Alumnus Yefei Jin with a degree in theatre arts and Asian languages & literatures, is developing a project to make sharing lesson plans and other resources easier for teachers who work with English language learners. He conceived it after hearing from Twin Cities teachers how hard it is to find classroom materials that fit their students' language skills. "These teachers often find themselves creating materials from scratch," Jin said. "Such a platform could be a game-changer."
Dance major Leila Awadallah's twin passions—dance and her Palestinian-American identity—have fueled her choreographic and intellectual explorations... and brought her national exposure at the American College Dance Association's national festival.
Dr. Hangtae Cho has made it his mission to increase the understanding of Korean culture in the University of Minnesota community. As the founding director of the Korean program in the Asian Languages and Literatures department, Cho has worked tirelessly to expedite the growth of the program, and he played a key role in developing a unique way to teach the language and culture to students at the University of Minnesota. Cho’s efforts include hosting an annual event called “The Story of Korea,” where the community can get a taste of high quality Korean art and culture.
Inspired by Japanese author Michiko Ishimure's inventive and unforgiving novel on mercury poisoning in Minamata, Japan, Associate Professor Christine Marran has since developed a deep interest in how the biological world is represented in literature and cinema. Her forthcoming book, Ecology without Culture, draws upon texts and films produced by activist authors and filmmakers to show how cultural claims and cultural humanism inhibit environmental thinking.
Alumnus Andy Shu knew he wanted to go into business, but he chose to study Asian literature and the Chinese language as well because it was his passion. He currently works for the Robins Kaplan law firm in downtown Minneapolis, and he credits a lot of his success to his involvement with ALL: “Those classes prepared me to learn what I needed to know for my job,” he explained.
Professor Joseph Allen was recently honored as a dean's medalist. "I think creativity in leadership is absolutely essential: to be able to think innovatively, coming up with different—unexpected, new—solutions. Give me a problem and I want to find the solution," he says.
Kabuki Theater is a centuries old Japanese artistic tradition. Asian Languages & Literatures Associate Professor Maki Isaka has a unique relationship with the art form and all the issues surrounding it. Isaka is also affiliated with the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, as well as the Department of Theater Arts & Dance. Her combinations of academic expertise allowed her to produce a truly innovative piece of research, a new book titled "Onnagata: A Labyrinth of Gendering in Kabuki Theater."
Alumnus James Romano finds “...an inextricable connection between a strategic view of the world and a liberal arts education.... The best strategic thinkers are those who come from broad liberal arts backgrounds. The liberal arts experience enables someone sitting in a corporate room to think about ways to communicate with far-reaching customers.”