Kathryn Ibata-Arens is Director of Global Asian Studies and Associate Professor of Political Economy at DePaul University. Ibata-Arens specializes in high technology policy and Japanese political economy. Her current work is on biomedical entrepreneurship and “networked techno-nationalism” in Asia. Her book Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Japan: Politics, Organizations and High Technology Firms (Cambridge University Press, 2005) analyzed strategic networks of high technology firms and regional economies in Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. Ibata-Arens has held fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, Mansfield Foundation and the Social Science Research Council. She served on the METI-State Department Japan-US Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council (2012-2013) and currently on the Board for the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, DePaul University. In 2011, Ibata-Arens co-founded the TOMODACHI Tohoku Challenge, a new business competition sponsored by the U.S.-Japan Council and American Embassy, Tokyo. She conducted her dissertation research as a Fulbright Fellow at RCAST, Tokyo University and received a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. In her free time Ibata-Arens enjoys hiking, running with her Doberman and tennis. When she isn’t working with her students, Ibata-Arens’ son and daughter also keep her busy.
Curt Hansman is a board member of Global Asian Studies and Chinese Studies. She has taught courses on the history of Chinese, Japanese, and Asian American art in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at DePaul since 1997. She holds the B.A. and M.A. in the History of Art/Asian Studies from the University of Oregon and the M.PH. and Ph.D. in the History of Art and Chinese Intellectual History from the University of Kansas. Her early research focused in and around painting and painting style as a political tool in Song/Yuan China. Recent projects have focused on the interaction of art/politics/language/identity in modern China and Asian America including the recent paper “Yayoi Kusama: Another Mirror”. Hansman has received grants from the Kress Foundation and The American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia and was an NEH Summer Institute Fellow in 2012. She has lived, worked, and traveled extensively in Asia. Outside the academy she is a mother, potter, runner, and like so many art historians, an aficionado of detective fiction. She has worked actively through the Empty Bowls Project to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger and food insecurity. She is a faculty member in The Odyssey Project (a Bard College Illinois Humanities Council educational humanities project in underserved communities).
Taylor Alcantar is a junior at DePaul studying English with a minor in Spanish. She has made the dean’s list every quarter since freshmen year and has studied abroad twice, to Ireland and Mexico. Alcantar enjoys learning about and experiencing other cultures by reading, exploring Chicago, and traveling. In her free time, Alcantar volunteers as a tutor at an after-school program called 826Chi, where she encourages confidence and skill building through creative writing. Alcantar has also written for her student newspaper, The DePaulia, and is currently an editor and contributor to The Underground, the English Department undergraduate blog. She would also like to learn more languages and practices speaking Spanish whenever she can. Among her hobbies are reading, writing fiction, going to plays and street festivals, kayaking, and cooking new foods.
Roy Cases is a junior at DePaul University majoring in political science. During the school year, he works in community service at an after school program with kids ranging from the ages 5-11. The main objective of his job is to make sure the kids have a productive, safe and fun place to stay until their parents are able to pick them up. Cases loves being active and staying outdoors, thus some of his hobbies include weightlifting, biking, running, going to concerts, dancing, and playing just about any sport. Aside from these activities, he also enjoys reading, fashion, and politics. He is known for his leadership skills. He has volunteered annually at the Willamette Park District for their Thanksgiving Lunch for the Elderly. Cases is actively volunteering for Saint Peters Church in Skokie. In high school, he participated in a Leadership Program for Central Suburban League athletes.
Alexandra Chomik is currently finishing her junior year at DePaul University, where she is majoring in English literature and minoring in art history. She has presented her creative writing around the Chicago area, and has been published in online literary magazines and journals. Additionally, she was nominated to participate in DePaul’s Reading Series, where she read a creative, non-fiction piece. Chomik has been working at DePaul’s University Center for Writing-based Learning for two years as both a Writing Center Tutor and a Writing Fellow. She has also worked closely with bilingual students and English language learners both at and outside of DePaul. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with Chicago’s Polish-American community, exploring the city’s art scene, and trekking around town with her friends.
Anders Conroy is a freshman at DePaul University, majoring in marketing and minoring in Global Asian Studies. He is proud to call Minneapolis his hometown. He has been a long time employee of the Minneapolis based Best Buy, sparking his interest in Asian relations and business. Conroy also is currently working as a marketing intern at Packback, a Chicago textbook rental startup. Throughout his freshman year he has been on the dean’s list for his academic achievements. He has taken various political science classes, including introduction to international relations, where he wrote his final paper on pollution havens in Indonesia. Conroy has a knack for photography and troubleshooting consumer electronics. He enjoys running, downhill skiing as well as participating in DECA, a marketing club at DePaul. He is excited to learn more about Japanese culture, as well as the business relationship between the United States and Japan.
