Past M.A. Students

Yuqian Cai is interested in intellectual and environmental history, political economy, and comparative literature. Born and raised in Suzhou, China, he studied Classical Civilization at Kalamazoo and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College, then for two years he taught writing as a TA and tutor while translating Buried Ideas into Chinese. Yuqian also studied in Greece and Germany, interned at the Wilson Center, and worked on diplomatic oral history in China and the U.S. At Yale, he wants to learn Japanese and continue writing a novel in English about suicides in China. After the one-year M.A. degree program, he hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in History.

Amanda Chemeche

Zhou Fang was born in Zhejiang Province and received her B.A. degree in History from Renmin University of China with honors. During her freshman and sophomore years, she participated in and led the Department of History’s debate team. She was the minister of the propaganda department for the Youth League Committee and worked for the campus newspaper as well as the department magazine. In her junior year, she studied as an exchange student at National Taiwan University, during which she developed her interest in East Asian Studies. Not only is she willing to involve herself in volunteer work and social enterprises in this region, but she is also curious about East Asia’s path of modernization from pre-modern to modern times.  She hopes to further explore the nature and culture of East Asian societies and enjoys her intellectual journey to better understand China’s past and present, from regional and global perspectives. After graduation, she will participate in Japanese language programs in Japan and then pursue an International Education career in China.

Wanting Goh received her Bachelor of Science degree from Imperial College London in 2016. During her pre-university education, she took part in an exchange program in both Beijing and Shanghai, during which she discovered her interest in contemporary society in China and the wide range of socio-economic challenges faced by China in its rapid development. In addition, she is also interested in the dynamics of the political and economic developments in East Asia. Upon completion of her studies, she will be embarking on a career in the civil service of Singapore.

Jiaying Gu was born in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. She received her B.A in Art History from China Central Academy of Fine Arts, and M.A. in Art History from UC Davis. Her master thesis, Landscaping My Mind: Representing the Idea of You 遊 (Travel) in Early Seventeenth-Century Garden Paintings discovers a new aesthetic and intellectual awareness of spatial representations in late Ming period. Jiaying’s intellectual interest is in Ming-Qing material culture and cultural transformations in East Asian societies. She is also interested in museum curatorial practices, and has interned in the Palace Museum and participated in museum workshops.

Kang Wei Heng is interested in the identity construction of China and Japan, how history and internal dynamics affect their foreign policy directions, and the role of media and pop culture in international relations. Coming from Singapore, he received his LL.B degree in International Politics from Peking University, China, and a B.A. degree in International Liberal Studies from Waseda University, Japan. Kang Wei aspires to be a journalist covering East Asia issues upon graduation, having served as the Editor-in-Chief for PKU’s Newsletter and interned at several media outlets in Singapore. He spends his leisure time reading and writing, and is able to so in English, Chinese and Japanese. He also enjoys watching performances by idol groups from Japan and China, mainly those whose name ends with “48”. Kang Wei will be returning to Singapore as a full-time journalist after graduation.

Leigh Lawrence hails from sunny San Diego, California where she grew up learning Spanish, playing volleyball, and eating avocados (or aguacates, as Leigh might say). After graduating high school, Leigh studied abroad in Beijing- her first time out of the US- and realized her love of the Chinese language. Leigh graduated with a B.A. in Chinese Languages & Literature from Arizona State University, with a certificate from the Chinese Language Flagship program. As an undergraduate, Leigh studied in Beijing with Princeton University and at Nanjing University, where she was awarded the prestigious Boren Scholarship for her studies into Sino-West African relations. Leigh has taught Mandarin in San Diego, at Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota, and at Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy in Vermont.

For the past two years Leigh has worked at the NSLI-Y team at American Councils for International Education in Washington DC, facilitating study abroad programs for critical languages. Leigh has traveled throughout much of China and has a strong love for the Chinese language, dialects, and particularly Chinese idioms as their cultural and historical connections.

