Engaging with peers is an essential part of the graduate student's academic and social experience. Not only does it have positive effects on learning outcomes, it provides a crucial avenue for establishing and strengthening collegial bonds among individuals who can serve as mentors and friends throughout one's professional career.
APSI's Asian Pacific Forum is an interdisciplinary colloquium series for graduate students at Duke. Held monthly during the academic year, the Forum provides masters and PhD students with the opportunity to share their research with peers and faculty. The Forum also provides a venue for students to hear presentations from visiting scholars and faculty experts.
In Fall 2019, the series began with a session led by Career Services staff who encouraged attendees to reflect on their academic and personal interests and seek out areas where the these spheres overlap. Following the reflection exercise, students literally posted their representations to the walls and were encouraged to look for common areas among classmates and also to suggest university and community resources that would enable students to pursue their interests over the course of their studies. The meeting concluded with a Q&A on networking, covering several important "do's" and "don'ts," and a reminder that Career Services is a resource available to students at all stages of their professional development.
The next events featured students in APSI's MA in East Asian Studies program who received funding from APSI to conduct research over the summer. They provided insight into the process of their research, sharing candid details about the progress and setbacks they encountered along the way.
At the October event, 2nd-year EAS-MA student Aixin Yi presented her work on Christianity and Rural Migrant Worker’s Agency in Urbanizing China while her classmate, Yingzhi Xu, shared her findings from studying Mate preference in Online Dating Markets. In October, graduating student Ruoyao Pan presented her MA capstone project, "Between the Sacred and Mundane: Exploring Buddhism in Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture," and 2nd-year EAS-MA student Xuehao Ma presented some preliminary findings from his research on Japanese Melodrama and Local Development: Iwate as an Example that had been supported by an APSI summer research grant. In December, 2nd-year EAS-MA student Robert Werder discussed his research on Living a Zhihu (知乎)Life, while Ngoc Phan, a PhD candidate in Political Science, shared research underlying his new paper, Elasticity in Bribery in Vietnamese Customs. Second-year EAS-MA student Yaming You concluded the session with a presentation about her research on Policing Prostitutes in Republican Canton.