Liam Coussens is a junior studying Jazz performance at DePaul University, as well as pursuing a minor in international politics. He is an active double bassist in the Chicago and suburban area, and plays regularly with ensembles at the DePaul School of Music. Beyond his work in music, Coussens is a member of Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity, and currently serves on the executive board of his local chapter as Vice-President of Membership. Coussens also is an Eagle Scout, being awarded that highest rank in 2011, and continues as an adult leader for his local Boy Scouts of America troop. In his spare time he enjoys following soccer and baseball, and amateur stargazing. He has developed and taught music learning curricula in Africa for disadvantaged children.
Lin Ding is a junior at DePaul, majoring in accounting with a minor in Japanese language. Ding worked as an office assistant in Chinese Christian Union Church (CCUC). She was responsible for coordinating communications between administrative pastor and congregation, creating church PowerPoint, conducting church events and so on. The experience of working for a church strengthened her sense of responsibility and sharpened her skill of communication. Since CCUC includes three different congregations with three languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, English), Ding had a great opportunity to practice her language skills by communicating and translating information among three congregations. In addition to Mandarin, Cantonese, and English, she can also speak Japanese. Ding’s passion about anime and manga helped and motivated her to learn both Japanese culture and Japanese language. She hopes to use her command of these four languages to better connect and being connected with different cultures.
Tanya Fetzer is a first year MA student in animation at DePaul University. She has a BA Honors magna cum laude and dean’s list double major in interactive media studies (graphic arts) and East Asian studies (Japan), minor in Japanese language from North Central College. In 2012, Fetzer was a participant in the Hiroshima and Peace Program at Hiroshima City University. She has handmade blankets, mittens, and hats for premature and sick infants in the NICU at Rockford Memorial Hospital, and played clarinet in North Central College’s Concert Winds annual “Chords for Kids” benefit concert from 2009 to 2013. Fetzer has two relatives who served in the U.S. military during WWII: a great-grandfather in the Air Force Corp and a great-uncle, who served in the 442nd Infantry with the late Senator Daniel Inouye. Fetzer is proficient in web and graphic design, animation, motion graphics, and photography. As an animator, she was awarded second place in the Harwood Short Animation Competition in 2011. She also premiered another animation in the Chicago Shorts Festival in 2014.
Lilly Hart is a Public Relations and advertising major with a double minor in Japanese language and Global Asian Studies at DePaul University. She has been studying Japanese since kindergarten at a Japanese immersion school in Portland, Ore. and continued the program through high school. She’s been to Japan three times: in fifth grade, eighth grade and last December. She is very involved in her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, as well as the Philanthropy work they do with Autism Speaks. Hart was awarded the Heart of Gold award from DePaul Panhellenic Council in June 2013. Additionally, she was awarded The Dorothy Dodd Grant from Alpha Xi Delta Headquarters, which will allow her to attend UIFI in Indianapolis, one of the most prestigious Fraternity & Sorority leadership conferences in the country. Her hobbies include knitting, sewing and reading. Hart aspires to work at a PR agency in Chicago after graduating next June.
Jordan Johnson is attending DePaul University for information technology with a minor in Global Asian studies. Johnson has been on the dean’s list every quarter since he began at DePaul. French is another language that Johnson can speak. Johnson’s career plans consist of running a team of “creatives” who help companies build websites, design logos, and needs creative direction. As for community service, Johnson is involved in a “Software Development for Community Projects” which is about working with local communities around Chicago to better improve their software and systems which in turn helps them optimize their workflow and be more productive with their time. Johnson leads a local skydiving club in his spare time. He runs the skydiving club at DePaul University where he takes students to go skydiving for their first time.
Joanne Kus is a junior at DePaul University studying computer science with a minor in game design. She is proficient in multiple programming languages and has had the opportunity to exercise these skills during her summer internship at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. Kus has travelled to Japan through the 2013 computer gaming and animation study abroad program offered through DePaul's College of Computing and Digital Media. During this program, the students visited multiple animation and gaming companies, and spoke with representatives from each one. She also worked together with Japanese students from Trident University in a competition to create a game within 48 hours, which earned them first place. Next year, she will be returning as treasurer of one of DePaul’s largest student run organizations- DeFrag, or DePaul’s Fundamental Research in Academic Gaming. Apart from development, Kus enjoys participating in Japanese pop culture, such as watching anime or assembling gunpla, biking, cooking, and reading.
