Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Asian Studies Welcomes its New Graduate Students

Fri, September 5, 2008

Our new graduate students are:
Ph.D.: Asiya Alam, Emilia Bachrach, Manomohini Dutta, Tien-wen Lin
Masters: Brian Boitmann, Libby Bowers, Max Bruce, Ishan Chakrabarti, Hye Eun Choi, Shirley Field, Bob Gallagher, Jae Lee, Priya Nelson, Natasha Raheja, Dan Rudmann, Jonathan Seefeldt, Rachel Vought, and Lindsey Wilson.

Libby Bowers was born and raised in Eden Prairie, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis), and received her Bachelors in South Asian Literature, Culture and Media from the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. She started teaching herself Hindi on a whim while at the University of Wisconsin: Stout. Instead of studying Spanish like she had planned when she transferred to the University of Minnesota, Libby immediately switched majors and hasn't looked back. Eventually, she wants to teach language after working in the humanitarian field. Her favorite food is lamb curry with a nice big piece of hot, buttery naan.
Max Bruce is a native of San Francisco and he received his Bachelors in Philosophy from UC Santa Cruz. He joins our Masters program after studying Urdu in India as part of AIIS. He became interested in Asian cultures and languages because of the existential questions raised by grammar/discursive constructions in Hindi/Urdu, the treatment and interpretation of metaphor in poetry, and poetry as cultural currency, and because of the food. Max would like to become a professor of South Asian languages and cultures. His favorite food is black coffee, and his favorite animal is either a banana slug (real) or the Anqa (mythical).
Ishan Chakrabarti is starting his first official semster in our Masters program, although he has taken courses with us for two years as part of UT's Select Admission program. The Select Admission program allows undergraduate students to be admitted to a graduate program and begin working on their Masters degrees while completing their Bachelors degree. Ishan received his Bachelors in English and South Asian Studies this spring, and plans to receive his Ph.D. so he can become a professor. Despite his love of Sanskrit, he would also like to pursue a career raising goats. His favorite food is goat meat, and goats are his favorite animals.
Hye Eun Choi joins our Masters program because she "wants to understand what's happening in Asia, not just as a participant." To that end, she would like to become a researcher, teacher, or professor. Hye Eun hails from Busan, Korea, and received her Bachelors in Mass Communication at Dong-A University. She loves any kind of fresh fish and any kind of noodle.
Shirley Field, a native of San Antonio, Texas, joins our Master program in order to study Japanese. She started in linguistics but soon discovered she hated linguistics. She changed her major and received her Bachelors in East Asian Studies from Boston University. Shirley's goal is to teach, although she also wishes she could be a white squirrel.
Bob Gallagher became interested in other cultures as a child when he saw a Tibetan grammar book. He was awestruck by the other-worldly nature of the script, and was hooked on the beautiful and mysterious writing systems of Asian languages. He holds a Masters in Tibetan Language and Literature from the University of Washington and a Bachelors in Linguistics from Queens College. Bob states that he would like to apply himself to the problem-solving of issues that concern both the South Asian region and the U.S. His favorite food is a flavorful soup or stew of whatever ethnicity- chili, pho, minnestrone, Irish stew,ratatouille, etc.
Tien-wen Lin hails from Taiwan and holds a Masters degree in Comparative Literature from UT Austin and Bachelors in English from National Chiao Tung University. She states that as a lover of movies and TV dramas from foreign cultures, she hopes to figure out the different trajectories of modernity East Asia is experiencing. She wants to do comparative cultural studies, teach, and keep appreciating the beauty of different cultures as her lifelong career goal.
Dan Rudmann just completed his Masters in Religion from George Washington University, where he also received a Bachelors in Religion. He become interested in Asian religions while teaching Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha to an 11th grade class, and hopes to become a professor. Dan is a native of Boca Raton, Florida, and a newlywed. His favorite food is ice cream.
Jonathan Seefeldt joins our Masters program as a part-time student while working in the Hindi-Urdu Flagship. He received his Bachelors from Wheaton College. Jonathan decided to study South Asia as a result of his childhood in north India, with special mention going to Lodhi Gardens and Amar Chitra Katha. His career goals include writing and teaching related to Hindi and Urdu. When asked about his favorite food, he said he can't decide between Vietnamese Pho, Tandoori Fish or Chick Fil-A Milkshakes.

The other new students were too shy to provided biographies, but we would like to welcome them anyway.

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