Published: Oct. 5, 2012

Our graduates go on to do amazing things. Below is one testament from a recent graduate, Patricia Helfenbein. A Norlin Scholar, Patricia graduated in 2008 summa cum laude in Asian Studies. She is now pursuing her master's degree and hopes to continue her scholarship in a doctorate program.

Although my interest in Chinese history began in high school, it was not until I came to CU that I became deeply interested in Asian studies, both in history as well as in other disciplines. After considering careers in other fields, I finally settled on studying modern Chinese and East Asian history, majoring in History, Chinese, and Asian Studies as an undergraduate, and I have not looked back. The study of Asia and its many facets is important to me because not only is there so much that we still do not know and understand about Asia and its many cultures, but also because of the potential for greater cooperation and collaborative scholarship on the region of Asia between scholars from around the world as well as the possibility that such scholarship may translate to greater understanding and tolerance outside of the academies.  Additionally, the study of Asia has the potential to contribute to methodologies and theories that can be an integral component of scholarship in general rather than descriptive of a curious region that stands outside of the human experience, a position that, until recently, Asia and scholarship about Asia has seemingly occupied.

Because of my interest in Asia an my convictions about the importance of the study of Asia, I am embarking on a career path that will include studying modern Chinese and East Asian history first at CU for my master’s degree and, then, at a PhD program that has yet to be determined. My goal is to become a professor of history at a university where I can make a positive difference not only in my field but also in the university community. Because I believe in the importance of leaving the university to become immersed in the physical location of one’s field of historical study, I will spend seven months this year traveling all around China and other parts of East Asia before I return to CU to continue my studies.

Please check our website for more information on our Asian Studies major or come to one of our many events that emphasize Asian scholarship.