Margaret Lindauer grew up in the small Midwestern city of Chelsea, Michigan, just outside Ann Arbor. She has two older siblings who attend Michigan State University and a younger brother who is in high school. Lindauer is currently a first year student and a political science major who would like to minor in international relations. Lindauer was drawn to the large metropolitan city of Chicago due to the importance it places on the arts and education. In her first year at DePaul, she was fortunate enough to study philosophy abroad in Athens, Greece. She also became a part of the Phi Sigma Pi honors fraternity, which stresses the values of practically applied leadership and scholarship. She enjoys going to concerts and running by the lake. Lindauer has been playing the violin since she was a child and also volunteers at running events.
Riley Masunaga is a Japanese-Chinese-American “yonsei” raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America and the recipient of the Howard Miyake Award for public service. He ran his family's gourmet food truck for several years before deciding to move to Chicago and study at DePaul University. An honors marketing student and winner of the DePaul Student Innovation Awards, Masunaga has also been involved in high tech start-ups in Chicago’s entrepreneurial scene. His primary focus in the workplace is analyzing ideas and experiences from a marketing perspective. In his spare time, he likes to read, write for his blog, cook and work out. His favorite color is yellow.
Renee Menart is a first year student at DePaul. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California but recently travelled to Chicago attracted by DePaul's curriculum as well as the city's rich culture. She is extremely excited to be a KAKEHASHI TOMODACHI INOUYE SCHOLAR as a political science student with a concentrated interest in international relations. She is currently involved in the Americorps Jumpstart program, DePaul Ambassadors, and Nu'ance dance team on campus. She has previous experience in public speaking, especially as the treasurer of her high school's Speech and Debate team. Additionally, Menart was the president and founder of a student animal rights organization, which partnered with organized service events encouraging activism in the Los Angeles community. In these various roles as a student leader, she consistently seeks opportunities to build valuable leadership skills as a listener, collaborator and voice for her community.
Eeman Ouyoun is a junior at DePaul University pursuing a double major in honors economics and international studies with a focus on development and minoring in Global Asian Studies . She is a recipient of the dean’s list award for the past three years and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. On campus, Ouyoun volunteers with United Muslim Moving Ahead to organize programs and events to build community for Muslim students and generate awareness about Islam. Around her community, she volunteers by teaching Arabic language and Islamic classes. Ouyoun loves to travel and believes in the power of travel and cross-cultural connections to empower youth. This year Ouyoun founded Youth Empowerment Trips to provide opportunities for youth to travel to other countries and develop leadership skills. Ouyoun is also fluent in Arabic and is beginning to learn Chinese. In her spare time, she likes to horseback ride and train in martial arts.
Mardi Robinson is a junior at DePaul majoring in Japanese studies. She runs the DePaul Japanese language table for students interested in practicing their Japanese skills outside the classroom. In the future, she'd like to become a translator to help promote cultural understanding and spread knowledge that would have been unavailable if it had remained untranslated. Since starting school at DePaul, she's been on the dean's list each quarter. When not at school, she enjoys reading literature and philosophy. Her hobbies include card magic and painting. She is looking forward to being a participant in the 2014 KAKEHASHI TOMODACHI INOUYE SCHOLARS PROGRAM. Robinson has been honored as the only DePaul student to be invited to study at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Devin Ruzbasan is a sophomore from Southern California. He is an environmental science and an urban development and planning double-major. He is also pursuing GIS certificate through the Geography Department at DePaul. Devin is an executive-board officer and Director of Recruitment for the Illinois Zeta Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi. Founded on the motto "The great joy of serving others", the fraternity is committed to service through year-round philanthropy events, benefiting cancer research, The Boys and Girls Club of America and numerous other national and local philanthropic causes. Ruzbasan also served on DePaul’s Housing Services Green Team as a freshman in order to promote sustainability across campus. Through monthly bulletins, quarterly events, and on-campus projects, Ruzbasan and his team informed both students and staff of local and international environmental issues and causes. He is extremely excited and enthusiastic about this opportunity, and is looking forward to furthering his world-view.
