over health, being an undemocratic restriction of free speech, shifting resources to failed policies that will increase unsafe abortion, and ignoring the fact that family planning saves lives. The workshop essentially told us more about the campaign itself and then outlined how to write “Letters to the Editor” to submit to newspapers and bring awareness to the mission. By teaching and assisting us in possibly writing future Letters to the Editor we will be able to elevate the issue in the public view, tell stories and testimonies that aren’t being heard, and most importantly allow us to apply pressure on the people who have the power to do anything, our local and national decision makers.
What I mainly took away from this event was a more honed skill for writing LTE’s with useful core messages of the campaign to include like the Global Gag Rule being full of disgraceful restrictions and appalling consequences, undermining, rather than improving, global health programs and outcomes. Because LTE’s are often so short, ranging from around 100-250 words depending on the newspaper you’re submitting to, it’s hard to come up with a message that does not look like it was written by one person and mass submitted by multiple people, which would make it less likely to be published in the paper by removing the personal touch that LTE’s should have. I thought it was a good touch that they walked us through the process of writing them so that we don’t all have the same sort of “troubleshooting” issues when it comes down to us writing them.
Event: So you think you can do research? (Academic Event)
Date: Monday January 28, 2019 @7:30pm
The “So you think you can do research?” research panel included multiple students who are involved in research currently here at Ohio State. I personally thought it was cool how the range of interests spanned and how that tied into the work that each student was partaking in. For example, one of the students/researchers, Kate Greer, talked about how she was involved in research focusing mainly on German Theatre and how it has ties both into the German department and the Dance department. Her research topic arises a lot of my interest.
For myself, I’m not necessarily interested in German or dance, but I am interested in Korea and other East Asian countries on the topics of women’s and gender equality in these countries as well as the effects of globalization on the homogeneity and collective thought of the people. So even though I don’t have an entire research proposal, I do have a general idea about what I would like to work on. I think it’s cool that there are research opportunities available for pretty much anything and would love to take part in it sometime.
One thing about the event that really impacted me was the fact that more than one of them said that they at first didn’t actively pursue research opportunities until an experience finally hit them to push and act on their instinct. I honestly thought a lot about doing and getting involved in research but really didn’t think I would be capable of doing something of that extreme. I learned, however, that there are many other options to get involved in research rather than just heading your own project by simply branching out and talking to professors and advisors about possible opportunities within the major, and even just applying to be a research assistant for something that you’re interested in.
I also learned that there are plenty of funding opportunities to help fund your research and also that research projects can fail simply from not having the funding. There are also presentation opportunities which I think is super cool so that students who are even the slightest bit interested in participating in or doing their own research can see other examples of research going on.
Thinking along the lines of getting started with possibly doing my own research, I already talked about a possible topic of interest I would like to do a few paragraphs above. Within classes I’ve taken, a few other possible interests would be global hunger and inequality and if/how it would be possible to skew the trends we see in our current world today. Identifying faculty within the departments related to those topics such as maybe the International Studies department, The East Asian Languages and Literature and Korean Departments, the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies department, etc. would be my next step. After that it would mainly be about contacting people within these departments and potential faculty mentors to get involved with research they may already be doing.
Event: Breathe Hope OSU Blanket Making Event
Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2018
Breathe Hope OSU is an organization on campus whose mission statement is their goals are to raise awareness on campus and around Columbus about Cystic Fibrosis, volunteer at events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, make craft projects for patients in the Pulmonary Unit at Nationwide Children’s hospital, and raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through yoga classes and other fundraising events. The organization focuses on the importance of community service and using face-to-face interactions with patients and families as a tool to inspire and unite those who care. At Breathe Hope, they believe that in yoga and in life, breath is the beginnings of mindfulness and helps focus on what they can do for others.
The event I went to sponsored by Breathe Hope was a fleece blanket making event to give to sick children at Huckleberry house for the winter season. It was a lot of fun meeting and working with other students who were all super excited to make blankets as well. The fact that it was for a good cause also made it a great experience. I spent an enriching hour of my life putting together these blankets and making cards with the hopes of making the day of a child in Huckleberry house just a little bit brighter.
The blanket making event lasted roughly an hour and included some people cutting a few inches into the fleece to create tassels to tie blankets together and roughly the other half of people making holiday cards wishing the children to have a happy Thanksgiving in the next few weeks or just including a short, uplifting message
Breathe Hope’s event didn’t really relate to the topic of international affairs at all. Even though international issues are a big problem in the world there are still issues prevalent in our own states and if we give them the attention they deserve then we can focus on larger issues outside of our own surrounding communities. And on top of that, illness and disease is sort of an international issue with disease being such a debilitation complication in so many countries. I think the support for cystic fibrosis is important since it is in support of an issue that is not only our own.
Personally, I gained an even deeper support for service oriented organizations. I’ve always been pretty big on trying to make a difference or just cheering for organizations that do make a difference in our communities. I think it’s really important to give back to others, or even just try to help lighten the load of others going through struggle. Breathe Hope’s event was really fun and for a good cause.