Published: March 19, 2018

Eben Yonnetti (MA Religious Studies, 2017) is currently on a Fullbright-Nehru Student Research Grant in India where he is studying the relationship between Buddhist communities and the rapidly changing mountain environments they inhabit in the Indian Himalayan region of Ladakh. In his research, Eben is researching traditional conceptions of and relationships with the natural world in villages of Ladakh, as well as the emergence of contemporary Tibetan Buddhist environmental movements in the region lead by Buddhist teachers and cleric-scholars. 


(This photo is Eben standing next to an “artificial glacier” above the village of Atitse in Ladakh’s Sham Valley.)

Leandra Laws (BA Japanese and Asian Studies, 2017) is currently an Assistant Language Teacher living in Aomori, Japan through the JET Program. She teaches at one junior high school and two elementary schools. She reports that it has been a blast living in Japan and being able to improve her Japanese skills while applying her background in Asia in my daily life.

Michael Daniels (BA Asian Studies, 1983; MPA, 1993) served in the Air Force and graduated from the Defense Language Institute where he studied the Korean language. He has been located in Colorado working in the book publishing industry for the last two decades, assisting authors and publishers nationwide in publishing their books, and in so doing has been representing book manufacturers in Korea and China. He is the co-founder and President of the CIPA Education and Literacy Foundation that donates thousands of dollars of new books each year to Colorado schools, libraries, hospitals, senior centers, shelters, prisons, civic groups and more. 


Wendy S. King (BA Asian Studies, 1973) is teaching ESL at three middle schools and one high school in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. After her senior year in Kyoto with Professor Judith Hurley, Wendy returned to Japan and lived in Nagano for one year. She studied Soto Zen at Antei-ji in Kyoto, under Uchiyama Roshii, and under Kobori Roshii of Daitoku-ji. She also lived and studied in India for seven years, studying in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the autumn, Bodh Gaya in the early winter, and then Dharamsala during spring and summer. She moved to Sri Lanka to study Pali in Kandy, but ran into the civil war and returned home to get an MS Ed. in TESOL from Florida International University in Miami.

Wendy reports, “My years in Asia were extremely important to me professionally and personally, as I am sure you can imagine. I was able to study with all the greatest lamas to have escaped Tibet, most of whom have now passed on. My academic training in Boulder was excellent and helped me very much in my Tibetan studies in India. Thanks to the Asian Studies Department! I can never repay my debt of gratitude to Professor Judith Hurley for getting me accepted at Antei-ji as their first western female student. She also opened the world of Japan and Asia to me. I must thank her also for modeling for me the kind of toughness of attitude needed to survive serious Buddhist practice, without ever saying a word about it. I also have to thank Gary Snyder: I followed your footsteps, Gary. Thank you for setting them deep in the rock. We will find them for generations. Gassho!”

If you are a CU alumnus/a of  Asian Studies or took Asia-related classes during your time at CU, let us know what you’re up to ( We’ll include your news in a future CAS Newsletter.