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Ella Daniels, BA, 2021

Field of Study: B.A. in Asian Studies (Honors) and International Studies

Graduation Year: 2021

When I became a student at the University of Michigan in 2017, I was not positive that I wanted to pursue a major in Asian Languages and Cultures. I had already completed the language requirement for LA, and I imagined that I would dive into political science like my elder brother. By chance, I took ASIAN 235 with Dr. Emily Wilcox and ASIAN 260 with Dr. S.E. Kile in my first semester of freshman year, and I was hooked. After deciding I would major in Asian Languages and Cultures, I was able to take an intensive Chinese language course in the summer of 2018 and join the rest of my year in second-year Chinese in the fall. Equipped with excellent instruction from the Chinese language lecturers, I decided to take another intensive language course in Beijing in 2019. This experience fostered a love for languages, and I went on to complete four semesters of Arabic in the latter half of my time at Michigan.

In the fall of 2019, I took two classes that solidified my path: Culture in East Asian Business, Past and Present with Dr. Micah Auerback and the ALC Junior/Senior Seminar with Dr. Nancy Florida. After exploring these topics, I had a newfound interest in international economics and a renewed interest in medicine. I pursued a second major in International Studies with a concentration in Political and Economic Development, and I decided to write an honors thesis within the ALC department. Under Dr. Miranda Brown, I conducted research into the political economy of healthcare in China after the Reform and Opening Up period. It was during this time that I chose to continue my studies and research at graduate school. 

In the fall, I will begin my MA in Asian Studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. I am excited to expand upon the priceless knowledge and skills I gained through the ALC department. The guidance from my professors and the subsequent research I conducted for my honors thesis are both essential to the student I will strive to be at Georgetown and in my future career.