Profiles and News of many of our current students, from the Winter 2007 Newsletter. Online versions of past newsletters can be found here.
Angkana Chairatananon completed her PhD in Urban and Regional Planning with a dissertation titled: "Local Street Design and Transit Accessibility: Access to Mainline Public Transportation in Bangkok Neighborhoods."
Catherine Fortin completed her PhD in Linguistics with a dissertation titled, "Indonesian Sluicing and Verb Phrase Ellipsis: Description and Minimalist Explanation." She accepted a two-year post as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Carleton College in Minnesota.
Nick Jorgensen, PhD Political Science 2005, is now Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.
Brendan Kavaney completed his MBA and MA in SEAS in April 2007 with a thesis entitled, "The role of government in Thailand's banking sector." He has accepted a U.S.-based position as General Engagement Manager with HCL Technologies, a leading Indian IT services company.
Shad Kidd, MA in SEAS 2006, passed the bar and has been commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps of the US Air Force. His first assignment is in Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Justin May completed his PhD in Economics in August 2007. He has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Kenneth MacLean, PhD Anthropology 2006, is finishing up his two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for International and Comparative Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, and will move on this Fall to a tenure-track position at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Adam Mele completed his MA in SEAS in April 2007 with a dissertation titled, "The Familiar and the Foreign in Christian Indonesia."
Pat Pranke, PhD in Buddhist Studies 2004, has accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Louisville as an assistant professor of Asian religions in the Religious Studies Program.
Ronit Ricci, PhD in Comparative Literature 2006, will be at Columbia University's Institute for Comparative Literature and Society as a postdoctoral fellow during the Fall 2007 semester. From January, she'll be a postdoctoral fellow at the Asia Research Institute in Singapore for 1-2 years.
Aaron Stern, PhD Political Science 2006, moved in February 2007 from the Government Accountability Office to the U.S. Agency for International Development, where is a Foreign Service Officer.
Sup (Supaporn) Thanasombat, completed her MPP at the Ford School of Public Policy in April 2007. She is currently working at an affordable housing consulting agency in Washington D.C.
Marina Welker completed her PhD in Anthropology in 2006 with a dissertation entitled “Global Capitalism and the ‘Caring Corporation’; Mining and the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement in Indonesia and Denver” with Webb Keane as her chair. She is now Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Cornell University.
Esther Whang graduated with her Masters in Social Work in April 2006. She is currently in Phnom Penh, Cambodia working with two Christian NGOs focusing on the aftercare of girls who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.
Hillary Brass is a first year doctoral student in linguistic anthropology with an area focus in Indonesia. She studied anthropology and Japanese as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame. After graduating, she lived in Bali as a high school English teacher for a year. For her first year of graduate study, she received funding through FLAS. She is interested in language issues pertaining to gender, class, and age, including power relations expressed through language. Her senior thesis was on the changing nature of Japanese women's language (JWL). Her current research interest involves codeswitching between English and Indonesian in youth culture in Indonesia.
P. Kerry Brewer is an incoming Center MA. She is a North Carolina native graduating in 2006 from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill with a BS in psychology. Extending her undergraduate degree in the context of Southeast Asia, she plans to explore the intersection of psychology, the anthropology of development, and mental and physical health in Thailand.
Scotty Mc Loughlin is a first-year doctoral student in cultural anthropology, and focusing on a Philippine Christian hinterland community. He received his undergraduate degree in history and anthropology at NUI Maynooth, in Ireland, where I also completed a Masters in anthropology. For my Masters thesis, he focused on the world’s fairs in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, tersely titled ‘‘Confucius and the head-hunting savage of Assam: Contradictions and Syntheses of the Irish Experience at World’s Fairs 1851-1908."
Daniel C. Miller is a first-year doctoral student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. His research focuses on the complementarities and trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and human development, with geographic interests in Indonesia and West Africa. After completing his BA and MA in Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he worked for Joyo Indonesia News Service in New York, a local NGO, Yayasan Dian Tama, in Indonesian Borneo, and, most recently, the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago.
Joshua Monthei is an incoming Center MA who is also pursuing a Masters in Urban Planning. He graduated from Kalamazoo College with a BA in Sociology. He plans to investigate the development of urban transportation systems in Thailand and how non-governmental organizations plan to incorporate the local citizenry into the transportation planning process.
Sandeep Ray is an incoming MA in SEAS. Sandeep spent his infant years in a small town adjacent to a rubber plantation in Malaysia and then moved to India where he attended primary and secondary school. He attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts where he designed a major in Filmmaking and Anthropolgy and has pursued a career in documentary filmmaking since graduating in 1993. He has filmed, among other places, in Kolkata, Kalimantan and the Kalahari. During his MA studies Sandeep will focus on Indonesia where he lived very briefly while working on ethnographic film projects in Java and Borneo. He will also be studying introductory Indonesian this year.
