Oberlin Shansi Announces 2019-2021 Fellows
Nine graduating seniors and alumni will complete fellowships in China, India, Indonesia, and Japan from 2019-2021.
Founded in 1908, the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association fosters cross-cultural engagement through educational and cultural interchange at Oberlin College, as well as opportunities for current students and alumni to participate in this exchange in Asia.
The Shansi Fellows program enables recent graduates to teach and participate in service projects with universities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in China, India, Indonesia, and Japan.
In addition to fellowships, Oberlin Shansi provides funding and support for various on-campus initiatives that promote increased comprehension and appreciation of Asian culture and history, including sponsorship for visiting scholars, student organization events, guest lectures, performances, and a host of Asia-related initiatives and events year-round.
The organization also awards In-Asia grants for current students to intern with NGOs and conduct independent studies during winter term or summer.
2019-2021 Indonesia Fellows
Dance graduate Niko Thomashow ’19 began their fellowship teaching at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in February 2019. They are working in the Faculty of Cultural Sciences and the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies.
Sydney Allen ’19, an English major with minors in rhetoric and history, will also teach at Gadjah Mada University after graduating.
Emily Peterson ’19, an English and environmental studies double major, will work at Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, teaching English and other subjects in the university’s Language Center and School of Education.
2019-2021 Japan Fellows
Neuroscience major Sara Chang ’19 and Emily Eisenstein ’19, a psychology major and East Asian studies minor, will both teach and support student activities at J.F. Oberlin University in Machida, Japan.
Chang has long been interested in Japanese history and culture and is looking forward to exploring ideas of cultural exchange further during her fellowship. “I also hope to become a doctor and believe teaching is a very useful tool for this field,” she says. “I am looking forward to learning a new language and starting a new stage in my life!”
2019-2021 India Fellows
English and environmental studies graduate Kate Little ’19 will lead the International Study Center at Lady Doak College in Madurai, India, supporting international engagement and service learning projects.
Kiran Melnyk ’17, an environmental studies graduate with a peace and conflict studies concentration, will work at the Jagori Grameen Rural Charitable Trust, an NGO in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Mackenzie Lew ’19, a history and comparative American studies major, will teach English and study Chinese at Beijing Normal University from 2019-2020.
Lew is most looking forward to practicing Mandarin daily during her 2019-2020 fellowship year. “I have been studying Chinese for several years, so it’s always been a goal to study and work in China. I’ve been involved with Oberlin’s Asian American community throughout my four years here in student organizations and planning events such as Asian Night Market and the Midwest Asian American Student Conference. After graduating, I hope to stay involved with Asian American communities, and I think language is a key part of that work.”
Sociology major Le’Priya White ’19 will work at Shanxi Agricultural University in Taigu, China from 2019-2021, teaching English and academic writing to graduate students and undergraduate English majors.