2001 Student-Faculty Fellows: Austin College
Mongolia and China: Individual Projects
Mentor: Charles C. Krusekopf, Department of Economics and Business Administration
Students: Amanda Lauren Darby ’03; Michael Andrew Dorsey ’02; Charles Caleb Dupuis ’02; Georgina Michel ’03; Sarah Rush ’03
Abstracts of Reflections and/or Research
Charles C. Krusekopf
Participation in the ASIANetwork-Freeman Foundation Fellowship program offered several benefits to both my personal research and professional development, and to the development of Asian Studies and awareness of Asia at Austin College. I was able to conduct interviews and gather information in support of several projects and papers I am working on related to Mongolia and China during my stay with the students in the region. It was my first visit to Mongolia in four years, and I was able to reestablish numerous contacts during my time there. These contacts also assisted the students during their research. Our trip and research has garnered a great deal of interest both on campus and in the wider community. Before we left we were profiled in the local newspaper. While we were in Asia, many people followed our travels through our web site and the reports that were regularly sent back. Now that we have returned, we have a busy schedule of speaking engagements and research presentation both on and off campus. The experience generated a great deal of interest in Austin College’s newly established Asia Studies program, and educated numerous local people about the issues, people and places of North East Asia.
The Importance of the Mongolian-Russian Relationship for Mongolia’s National Security & Development
My experience in Asia on the ASIANetwork-Freeman Foundation Student-Faculty Fellowship was the most exciting and rewarding time in my life. I learned much about the world and my place in it. Many academic theories about people, culture, politics and ethics are clearer to me in ways they never were before. The opportunities to interact with different peoples in the Asian region have expanded my cultural tolerance and my communication skills. Over the summer I was able to gather valuable information regarding my research topic. Our formal meetings with Mongolian officials were very informative, and the written materials I obtained have been very helpful. Listening to and participating in the interviews and lectures in China and Japan also helped me to understand how other Asian nations view Russia’s place in Mongolia’s foreign policy. I also conducted informal interviews with average Mongolian and Russian citizens, which were not only fun, but also gave interesting insights about how the two peoples regard each other’s nations now and how their opinions have changed over the last ten years.
Economic Reform & the Mongolian Elections of 2000
Over the past 3 months, my knowledge and understanding of Mongolia has grown dramatically as a result of hours of field research and experiential learning. Over the summer I met with a multitude of government officials, acquired documents, reports and newspapers and interviewed a wide variety of people across Asia in order to gain a clear understanding of Mongolia’s international economic policies over the past five years. This trip had a profound impact on my dreams and goals for the future. I do not necessarily know if my career will directly involve Mongolia or Asia but I certainly have a much broader perspective of the world and dream of being able to help the people in those countries. Over the summer I also learned an important lesson about education. I understand now how important it is to be engaged in the learning process. I value all the wonderful things I learned this summer about Mongolia and Asia, but I value my newfound passion for learning even more.
Charles Caleb Dupuis
Preserving Independence: Mongolia’s National Security Policies in the 1990s
After traveling to Japan, China, Mongolia and Russia, my impressions of Asia, the world and even myself have completely changed. My visit to each of these countries and the exposure that I had to the life in each of these places have changed the way I view my own world and my own life. My trip to Asia in the summer of 2001 was the most formative experience of my education thus far. I can summarize the entire experience in one word: empowering. Traveling in Asia allowed me to understand Mongolian national security in a deeper sense and gain a different perspective on my research through my own first hand experiences. I met with many important officials in Japan, China and Mongolia, and was able to gather the information necessary to write a major paper on Mongolia’s national security policy. I am currently working on that paper, and hope to get it published after presenting it at several conferences.
Transitions to Independence or Further Dependence?
The Role of International Organizations in Mongolia’s Economic Development
The purpose of our trip to Asia was to research Mongolia’s External Relations and how they have evolved during the 1990s. My research topic focuses on the relationship between Mongolia and the international donor community. The goal of my paper is to determine whether or not Mongolia is economically dependent on foreign aid. This topic seemed fairly straightforward until I experienced the atmosphere and daily life in Mongolia and interviewed a number of officials. I realized that a series of factors influence Mongolia’s economy and aid relations. Without a doubt I can say that my knowledge and understanding of Asian cultures increased through my field research work to a level that would not have otherwise been achieved. Prior to the fall of 2000, I had never been interested in Asia, and now I have enrolled in Japanese language classes and plan to pursue a Minor in Asian Studies. Going to Asia was like discovering a new world of opportunities. After being there, I know that even though the cultures are different from my own, working and living in Asia is something I would like to try to do in the future.
Mongolia & China in the Post-Cold War Era
My trip to Asia this summer made me realize so much and appreciate what I have so much more. I never imagined that my whole life could be so altered and yet defined by one trip. The trip altered my understanding of people. It seems so simple, yet I am able to understand that just because others look different from me, they are not necessarily different from me. We all share a sense of being, whether or not we have the same types of freedoms or lifestyles. In addition to personal exchanges, I was able to complete the majority of my research this summer. My project focuses on Chinese-Mongolian relations, therefore the most important part of my research came from our trip to China. In China we lived and studied at the Beijing Foreign Affairs College. While we were there, we took classes from several highly regarded professors. I feel that I have a much better understanding of China after our visit. I was also able to visit the Chinese Embassy in Mongolia and meet with a number of Mongolian officials and academics who helped me gain an understanding of how Mongolia views China.
Venues for Sharing
- September 19, 2001, group presentation to the Grayson Rotary Club.
- October 12, 2001. Group panel presentation, “Foreign Relations in NE Asia: Mongolia, China, Japan and Russia” at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies, San Antonio, Texas.
- November 3, 2001. Presentations to the Board of Trustees and to major donors to Austin College.
- November 13, 2001. Social Science Colloquium for the students, faculty and staff of Austin College.