Continuing Graduate Students
Antonette Adiova is a second-year doctoral student in Musicology. A native of San Diego, California, she recently graduated from the University of California-San Deigo with a BA in Music Humanities and a BSc in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience. Her research interests include Filipino/ Filipino-American music and Asian-American music-making.
Saul Allen is completing his MA in SEAS and has entered the PhD program in Asian Languages and Cultures, where he will work on modern Indonesian literature, and continue studying advanced Indonesian with his FLAS award. This past summer, besides getting married and traveling to Singapore and Burma, Saul continued to develop online Indonesian grammar exercises for U-M’s Language Resource Center.
Dan Birchok, PhD in Anthropology and History, received the Rackham International Research Award (RIRA), the Fulbright U.S. Student Award from IIE, and the Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research grant. He declined the IIE and accepted the RIRA and Fulbright-Hays for the purposes of funding his dissertation research on the narration of histories of Islamic practice in Aceh since Indonesian independence (1945).
Shawn Callanan is completing his MA in SEAS thesis while working as a research assistant for the Center and playing in the gamelan. He plans to apply for PhD programs in Indonesian literature.
Alex Cannon, PhD student in Musicology, received a grant from the Center for World Performance Studies and spent two months in Vietnam where he conducted research and took lessons on the dan tranh. He will be a GSI for gamelan in 2007-2008.
Jessica Craft is a second-year MA in SEAS student from California who obtained her BA in history from the University of California-Berkeley. Jessica is interested in how modern history has shaped intra- and inter-ethnic relations in multicultural Malaysia, with a focus on the South Asian community. She has visited Malaysia three times and is now studying beginning Indonesian.
Bretton Dimick is a second-year doctoral student in ethnomusicology. He received a BA in ethnomusicology from NYU’s Gallatin School in 2004. For the next two years, he worked as an editor and contributor at an English language newspaper in Hanoi, Vietnam, also studying with a Vietnamese luthier, a violinist, and a dan bau (monochord) player. He spent the summer of 2007 in Hanoi researching Ca tru, a genre of sung poetry, and studying dan day (three-stringed lute) performance with Nguyen Van Khue of the Ca Tru Thai Ha Ensemble, with funding from the Center for World Performance Studies Residency. His research interests include music, language, culture, and historiography. He also plays the fiddle.
Jennifer Epley, PhD in Political Science, focuses on religion and politics in Southeast Asia with a particular emphasis on public opinion and political behavior in contemporary Indonesia. She recently finished fieldwork abroad and is now in the process of writing her dissertation.
Marco Garrido is a fourth- year doctoral student in Sociology. His research is on the Left in the Philippines. Marco participated in the Advanced Filipino Abroad Program this past summer where he won awards for Best Debater and Best Research Presentation.
Mya Gosling, MA in SEAS graduate 2005, had a summer internship at the Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore. She is completing U-M’s one-year Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies program. She had a summer internship in Bangkok at the Somdetphraphanwassa Royal Museum.
Jumin Kim is a second-year doctoral student in the joint Social Work/Sociology PhD program with a special interest in Thailand, where she grew up and is fluent in the language. She is interested in learning more about community development and community organizing, especially among low-income populations in Bangkok and other urban areas.
Amy Kimura is a PhD candidate in Musicology. With funding through Fulbright-Hays, she spent the summer studying Indonesian and eating bats in and around Manado, North Sulawesi, with travels also to Bali, Java, and Singapore. Amy received a FLAS award for this year and will be continuing her Indonesian studies, adding Dutch as well in order to facilitate research into the effects of the mass media on music consumption and composition in late-colonial-era Indonesia.
Kevin Ko is a second-year MA in SEAS student who grew up in northern New Jersey and majored in history at Wheaton College in Illinois. He was accepted into the COTIM Advanced Indonesian program in Manado this past summer.
Cynthia Marasigan, a PhD Candidate in History, is currently writing her dissertation, "Ambivalent Belligerents: African American soldiers, Filipino Revolutionaries, and the Philippine-American War." Her research interests include U.S. Empire in the Philippines and Pacific, as well as Asian American history. She is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, FLAS award, and George C. Marshall/ Baruch fellowship, and is currently a fellow with the Global Ethnic Literatures Seminar. In Winter 2008, she will teach an undergraduate course called "Variations of Empire: Comparative U.S. Interventions from 1887 to the Present" in the Department of Comparative Literature.