Lizbeth Sanchez was born and raised in Chicago. She is a sophomore at DePaul University. Sanchez enjoys concerts, painting, film and digital photography. She is an RMHC/HACER scholarship recipient and a Principal Scholarship recipient from the Chicago Jewelers’ Association. She is 19 years young and has already gotten a taste of what it’s like to travel. In 2011, she received the opportunity to explore Peru’s Amazon Rainforest, through the AFAR Foundation and Global Explorers organization. Through the Pearson Foundation’s We Give Books program Sanchez collected over 150 books for a children’s library she helped construct in the Village of Santa Isabel, Peru. She is currently an intern, through DePaul’s Steans Center, at Telpochcalli Community Education Project (Tcep)—a nonprofit organization located in Pilsen. As a youth mentor/coordinator at TCEP, she hopes to inspire the youth to explore the world through travel and become leaders for social change in their communities.
Alexander Shaindlin is an International Studies and Chinese Studies double major and a Global Asian Studies and African and Black Diaspora studies double minor at DePaul University. Shaindlin grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. His interest in East Asia emerged when he began taking Mandarin Chinese in High School. In his downtime, he enjoys working out and singing with his a cappella group. While in high school, he attained all-district recognition for his signing, and placed into Division 1 for Illinois High School Association. While at DePaul, Shaindlin has been on the dean’s list for academic achievement, and received recognition for his work on ’The Senkaku Island Dispute’ by successfully submitting his work to the 10th Annual History Conference. After university, he plans to attend an East Asian studies graduate program, while studying for the Foreign Service Exam.
Yordanose Solomone is from Apple Valley, Minnesota, and grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is a first year student at DePaul University studying health sciences with a concentration in biomedicine. She is also minoring in public policy with a concentration in Asian studies. Solomone is very family oriented. She is bilingual with an intermediate fluency of French. She was also part of a competitive varsity speech team and was part of the National Forensic League. Solomone spent several years volunteering at the Apple Valley Medical Center, was a co-captain for her high school lacrosse team and was elected president for Students Against Destructive Decisions. She earned the DePaul socially responsible leadership certificate in January of 2014. Her hobbies include film critiquing, photography, casual computer coding, avid reading, writing, enjoying new cuisine, as well as attending performing arts events.
Emily Spurgeon is a sophomore at DePaul University. She is studying art, media, and design, as well as history of art and architecture. She is also a member of DePaul’s Honors Program and has been on the dean’s list every quarter during her DePaul career. Spurgeon is extremely passionate about arts in community service. In the past, she headed a project to raise earthquake and tsunami relief money for Japan. She instructed classmates on how to make origami paper cranes that would then be sold to raise funds. She currently interns at the ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation, a non-profit woman run cooperative gallery. Spurgeon is extremely interested in Japanese culture and history, especially in regards to art. While in Japan, she hopes to directly experience Japanese art from a non-western perspective. She is also interested in experiencing the life that inspires the vibrant works by contemporary Japanese artists.
Christopher Upapong is currently a fifth year student at DePaul University and is majoring in accounting, Japanese studies, and Chinese studies. He was born in Chicago and raised in north suburban Wilmette. He is a recipient of the DePaul Presidential Scholarship in addition to being a Gilman Scholar, and a Needles, Snow, and Wish Scholar. He has studied abroad twice in Shanghai, China where he did a 6-month IT internship at Hertz Rent-A-Car, China, refining his skills in a multilingual work environment. He likes practicing traditional Chinese and western instruments, break dancing, and reading science fiction among other things. He has been involved with the Lab, ACE, ΑΚΨ, and ΔΤΔ. Upapong is very interested in the field of linguistics and is proficient in English, Japanese, and Mandarin while also learning Korean, Spanish, German, Turkish, and various Chinese languages. He hopes to take the CPA exam and work in a global job relating to accounting, finance, and IT consultancy.
Catherine Vegis is currently a sophomore at DePaul University majoring in political science. Growing up in the scenic terrain of northern California, her hometown of Oakland holds a special place in her heart. In high school she was the captain of the debate team and was ranked number three in North America for parliamentary debate competing at University of Santa Clara, Yale, Stanford and many others. Debate not only established her passion for international relations, but also helped her exercise her leadership abilities as debate captain, where she oversaw four squads consisting of one hundred students. Vegis is very involved in community service as she has taking numerous cultural immersion trips across the United States. When she is not working as a nanny or attending classes, she enjoys escaping to the relaxation of the great outdoors. She enjoys camping trips in Yosemite and hikes through the magical Redwoods.
Dr. Ibata-Arens is Director of Global Asian Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science at DePaul University. Ibata-Arens specializes in high technology policy and Japanese political economy. Ibata-Arens teaches courses in Asian Politics, international relations, business and entrepreneurship in Asia and international and comparative political economy. She also teaches courses for the First Year Program, Multiculturalism, Honors Program and International Studies Program. In her free time Ibata-Arens enjoys hiking, running with her Doberman and tennis.
