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Jamie Forgacs, BA, 2017

Field of Study: BA, Dual-Major in Asian Studies and International Studies

Graduation Year: 2017

I entered the University of Michigan with a passion for Korean Studies and was never disappointed by the depth and breadth of opportunities contained within ALC, from the strong Korean Language Program to intense courses ranging from the Korean War to Contemporary Korean Controversies. Throughout undergrad, I bolstered my academics with volunteering and an undergraduate fellowship at the Nam Center for Korean Studies as well as through programs abroad: 2014 semester exchange at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, 2015 intensive summer program also at Yonsei, and a summer 2016 Human Rights Fellowship at Sungkyunkwan University. Most recently, I have been honored as co-recipient of the 2017 Sang-Yong Nam Award. 

My experience in ALC has also helped prepare me for ongoing work as a volunteer translator for Humans of Seoul, provided fodder for my Korean language-and-culture themed website,, and allowed me to engage in research that culminated in my Honors Thesis on the counter-narrative of nonactivist women factory workers in the South Korean economic miracle of the 1970s and 80s. Beyond invigorating academics, however, ALC has also given me a community of motivated scholars and friends, and professors who are truly inspirational mentors whose support and influence will be ever-present in my future work. 

I am graduating with a double major in Korean Studies and International Studies, and the year immediately following graduation will be filled with on-campus work alongside personal projects ranging from translation work for a new Korean literary magazine to publishing a work of my own, a fantasy novel. My plan is to spend the next year working and preparing for grad school in 2018 and a future career of writing as a bilingual author—though I am always open to exploring new paths and going on unexpected adventures.