Xinxin Li was born and raised in Guangzhou, China. She received her B.A. degree from University of California, San Diego, majoring in Economics with a minor in Japanese Studies. During her senior year, she interned at an EC startup in Osaka, Japan and traveled around the country. She also attended a Korean language program in Ewha Womans University in Seoul in order to learn Korean language and experience Korean culture. After graduating from UCSD, she interned in a private equity investment firm in Guangzhou, China. Such experience confirms her resolution on promoting US-Asian business and financial cooperation. Utilizing her multicultural and multi-language background, she will conduct her research work via an East Asian trans-regional perspective in the East Asian Studies program at Yale. She plans to work in financial industry after graduation.

Bryan Lynch graduated summa cum laude in economics from New York University in 2014. During his time at NYU, he interned at a financial media startup as well as a U.S. Senator’s office in New York City. After graduating, he worked on Wall Street for a year and a half, where he composed research reports on over 35 stocks in the basic materials sector. Compelled by a lifelong magnetism towards Chinese culture, he then spent a year abroad studying Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing, during which time he garnered first prize in the university’s annual “International Student Chinese Speech Competition”, and also served as a co-host for a school-wide karaoke contest.

Bryan’s current research interests lie in analyzing modern China’s social, political, and economic trends, as well as the evolution of the Chinese language catalyzed by these emerging forces. In particular, he wishes to explore how the stratification of formal and colloquial speech in the Chinese language affects debate and action throughout different realms of Chinese society. Outside of class, Bryan enjoys reading literature, poetry, philosophy, and history, as well long-distance running and playing chess. After graduation, Bryan will be studying Japanese for a year at IUC Yokohama, courtesy of Yale’s Light Fellowship.

Colin Moreshead is a Connecticut native who has made his way home after five years in Tokyo. He spent his undergraduate years studying East Asian Studies and Economics at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University and Tokyo’s Waseda University. After completing a postgraduate year at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, Colin worked at several Japanese companies as a designer and consultant while starting a career in journalism. His two years with the New York Times in Tokyo sparked an interest in Japanese media policy and its effect on electoral outcomes. Japanese subculture is lost on Colin; he enjoys following politics, watching Hollywood movies, driving and writing about it all. After graduation, he will conduct research in Japan and pursue a career in policy analysis.

Halynne Shi’s journey in exploring Chinese culture started at a young age. Since the tender age of three, Halynne has been trained in classical Chinese Dance, obtaining her Grade 13 Chinese Dance diploma under the Beijing Dance Academy when she was fifteen. She has also earned several national awards in Chinese watercolor painting and Chinese calligraphy in Singapore. During her high school years, she was selected for the prestigious Bi-cultural Studies Program scholarship under the Ministry of Education (Singapore) and been involved in numerous China-related activities, ranging from organizing former Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to her high school, to participating in study immersion programs in Shanghai and Beijing. Moreover, she was awarded the coveted Singapore Prime Minister’s Book Prize for outstanding bilingual students for her performance. She has since obtained her Bachelor of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she completed an undergraduate dissertation on the financial integration of East Asian nations via the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization.

Weiqiong Sun was born and raised in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China.  She received her B.A. degree from Nanjing University, majoring in English with a minor degree in Accounting.  Weiqiong’s primary interest is in contemporary China and East Asian regional integration.  Field research sponsored by the University of Tokyo and Korea University enabled her to understand the status quo of China, Japan, and Korea; their geopolitics, and their entangled connections throughout history.  During her exchange semester in the US and summer institute experience at Oxford, Weiqiong was given opportunities to further examine Asia and the experience of “being Asian” from a critical distance.  Her previous internship at China Daily USA confirms her determination to enhance the vitality and caring capacity of the bureaucratic administrative system of China by emulating its East Asian neighbors with similar cultures but different paths of development.  She looks forward to utilizing English, Chinese and Japanese to maximize the reach of her research work in the East Asian Studies M.A. program at Yale.

