-- Jennifer Yum of Tustin, Calif., a junior majoring
in history and international relations, has been named
a 2004 Beinecke Scholar at Wellesley College. The Beinecke
Scholarship Program provides generous financial support
for the graduate education of "young men and women
of exceptional promise" who plan to attend graduate
school in the arts, humanities and social sciences and
provides $32,000 toward expenses for graduate study in
M.A. or Ph.D. programs.
year approximately 100 colleges and universities are
invited to nominate one student for a Beinecke Scholarship.
Yum is one of 18 scholars honored this year. The daughter
of Sinja and Yung Yum, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in
East Asian history.
at Wellesley, Yum has been a contributor to Counterpoint,
the MIT-Wellesley monthly journal, and has been an active
performer in vocal music, including choral and opera
productions. She received First Year Academic Distinction
as well as the 2003 Barnette Miller Foundation Prize
from the History Department. She has had a research paper,
"Assessing the Fate of the Developmental State After
Crisis: A South Korean Case Study," published in Hemispheres,
the Tufts University Journal of International Affairs.
goal for the future lies in better understanding of the
past. I seek to become a historian of East Asia," wrote
Yum on her scholarship application. Growing up in a large
Asian immigrant community in Los Angeles, she said, let
her develop an early interest in her field of scholarsly
endeavor. "My (Korean) parents gave me my first history
lessons by sharing their memories of their homeland,"
courses at Wellesley, Yum notes, "allowed me to see East
Asis for the first time from an academic perspective."
As a sophomore she took a pivotal course on Japanese
colonialism that "pushed me to think beyond the moral
narrative," and "set me on a path of academic growth
that has brough me to my current aim to study history
as my life's work."
her Ph.D., she will need to be able to recognize nearly
5,000 Chinese characters and attain language proficiency
in Korean, Japanese and Chinese, in addition to the required
study of diverse historical contexts.
summer she worked as a reporter in training at the Chosun
Ilbo, South Korea's largest newspaper. This experience
allowed her to conduct research on heated issues such
as the North Korean nuclear crisis, anti-Americanism
and South Korean labor unrest, as she interviewed politicians,
labor union leaders, journalists, professors and youth
protestors. Particularly interested in the history of
colonial Korea, her senior thesis will explore the role
of the Chosun Ilbo in the Korean nationalist movement.
Beinecke award will go a long way toward helping Yum
realize her goals. "As a professor of East Asian history,
I hope to share my knowledge, as well as my dedication
to the discipline, to the next generation of students,"
she said. "To seek new insights and teach others to follow
suit is the only way to ensure that curious minds will
continue to look back and ask 'how' and why.'"
1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an
excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make
a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston
is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states
and 68 countries. For more information, go to http://new.wellesley.edu/.