Yuan Yuan '13

 

Hometown: Shanghai, China

Current town: Chicago, IL

What are you doing now?

I just finished my first year of JD degree at the University of Chicago Law School. In the summer of 2014, I completed an internship at a legal clinic in Israel, working closely with African asylum seekers in Israel who fled their country due to Darfur genocide in the case of Sudanese refugees and compulsory military service in the case of Eritrean refugees. Starting my second year soon, I will narrow my study towards international human rights.

How did your experience in the History department at Agnes Scott help prepare you? 

My study with the History department at Agnes Scott has shaped and is still shaping my career goal. I found my passion in international human rights from studying about the Holocaust with Professor Kennedy, conducting an independent research on genocide education in Cambodia, writing my senior thesis on Jewish refugees in China during WWII, and studying abroad in Europe where I visited major concentration camps and Holocaust memorials. All these experiences have formed a source of inspiration, and every time I am confused about what I am going to do at every step of my life, I look back at them and they keep informing me about the right choice to make. Having studied about atrocities and inequalities in history, I am committed to making improving human rights protection as my career goal. 

One particular example about how history empowers me comes from my interaction with African refugees in Israel. From doing research on how Jewish refugees interacted with local Chinese, despite of all the language and cultural barriers, during WWII, I learned how to approach and become friends with a group of people with distinctive backgrounds in a foreign setting. Every step that I took and every conversation I had in the African community in Israel was made possible because every time I faced linguistic or cultural challenge, I thought of those Jewish refugees, and after that, I was empowered and encouraged.

Any advice for future Scotties or future History Majors?

Study abroad in the region of your interest, do an independent research, and swing by professors' office whenever you feel like to.