Jack Merchant completed his MA in SEAS in April 2007 with a dissertation titled, "Nguyen Du's Tale of Kieu in Historical Perspective." He will enter the PhD in History in Fall 2007.
Bria Morgan is a second-year Masters student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, where she has a National Science Foundation fellowship and will focus on participatory environmental planning in developing countries, particularly in marginalized communities. Bria speaks Indonesian fluently, having lived in West Kalimantan for nearly seven years during her school years while her anthropologist mother was doing her research. Bria obtained her BA in Political Science and Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University, after which she did tsunami relief work with Save the Children in Banda Aceh, and then did research in participatory forest management for the Center for International Forestry Research, mostly in small Indonesian villages.
Carrie Morris, Masters in Fine Arts student, spent several years as a director of experimental theater and video in New York before coming to U-M where she has been working with puppetry and performing objects. In summer 2006 she studied first-year Indonesian on a FLAS at SEASSI, then went to Indonesia on a grant from U-M's Center for World Performance Studies. She interviewed traditional and contemporary wayang kulit dhalangs in Solo, Yogyakarta, and Purwokerto, and continued her research on wayang sandosa, or multimedia shadow puppetry, a contemporary iteration of wayang kulit. Carrie is a GSI in the School of Art and Design.
Ricardo Punzalan is a second-year doctoral student in the School of Information. He is also an Assistant Professor of Archival Studies at the University of the Philippines Institute of Library and Information Science, where he obtained his Masters degree, concentrating in archival and museum studies. His research explores the role of hospital records in the compulsory isolation and segregation of leprosy patients in Culion Island, a former "leper" colony in the Philippines.
Jeremy Saul is a second-year doctoral student in Asian Languages and Cultures focusing on Indonesia. Jeremy is interested in the intersection of oral and written literature, and hopes to examine the literature of hadrah, Islamic oral performance from Madura that narrates a spiritual journey reaching back to the arrival of Islam in the archipelago. He lived in Indonesia and Thailand for seven years, developing fluency in both national languages. His is also interested in comparison with South Asian languages and literatures, and in what Asian language literatures have to say about Asian cultures other than their own. Jeremy has an MA in Art History from Berkeley and a BA from Columbia.
Joel Selway, PhD Candidate in Political Science, is in Thailand on a Fulbright-Hayes award, conducting his doctoral field research on ethnicity, poverty and public policy. Joel won the Center’s Moscotti Best Paper competition for 2006.
Andrew Shepard, JD student, spent the summer working for the U.S. State Department in Tokyo and for the law firm of Baker & McKenzie in Bangkok. Andrew is now a GSI in the Screen Arts and Cultures Department, and a Contributing Editor for the Michigan Journal of International Law.
Kathryn (Kate) Skillman finished her MA in Southeast Asian studies in August 2007. She spent the past summer studying intensive Arabic at UM with a FLAS from the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Kate has now begun a PhD program in Asian Languages and Cultures at UM to continue her study of the uses of language and Islam in Indonesia.
Jennifer Tatomir completed her MA in SEAS and is now pursuing an M. Sc. in the U-M School of Information while continuing her study of advanced Thai language.
Kharis Templeman is a doctoral candidate in Political Science. He is currently a dissertation fellow at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, in Taipei, Taiwan, where he is conducting dissertation research on opposition party development in dominant-party regimes, in particular, those in Taiwan, Japan, and Malaysia. He is also affiliated with the Center for Chinese Studies and has lived and traveled extensively in mainland China.
Gabriel Thoumi, MBA / MS School of Natural Resouces (Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise) student, interned last summer with the Malaysian Nature Society (Pencinta Alam Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur, creating a debt-for-nature Islamic bond concept memo. He also interned with American Express in New York as a portfolio strategist in their Risk, Information, and Banking group, and spent three weeks in August studying Mandarin in Beijing. This summer, he worked for WWF Indonesia designing carbon forestry products and he helped start a company in Kemang, Jakarta called Veridian, LLC that focuses on the carbon markets. This fall he is writing his thesis on the carbon markets while living in Bali.
Mira Yusef, Masters in Social Work/MA in SEAS dual degree student, received a David L. Boren Fellowship which will bring her to Sabah, Malaysia from January-August 2007 to study Malay language and conduct research on Filipina migrant workers. In the spring Mira presented papers on Filipina domestic workers at events of the U-M Muslim Graduate Students Association, and at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The center is committed to promoting a broader and deeper understanding of Southeast Asia and its peoples, cultures, and historiesby providing resources for faculty, students and the community to learn and disseminate knowledge about the region.