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Oberlin Shansi Announces 2013-2015 Two-Year Fellows

Dec. 10, 2012

Nine seniors have been selected to learn and serve at partner institutions in China, India, Indonesia, and Japan as Oberlin Shansi fellows. An independent, nonprofit organization, Oberlin Shansi promotes understanding and communication between Asians and Americans through educational and cultural exchanges. Shansi fellowships support recent graduates for two years of learning and teaching at Shansi partner institutions.  

Alessandra Ferrer, Xenna Goh and Charlotte Hopkinson will receive Shansi fellowships to partner institutions in China. Ferrer was selected for the one-year fellowship to Beijing Normal University and is majoring in East Asian studies with a concentration in Chinese studies and a minor in politics. A recipient of a John F. Oberlin Scholarship, Ferrer has strong French and Chinese language skills.

Goh and Hopkinson have been selected for the two-year fellowships at Shanxi Agricultural University (SAU) in Taigu. Goh is majoring in East Asian studies with a minor in geology. In 2011, she received of a Shansi in-Asia study grant to engage in a part-heritage, part-agricultural project in Sichuan province, where she visited family members and worked alongside Yi farmers on a sheep ranch. She speaks Chinese, Swedish, and French.

Hopkinson is pursuing a double major in neuroscience and law and society. She speaks French, Spanish, and Chinese, and is a resident advisor in Spanish House. At SAU, she hopes to achieve fluency in Chinese and learn the stories of the people in the community.

Stephanie Mora Hernandez and Kiran Puri have been selected for two-year fellowships to Shansi partner institutions in India. Hernandez will volunteer at Lady Doak College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She is majoring in neuroscience with a minor in Hispanic Studies. She is a recipient of the Posse Foundation Full-Tuition Leadership Scholarship. She spent a winter term as a volunteer in El Salvador, where she shadowed a local health promoter for the rural community, and has served as an intern for Teach for America. 

Puri has been selected for the fellowship at Jagori Grameen in Kangra District, Himachal Pradesh. She is majoring in South Asian studies and is pursuing a pre-med concentration. Puri grew up speaking Hindi in her home. In the future, she plans to apply to medical school, and she hopes to use the fellowship at Jagori Grameen as not only an opportunity to learn about public health challenges in the area, but also as a chance to engage in discussions of the difficulties that women experience in rural India.

Julie Gaynes and Karl Orozco have been selected for two-year fellowships to Shansi partners in Indonesia. A creative writing and religious studies major, Gaynes will serve at Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta. She was drawn to Yogyakarta because it is an intersection of all her interests: religious and cultural diversity, storytelling, and performance. In the future, Julie hopes to pursue a PhD in anthropology in South East Asian religion, and would like to incorporate her experience as a Shansi Fellow in her research.

Orozco will graduate with majors in visual art and sociology, and has been selected for the fellowship at Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh. A freelance graphic designer, he was part of the 12-person team responsible for designing and marketing a new line of Oberlin College apparel. He was awarded a Shansi in-Asia undergraduate grant in 2011, in which he explored his Filipino heritage and designed a series of silk screens based on his impressions of the Philippines. Orozco hopes to bring his design and visual arts skills to the students at Syiah Kuala University and is looking forward to learning about Indonesia.

The Japan partner institution, J.F. Oberlin University and Affiliated Schools, Machida, will welcome Cassandra Guevara and Anabel Hirano. Guevara will graduate in January 2013 with an East Asian Studies major with a focus on Japan, although she has also studied Korean history and Mandarin. She plays in Oberlin College Taiko and is a member of the Filipino-American Students Association. Over the next two years, she hopes to attain fluency in Japanese and looks forward to continuing her studies of issues such as Okinawa’s ongoing conflict with the Japanese government and the United States over American military bases.

A history major, Hirano grew up attending a Japanese bilingual school. She also has studied Russian and Spanish. She has experience as a trombone and piano teacher and has interned with the San Francisco Youth Orchestra. She was a member of the Oberlin Orchestra that toured China and Singapore in 2011. She also has been member of Oberlin Steel and the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble. Hirano will bring her love of teaching and music to JFO and hopes to find an opportunity to engage with young children.

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