In Spring 2019, 21JPSI launched a new “Student Ambassadors” program. Student Ambassadors help promote 21JPSI programming to fellow students and support 21JPSI staff organizing events, inter alia. As the program expands, they will also mentor their “kohai.” Our inaugural Student Ambassadors are Evan Wright and Summer Snyder—both students in the Hamilton Lugar School’s EALC Department. Their bios appear below:
- Evan Wright is currently a sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington, double-majoring in International Studies and East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) with a focus on Japan. His research interests include security, politics, immigration, and the U.S.-Japan alliance. Evan is from Greenwood, Indiana and first got interested in Japanese culture hearing his grandfather’s stories of working there as an engineer during the 1980s. Upon seeing an exhibit on Indiana-Japan relations at the Indiana State Fair in 2010, he developed an academic and intellectual fascination with Japan. Evan personal connection to Japan and initial interest led him to pursue Japanese language courses and to conduct research on Japanese history and politics. A formative experience was his participation as a high school student in the Reischauer Scholars Program (organized by Stanford University’s Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE)). His research project was ultimately published by SPICE in 2018. At IU, Evan serves as a student ambassador for 21JPSI and the Hamilton Lugar School, writes for News Decoder on foreign news, and founded the Reischauer Ambassador’s Initiative. He is considering a career in academia, the intelligence community, or consulting.
- Summer Snyder is currently a sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington, where she is double majoring in East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) and Economics/Political Science with a minor in Southeast Asian Studies. In her academic studies, She is interested in global development, trade policy, and security affairs in the Indo-Pacific. In 2016, Summer—who hails from Carmel, Indiana—became interested in Japan after she participated in the Japanese Exchange Program (JEP) through Carmel High School. After hosting a student from Carmel’s sister city (Kawachi-Nagano in Osaka prefecture), she decided to learn Japanese to be able to better communicate with her host-sister and to prepare for her three-week trip to Japan through JEP. After returning from her high school exchange, during which she discovered a passion for Japanese culture, Summer (self-)studied Japanese intensively. She made a second trip to Osaka in 2017 through Indiana University’s Honors Program in Foreign Languages. Studying abroad in Japan opened Summer’s eyes to new opportunities at IU, of which she has taken advantage. Outside of class, she serves as Vice President of the IU Japanese Student Association, an executive board member of Liberty in North Korea’s (LINK) education committee, Student Ambassador for 21JPSI, and a Japanese tutor for the company Owl Tutors. Summer’s career aspirations include work in the intelligence community, academia, consulting, and NGOs. In her free time, she enjoys studying Japanese and long-distance running. She has passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N2 and has run two full marathons.