Six students are researching fencing, teaching English, exploring how regions recover from natural disasters and immersing themselves in Asian languages, thanks to grants from the Department of Asian Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences.
The summer study, research and service travel grants help students pay for travel and living expenses. At the end of the summer, students complete a paper summarizing their language and cultural experiences. Funding for the grants comes in part from alumni gifts, as well as through funding from the Yasuko Nakanishi-Whitman Memorial Fund for Japanese Language Studies and the Irene M. Anderson summer travel scholarship fund.
Paola Camacho-Lemus ’18, a religious studies and Asian studies major, is interested in how people heal from large-scale traumatic events, so she’s in Japan to talk to people affected by the triple disaster of 2011, when the strongest recorded earthquake in Japan’s history triggered a tsunami and also caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
“So far, I have visited some of the most affected towns on the coast line of the Northeast of Japan that are currently rebuilding and recovering,” she said. “One of the most challenging things about my research thus far is how sensitive the subject matter I'm exploring is. However, I have met many incredible people and heard so many inspiring and unique stories about the events following the disasters.”
Her goal is to document how religious institutions in Japan are helping to ameliorate the effects of these disasters. Camacho-Lemus is also a Mellon-Mays undergraduate fellow.
To read more about what some of the other students are researching this summer, find the complete article, here.