The Center for Asian Studies is pleased to honor our graduating seniors. In the video message below, Director Tim Oakes and Associate Director Colleen Berry deliver commencement messages that celebrate the field of Asian Studies and the leadership role our seniors can have in the world.

Spring 2020 Graduates

Joe Archer
Thesis Titie:  "To the Last Afghan": Reagan Doctrine, Intervention, and the Rise of Extremism in Afghanistan
Abstract: My thesis highlights the foreign policy failures of Reagan Doctrine in Afghanistan and explores the long-term consequences of these failures. I explore how Reagan's policies affected the people of Afghanistan and how his legacy is responsible for the rise of extremist groups such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda

Reilly Gabel
Thesis Title: Sexuality and Gender Expression in Male K-pop Groups: Queering Hwarang Culture, Contemporary Korean Masculinity, and Fandom Desires
Abstract: By making a typological parallel between the hwarang and K-pop idols, I argue that male K-pop groups, primarily BTS, are a modern representation of hwarang masculinity because they share a distinct social role that contributes to nation-building. At the same time, however, male K-pop groups challenge traditional Korean gender norms through their unique hybrid representation of Western LGBTQ culture that influences the local queer subculture, promotes acceptance of queer culture, and allows fans to explore sexual and gender identity.

Kyle Gorges
Thesis Title: "Please Select Your Character:" Assertions of Identity in Japanese and South Korean Gaming Spaces
Abstract: This essay discusses how the identities of participants in Japan's and South Korea's gaming spaces are constantly challenged and reasserted as a result of these physical-virtual intersections. In Japan, game centers, fighting game tournaments, and home console experiences encourage assertions of individual identities. In South Korea by contrast, PC bang interactions and professional esports competitions reinforce collective identities.

Dean Kaplan
Thesis Title: Cultural and Financial implications of adopting urban farming in Asia and America in the context of environmental impacts and food security
Abstract: This article looks at the characteristics of urban farming within Southeast Asia. Provides information on the different technologies that are essential to the agricultural processes such as electrical conductivity sensors (ECa) and evaluates factors such as soil chemicals, physical properties, biological parameters, and crop yields.​

Jonathan Bram Rockford
Thesis Title: The Franklin Books Program: American Exceptionalism and Intentions in the Cultural Cold War
Abstract: The Franklin Books Program was a non-profit organization that operated from the 1950s to the 1970s. Franklin’s goal was to bring publishing and printing industries to developing countries, specifically in the native languages of said countries. The goal of this paper is to explore the complicated relationships the Franklin Books Program had with locals, the United States government, foreign governments, and itself to understand the intent of the project’s leadership, and to measure what impact that intent had, if any, on the countries the program was operating in.​

Summer 2020 Graduates

Ga eun Choi
Lan Li
Matthew Palmeri

Asian Studies Minors

Zhiyuan He
Sean Jones
Samantha Lauckner
Anthony Striner
Wuyinan Yuan

Congratulations, Graduates!