On May 2nd, 2024, faculty, staff, students and family members gathered in the Vandenberg Room of the Michigan League to celebrate our 2023-2024 graduates and awardees. The event was hosted by the Asian Languages and Cultures Department Chair, Ben Brose, and the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Juhn Ahn, with faculty members joining to present departmental awards.


The ceremony began with a greeting from Dr. Brose to welcome parents and students to the ceremony, and then moving on to highlighting the great accomplishments of all our students that were recognized. Our first awards acknowledged achivements within each of our language programs. These awardees stood out amongst their peers in both their academic and extracurricular pursuits. 


The 2024 language awards recipients were:

Chinese Language Japanese Language
Michael Delphia Vishwaas Gangeddula
Ava Ferrante Janice Lin
South Asian Language Korean Language
Rahul Hoque (Bengali) Emily Bunnell
Caitlin Marentette (Hindi) Daja Terrel
Isha Saini (Punjabi) Southeast Asian Language
Zain Kang  (Urdu) Zainab Ahmad (Filipino)
  Amelia Rohim (Indonesian)
  Georgianna Arvanitis (Thai)
  Anna Vi (Vietnamese)
(L-R): Anna Vi, Rahul Hoque, Zainab Ahmad, Michael Delphia, Janice Lin, Vishwaas Gangeddula, Isha Saini

Following the language awards, Director of the South Asian Language Program, Dr. Syed Ali, took the stage to present the South Asian Language Video Awards. Sponsored by the Center for South Asian Studies, these awards were given to students who created an original video project in Hindi or Urdu. The Best Picture Award went to Eshan Barhing, Mili Vij, Kanika Verma, and Simran Guliani for the video project "The Last Day Party."

Additional departmental awards were then presented by members of the department faculty to honor hard work and passion among undergraduate and graduate students.

The twelfth annual Philip Thomas Lincoln, Jr. Memorial Endowment was presented by Dr. Christi Merrill to Shekha Kotak, a Doctoral Candidate in Asian Languages and Cultures. This fellowship is named for a 1964 LSA graduate who was a career diplomat with the U.S. State Department from 1966 to 1996. Lincoln dedicated his life to the betterment of relations between the United States and the countries of Asia, especially China. The Lincoln Fellowship is given to one ALC graduate student a year to assist with funding a proposed research trip abroad. Shekha will be using this award to conduct archival research in New Delhi annd in-person interviews in Gujarat this summer, to benefit her proposed dissertation Revealing Translations: Caste and Trauma in Dalit Literature. 

The Charles and Myrl Hucker Essay Prize is a tribute to the scholarly and collegial legacy left behind by Charles O. Hucker, a Professor of Chinese in the department from 1965-1983. It also recognizes the great support and friendship he received from his wife, Myrl. This prize is given annually for the best China-focused essay written in an Asian Languages and Cultures course. Dr. SE Kile presented this award to ALC graduate Nadir Gerber for his essay entitled Repaving the Silk Road: Chinese Cultural Production in Xinjiang. This essay, written for Dr. Brose's 300-level research seminar, considers the artistic culture, particularly music and dance performance, of Xinjiang as a practical case study of how cultural policies of the Chiense government interact with practical transnational relations.

The seventh annual Kristin Carosella Memorial Fellowship named in honor of a 2013 graduate in Asian Studies and Anthropology who, following graduation, pursued a career teaching English to school-age children in China before her death in September 2014. Through generous donations from the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies; the Center for Japanese Studies; the Nam Center for Korean Studies; the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures; the Department of Anthropology; and the Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, this fellowship has been established in perpetuity to honor her life and to inspire other students to pursue service to others through teaching in Asia. Teaching Professor of Japanese, Yoshihiro Mochizuki, presented the award to Kerra Hinrichs, who was recently selected as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) for The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET). Excelling in all the qualiies essential to teaching and mentoring in her Japanese language classes, Kerra hopes to move to Japan very soon to teach English as a second language.


Following the presentation of awards, our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Markus Nornes, recognized the hard work of the six students graduating from the Asian Studies major with Honors. Graduating with Honors not only requires completing the major with stellar grades, but also working closely with a faculty member to complete an Honors thesis. The 2024 ALC Honors graduates were:

  • Hannah Glass-Chapman 'Chinese Cinema?' The Curation of Perception Through Media Collections
    • advised by Professor Markus Nornes
  • Alexander Johnson Exploring the Relationships Between Boys' Love and Japan's LGBTQ+ Community
    • advised by Professor Reginald Jackson
  • Pristina Koon Contact and Maintenence: A Cham Meta-Analysis
    • advised by Professor Trent Walker
  • Daize Li Representations of Modernity in Three Japanese Meiji and Taisho Period Fictions
    • advised by Professor Christopher Hill
  • Ken Park Misreading the Roof: The Promoters of Roof Replacement Programs and Rural Subordination in South Korea, 1970s
    • advised by Professor Juhn Ahn
  • Raymond Tran Real Estate and Urban Migration in Japan and Korea
    • advised by Professor Juhn Ahn
(L-R): Hannah Glass-Chapman, Alexander Johnson, Pristina Koon, Daize Li

Twenty students graduated with an Asian Studies major in 2024, exemplifying the diverse range of academic interests represented in the many areas of study our department offers. This year's graduating class comprises of 9 Chinese studies students, 8 Japanese studies students, 2 Korean studies students, and 1 Southeast Asian studies student.

Chinese Studies Japanese Studies Korean Studies
Nadir El-Azar Rae Gerber Audrey Dozeman Sang Min Ahn
Hannah Ju Glass-Chapman Vishwaas Reddy Gangeddula Ken Park
Robin Katherine Goldman Kerra Marie Hinrichs  
Isabel Tze-Yau Lee Addison Horton  
Maggie Li Alexander James Johnson  
Skylar Kennedy Sakis Daize Li  
Nina Lauren Sebastien Janice Lin  
Jessica Wang Raymond Tran  
Daniel Stephen WIlson Southeast Asian Studies  
  Pristina Nesmith Koon  
(Back row, L-R): Nina Sebastien, Kerra Hinrichs, Nadir Gerber, Pristina Koon, Daize Li, Vishwaas Reddy, Daniel Wilson (Front row, L-R): Maggie Li. Hannah Glass-Chapman, Alexander Johnson, Janice Lin, Audrey Dozeman, Isabel Lee, Katherine Goldman

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures wishes to extend a sincere congratulations to all of our awardees and graduates this year. Thank you for taking part in this special day.