This year, the Center for Asia Pacific Studies celebrates 30 years of building bridges across the Pacific, with programs that promote greater understanding of the peoples and cultures of the Asia Pacific region. Our anniversary year has allowed us to showcase the center’s work serving as San Francisco’s academic gateway to the Asia Pacific. As you will see in the articles below, we’ve spent our spring examining topics related to happiness and longevity in Asia. We enjoyed an evening with the Boba Guys — learning from their story and about how they bridge cultures with their milk tea. We also focused on career development for our students by hosting a workshop for students in Asian Studies and Asia Pacific Studies to teach them how to market their unique skill set and land jobs. Our attention has now turned to the fall and planning for a semester full of programs related to food and culture. In October we will be hosting, “Have You Eaten Yet: Food and Culture in East Asia.” This time next year, we hope to share select papers from this symposium, in a special issue of Asia Pacific Perspectives.
Last month, while traveling in Korea as a member of a Korea Foundation delegation, I had a chance to reflect on the importance of the center’s work in building bridges across the Pacific and in engaging students with Asia. As a result, this summer we are offering a summer stipend to send one USF graduate student to Sogang University in Seoul to take classes and do research. Next fall, we will continue this theme by launching our Student Research Initiative to provide opportunities for students to engage with Asia through research, immersion programs, and internships. We appreciate your support of the center’s work during this anniversary year and look forward to seeing you back on campus in the fall.
Melissa S. Dale, PhD