Global Asian Studies faculty teach a variety of courses in African and Black Diaspora (Lori Pierce), Art (Curt Hansman, Laura Kina, Elizabeth Lillehoj, Chi-Jang Yin), CDM (Shiro Akiyoshi), Chinese Studies (Li Jin), Communication (Lucy Lu) English (June Chung, Bill Johnson Gonzalez, Shailja Sharma), Geography (Maureen Sioh), History (Rajit K. Mazumder, Kerry Ross), International Studies (Michael McIntyre) Japanese Studies (Nobuko Chikamatsu), Latin American and Latino Studies (Camilla Fojas), Law (Sumi Cho), Management (Patrick Murphy), Religious Studies (Angelika Cedzich, David Gitomer, Kalyani Menon, Yuki Miyamoto, Charles Strain) Women’s and Gender Studies (Sanjukta Mukherjee) and Political Science (Kathryn Ibata-Arens, Phillip Stalley).
In 2014, prior to graduating, Jordan was hired by the global advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather as a web developer.
Why did you choose Global Asian Studies?
I chose Global Asian Studies because of a class that I took early on at DePaul. I never saw myself as someone who might enjoy history but after taking a Buddhist Art class and a History of Chinese Calligraphy and Painting class I was hooked. I knew that there was something about the Global Asian Studies minor that really intrigued me. I followed my gut and officially made Global Asian Studies my minor and have loved every class in the program I have taken since then.
What was your favorite experience within the program?
My favorite experience had to be my most recent with the program, our study abroad trip to Okinawa. It was such an unbelievable experience. To not only learn about a culture, but experience it in person is a truly remarkable thing that I never imagined myself having the opportunity to do. Thanks to the Global Asian Studies program I was able to go see places and interact with a culture which will stay with me in all that I do.
What do you plan to do with what you learned after DePaul?
I plan on traveling to more parts of Asia. I am the type of person who doesn’t mind moving and living in new places, even with a language barrier. I want to see more of Asia and see if there may be a place I find that I can picture myself living in the future. Also I hope to take some of what I learned and apply it to my field: Web Development. Having a more intimate knowledge of different cultures allows you to plan things differently in a project with a more global mindset which is very beneficial when the web is accessible by (almost) all.
Okinawa Journal Link: www.josamjohn.com
Our program in Global Asian Studies at DePaul University is the only one of its kind in the United States. We offer courses and programs that connect the theories and practices in Asian Studies, the diaspora of Asian peoples around the world and the unique experience of Asian Americans.
Drawing from our leading expertise in China and Japan, our program also reflects growing expertise in India and Southeast Asia.
From ancient cultures to modern technology, DePaul’s Global Asian Studies program provides an important foundation for students to prepare to have a leading role in the 21st “Pacific” Century.
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No, there is no language requirement for participation. Most Japanese people speak at least some English and our group will be accompanied by translators and various bilingual hosts (also Dr. Ibata-Arens, one of the chaperones, is fluent in Japanese).
No, this trip is an opportunity to introduce students to Japan and Asia. There is no need for previous experience in or about Asia. However, applicants will have greater opportunities if they become Global Asian Studies Minors.
AAS 395, an Independent Study (4 credits) is available as an option for those students interested (not a requirement). AAS 395 may be applied to the Global Asian Studies Minor and/or other general requirements. Students interested in this option should contact Dr. Ibata-Arens for a consultation about an independent study project that draws from the experience in Japan and meets your academic and career interests.
Your reviewers may send a brief email about the applicant to email@example.com. Recommendations do not need to be on letterhead – though reviewers should send them in the format most convenient for them.
Yes! Freshmen and Sophomores are ideal participants in this program, as they are best suited for the required post-trip participation; and joining our partner Japanese university students during their visit to DePaul for 1-2 days in Autumn 2014 or Spring 2015.
No. This program is for undergraduates.
Maybe. This program has a limited number of spaces available for seniors – due to the requirements for participating in activities and events on campus in Autumn 2014 and Spring 2015. Global Asian Studies Minors have priority placement for these spaces.
Maybe. This program is for U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who have permanent U.S. residency status (green card).
Participants must have at least a 3.0 G.P.A.
Participants must have a valid passport. Go ahead and apply for the Japan 2014 program – and immediately apply for a passport. You must apply for “expedited service” which takes 3 weeks (normal processing times can take up to 6 weeks). Passport Link