During her first year in the EAS program, Weiqiong took courses from a diversity of disciplines including the History, Political Science, East Asian Language & Literatures, Architecture, and Sociology. In spite of obvious challenges in the first semester, she managed to make progress and enjoy interdisciplinary training offered by the EAS program. She also presented her current research projects during several graduate conferences organized by Harvard and UCLA. Weiqiong is going to join the New York office of People’s Daily after graduation.

Growing up in sunny island Singapore, Nico Teo has never quite understood how she survived her undergraduate years at the London School of Economics with the London weather. She has since graduated as one of the top of her class with a First Class Honors in B.Sc Social Anthropology where she developed an interest in the financialization of contemporary China and how shifting political power and reconfiguration of social dynamics affect ethics of consumption and economic behavior. Having interned at Singapore’s Central Bank and at a US investment bank, she remains fascinated by global financial markets and seeks to explore the rising prominence of East Asian market economies and its influence on existing socio-political global arrangements. Nico will return to Singapore upon graduation to work for its central bank. 

Anne Ewbank graduated with a degree in Chinese Studies from Los Angeles’ Occidental College in 2013.  Afterwards she worked for a foreign exchange program in China before embarking on a Fulbright teaching assistantship in Jinmen, Taiwan.  At Yale, Anne focused on China and environmental history.

Liling Huang is a Singapore citizen.  She received a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature and a second-major B.A. in International Politics and Global Affairs from Peking University in July 2015.  At Yale, she took classes in history, politics, literature and archaeology, and was a Teaching Fellow for a history course taught by Professor Denise Ho.  After graduation, Liling will work for Singapore’s Ministry of Education, first as a high-school teacher, then as a policy planner.

Gi Eun Lee received a B.S. in Film and Television from Boston University in 2013.  During her undergraduate years, Gi Eun interned at several media production companies such as Seoul Broadcasting System and Paper Gun Films in Hollywood, and after graduating from college, she worked at Mnet TV in Korea as an assistant director of 4 Show.  At Yale, Gi Eun specialized in East Asian cultural trends and cultural discrepancies expressed in media.  Gi Eun plans to work at a broadcasting network company in Korea after graduation.

Kankan Meng received her first degree in English Language and Literature from Nanjing University in 2015.  As an undergraduate, she interned at media outlets such as the New York Times.  At Yale, Kankan specialized in visual issues, art and literature.  After graduation she plans to continue her education with a focus on human computer interaction design.

George Remisovsky received his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College, University of Toronto.  He then spent three years in China as a Shanghai Government Scholar at Fudan University and working at a local television station.  At Yale, he researched the legal history of Colonial Taiwan and took courses in Chinese and Japanese history.  After graduation, George will head to Yokohama for the summer as a Light Fellow, pursuing Japanese language study before he joins Yale’s doctoral program in History in the fall.

Celine Wang received her B.A. magna cum laude in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Notre Dame in 2015.  As an undergraduate, Celine interned with several organizations, including a human rights NGO in Pretoria, South Africa, where she worked as a research intern while conducting her independent research.  At Yale, she focused her studies on Chinese contentious politics, human rights, and the issues of ethnic minorities.  After graduation Celine plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Political Science.

Hikaru Yamagishi was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan.  She received her B.A. in Government and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies from Dartmouth College in 2012.  After college, she worked on a fixed income trading floor at a Japanese bank in New York City, facilitating investment transactions for Japanese institutions and global central banks.  In the M.A. program, she has focused her studies in East Asian history and politics, and topics in Political Science.  Hikaru plans to stay at Yale after graduation, starting next year as a Ph.D. student in the Political Science department.

Alisha Zou received a B.A. in Asian Studies and Policy Studies from Rice University in 2015.  During her undergraduate years, she interned at J.P. Morgan, Warburg Pincus, and the Houston Asian American Archive Project.  It was her enthusiasm for archiving and learning about Asian American oral histories that brought her to the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University, where she specialized in the intellectual origins and progression of both Asian American and Chinese feminism.  After graduation, Alisha plans to enter the social work sector.

