Equipped to Lead and Succeed

Graduate School Reflections on Fall 2023

From knowledge consumers to knowledge producers

Three Dean’s Scholarship recipients, Evan Chan ’24, Yumejichi Fujita ’26, and Eric Asare ’25, share their reflections about the active learning in which they participated during the fall 2023 semester of their graduate studies in the College of Arts & Sciences:

“This semester has been a thrilling ride,” according to Chan, who highlighted his hands-on internship at Asia Society Northern California. There, he collaborated with the program directors to curate and lead dynamic public educational programs focused on the Asia Pacific. Chan’s work included helping to organize the two-day “Long Conversation” series at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in San Francisco in November, during which 16 leaders and thinkers from business, policy, education, and arts and culture discussed APEC 2023’s themes of resilience and entrepreneurship. Of his experience, Chan said, “Given the scale and magnitude of APEC in San Francisco, and that we were the only nonprofit organization in attendance at the summit, our ‘Long Conversation’ program was a colossal project. It was an honor to be a part of it.”

For her part, Fujita appreciated being able to participate in USF’s Sustainability Design Challenge and the Computer Science Club’s three-day Hackathon event in the fall semester. She said, “Both of the events were challenging because we had to make something in a limited period and collaborate with others, but they had amazing ideas and their energetic minds really impressed me, and we built a real app!”

Asare’s fall semester required him to help organize the 2nd International Conference on Critical Migration Scholarship, held on campus in November. With the theme of “Between Borders: The fight to belong,” the conference provided a platform for communities to dignify migration through advocacy and shared knowledge. Asare was most excited about the launch of Professor Bill Ong Hing's book, ’Humanizing Immigration: How to Transform our Racist and Unjust Immigration System,’ which Asare described as “a beacon for global transformation and justice within immigration systems.” He was also able to examine the interconnectedness of education, migration, and human rights while attending the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Western Regional Conference in Monterey, and visit the Pacific Grove’s Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary on his way back to campus.

Fujita emphasized the small class sizes and opportunities to work closely with professors and fellow graduate students: “The teaching and learning style was totally different from my first school back in Japan - professors here are really patient and willing to teach students.” Asare agreed: “Despite the complexities of some of the subjects, the professors simplified intricate concepts and welcomed diverse perspectives from students, fostering an inclusive learning environment.” For Chan, the connections, collaborations, and exchanges with graduate students in other departments doing “groundbreaking community-engaged and globally-engaged fieldwork, has been enlightening.” He observed, “As an undergraduate, I was a knowledge consumer; now, as a graduate student, I find myself in the exciting role of a knowledge producer, and it's been a deeply inspiring and empowering journey.”


The Dean’s Scholarship recognizes a select group of incoming students in graduate programs, who the admission committees believe will make a substantial contribution to the programs. Recipients are selected based on merit. To be considered for the Dean's Scholarship, students must apply to their program by the program's priority deadline.

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