Lani Alden received two degrees in Japanese and Theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she also obtained a Certificate in East Asian Studies. After graduating, she worked as an assistant at the Gordon W. Prange Collection helping catalogue censored post-war Japanese documents. At Yale, she focused on early modern Japan with strong emphasis on gender studies and Chinese cultural transmission. She also obtained a qualification from the Yale Initiative for the Study of Antiquity and the Pre-modern World. After graduation, Lani plans to continue her education in the Asian Languages & Civilizations program at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Jennifer Bruno received her A.B. summa cum laude from Cornell University and then lived and worked in Japan for two years. Following this, Jennifer received her M.Div. and Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary. At Yale, she focused her work on Japan studies and anthropology of religion. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in international law, with a focus on East Asia.

Yuan Chen received her B.S. degree in Physics from Beijing University and A.M. degree in Astrophysics from Harvard. Before attending Yale, she had worked on Wall Street for nearly a decade and most recently served as a Vice President of Corporate and Investment Banking at BNP Paribas. At Yale, Yuan specialized in pre-modern Chinese history. Her article, “Legitimation Discourse and the Five Elements in the Conquest Dynasties,” will appear in the Journal of Song-Yuan Studies in 2016. Upon graduation, Yuan is delighted to stay at Yale and commence her Ph.D. studies in the History Department.

Wee Shian Goh

Randall Tye Graham received a B.S. in History from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2003. He then spent over 2 years in Baghdad as a Cavalry platoon leader and company commander. Tye also served a year in Taiwan traveling East Asia and advising the Taiwan Army. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Arizona and Oklahoma State University. At Yale, he focused his studies on cross-strait issues and Taiwanese nationalism. After graduation, Tye will join the US Army Pacific’s International Military Affairs section in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Adam Haliburton received a B.A. in Ethics, Politics & Economics from Yale University in 2010. After completing a year-long fellowship in Yale’s Office of Federal Relations, he worked the next three years in Japan. During his time in the East Asian Studies M.A. Program, Adam has explored a number of disciplines, including archaeology; ethnomusicology; and poetics, as they relate to Japan. Adam will return to Yale in the fall as a doctoral student in the Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures.

Tiying Huang received her B.A. degree in English from Shanghai University in 2009, and a Master of Arts in Anthropology from Peking University in 2012. At Yale, Tiying focused on state control in China; its objects, means, and effects, both in early modern and contemporary times. Following graduation, Tiying plans to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Anthropology.

Alistair Hughes graduated with first class honors from the London School of Economics in 2014. Specializing in Chinese political economy at Yale, he has studied China’s major domestic and international relations challenges from an inter-disciplinary, social science perspective. He has paid particular attention to the socio-economic problems arising from rapid urbanization in China since the 1990s. Alistair was awarded a Light Fellowship by Yale in February 2015 and will travel to Beijing next year to conduct research and further improve his Mandarin language skills. 

Hanting Sha received her B.A. in English and Journalism in 2013 from Beijing Foreign Studies University in China. Before entering Yale, she worked in some of China’s major media organizations and international think tanks. At Yale, she specialized in Chinese foreign policy and Chinese contemporary history. After graduation, Hanting plans to pursue a career in the Foreign Service.

Jiakai Sheng received his B.A. in History from Tufts University in 2014. He concentrated on modern Japanese history and Japanese language as a Master’s student at Yale. After graduation, Jiakai will join Inter-University Center’s year-long program of advanced Japanese language study in Yokohama, Japan.

Shuang Song born in 1993 in Anhui Province, China, received his B.A. degree in Sociology from Renmin University of China, with an honored thesis. Before entering Yale, Shuang worked as a research assistant for two faculty members of the University of Chicago, and co-founded a student-managed salon with the aim to facilitate public discussion on the campus of Renmin University. At Yale, Shuang’s major research interests centered on contemporary politics, inequality, and stratification in China. Shuang plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology after graduation.

Hui Wen Tea received her B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature with a minor in International Relations and Foreign Affairs from Peking University in 2014. She graduated as the top international student of her department and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Award. At Yale, Hui Wen specialized in modern Chinese history and Chinese nationalism. She has completed many education-related internships, and she will be working in the Ministry of Education in Singapore after graduation.

Linan Yao went to Peking University for her undergraduate education, majoring in international politics and economics. During her junior year, she studied political science at National Taiwan University as an exchange student. While in the East Asian Studies M.A. Degree Program, she focused on Chinese politics and society, as well as comparative politics. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science after graduation.

Yun Bai specialized in late-imperial Chinese literature and the ways in which women responded to the changes and challenges during the Ming-Qing transition. Yun’s interest in this subject started with her studies at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures as an undergraduate student at Tsinghua University. An exchange experience at the University of Toronto also exposed her to theoretical approaches to Chinese texts and women-centered criticism. After graduation, Yun is going to take a gap year and work for an overseas study consultancy in Beijing, after which she plans to go to graduate school and concentrate on early modern Chinese fiction and drama.

Alan Baubonis is interested in martial arts, especially those from China, and has been practicing, competing and teaching for fourteen years. Alan graduated from Boston University’s Anthropology B.A. program in 2004, then lived in Qingdao, China for two years to practice and research kung fu.  While at Yale, Alan studied social theory, Chinese culture, and classical Chinese in order to progress toward a better understanding of the socio-cultural contexts that shape how martial artists practice and to describe their training. He has been working in administrative positions at Yale since 2007 and is currently the Assistant Director (and primary student advisor) in the Richard U. Light Fellowship Program at Yale.

Marissa Fox graduated with a degree in art history from Barnard College, after which she followed her passion for Chinese art and moved to China. She has since worked at Art Labor Gallery, a contemporary art space in Shanghai. She has also worked as an art guide for Context Travel, where she developed and led in-depth tours of the Shanghai Museum as well as M50, Shanghai’s gallery district. At Yale, Marissa focused her studies on the history of Chinese art, and she plans to work in the arts after graduation.

Nicholas Frisch trained in music as a boy soprano at the Metropolitan Opera, singing additional solo roles at Carnegie Hall and BAM.  He studied music and Chinese at Columbia, writing an East Asian Languages and Cultures thesis on Red Guards with the support of a departmental grant. Graduating in 2007, he lived in Beijing, Taipei, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, supported by Fulbright, Blakemore, Critical Language, and Hong Kong University fellowships, and worked as a translator, researcher, and journalist. He has conducted policy research for The University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and the Hong Kong think tank Civic Exchange, and presented conference papers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and National Taiwan University. An aspiring scholar of Ming-Qing intellectual and cultural history, after finishing the East Asian Studies M.A. Program, Nicholas will remain at Yale to pursue a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures.

Sami Honkasolo was born in Finland, but moved to Japan after high school. Passionate about languages since a young age, he decided to major in Linguistics with a strong East Asian focus, and received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Linguistics from the University of Tokyo. He has since interned at the United Nations and worked for a Japanese financial company in Tokyo. Living in Japan made visiting East Asia easy, and by visiting places such as Tibet and North Korea, he became deeply interested in East Asian international relations. Consequently, Sami came to Yale to deepen his understanding about the international relations of East Asia.  In the future, he intends to pursue a Ph.D. to further develop his regional expertise.

Yuan-I Huang, also known as Sophia, has a profound interest in transculturation studies between English-speaking and Sinophone communities, using translation as a focal point. Chinese is her native language, however, she received her B.A. as an English major at National Taiwan Normal University. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a tutor and part-time translator.  In her sophomore year, she became the Chief of Art Design in the English Department’s Student Association, which equipped her with experience in media, advertisement, graphic design and leadership.  While in the East Asian Studies M.A. program at Yale, she focused her studies on modern Chinese literature and media and plans to work in media marketing after graduation.

Kyohei Itakura

Connor Mills grew up in North Dakota and graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History in 2011.  He developed a love of historical research during his undergraduate years at Yale and has returned to campus after working at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. His research interests centered on the postwar intersection of Japanese and United States history during the Occupation and the Korean War. After graduation, Connor will use a Richard U. Light Fellowship to spend the summer studying Japanese at the Inter-University Center in Yokohama before beginning a Ph.D. in History at Princeton University this fall.

Xindi Qin received her B.A. in English Language and Literature from Shanghai International Studies University.  A central thread running through her academic interests is contemporary Japanese popular culture as perceived by its consumers with diverse cultural backgrounds. As the captain of her college’s softball team, Xindi noticed the enthusiasm shared among her teammates generated from a love for the characters in Japanese sports manga and for Japanese culture on a larger scale. At Yale, she focused her studies on consumer culture and gender issues in contemporary Japan and China.  After graduation, Xindi plans to pursue a career in the management consulting industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

Rebecca Roberts fell in love with the Japanese language and culture at her high school in Gastonia, North Carolina, which had a teacher exchange program with Hiroshima, Japan. Once at university, she started studying Chinese and traveled to Beijing, China where she didn’t speak English for three and a half months of classes and then interned at the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center for two months. After graduation, Rebecca spent a year in Kanuma, Japan teaching English and then four months traveling around the world. At Yale, she concentrated on Japanese and Chinese history, and plans to work in international higher education, focusing on U.S.-Asia exchange.  After graduating from Yale, she will first work at a university in North Carolina and be engaged with the Raleigh-area Japanese community.

Xin Ying Tseng was born and raised in Singapore.  Her interest in China was first sparked by a high school immersion program to Beijing. She then went on to Peking University to pursue a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature, as well as a double major in International Relations and Foreign Affairs.  Xin Ying’s training in Chinese Language and Literature has heightened her sensitivity towards the nuances of Mandarin, enabling her to better understand and appreciate China’s diversity and socio-political contexts.  At Yale, she focused on China’s foreign policies and state-society relations to gain a more holistic understanding of contemporary China.  Passionate about Singapore-Sino and ASEAN-Sino relations, Xin Ying will return to work in Singapore’s civil service upon completion of her studies.

Anran Wang was born and raised in Beijing, and his interest in transnational East Asian issues started during his high school years. Interaction with South Korean students and a school-organized trip to Japan boosted his enthusiasm for the “sensitive” issues between East Asian countries, and made him determined to learn Korean and Japanese. He attended Peking University and majored in International Politics. He also enrolled in the double degree program at Waseda University and spent his junior year in Tokyo.  At Yale, Anran focused his studies on nationalism and nationalist conflicts between China, Japan and the two Koreas, as well as ethnic tensions in China and Inner Asia.  Following graduation, Anran plans to pursue a Ph.D. degree in comparative politics or modern history after a gap year of individual research and travel.

Likun Yang (Chinese History and Literary Tradition)

Qiudi Zhang graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A in both Anthropology and Dance. With her passion in culture and art, Qiudi is most interested in minority issues in China, especially those of Tibet and Xinjiang. She has spent two summers teaching and volunteering in Nyingchi, Tibet, and has focused her undergraduate research on analyzing the Tibet-China dispute. While volunteering in different minority communities in China, Zhang enjoyed learning traditional dances from the locals and was curious to find ways to better protect and represent these art forms. As a dancer, Qiudi has performed works and participated in workshops of various choreographers and dance companies such as José Limón Dance Company, Trisha Brown Dance Company, and Trey McIntyre Project. At Yale, she continued to focus her studies on anthropology and minority issues in China, and performed with Citations A Cappella and A Different Drum Dance Company.  After graduation, she will continue her research with Professor Deborah Davis (Yale Sociology) over the summer, and plans to study Russian and Kazakh languages in Central Asia.