Boston Common, 14 February 2010

Boston Common, 14 February 2010

Hi, my name is Jeewon Kim (A’11). I’m a current resident of Miami, FL by way of Fairfax County, VA where I attended Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Before that, I was born and raised in North Canton, OH (home of the Football Hall of Fame as well as the Hoover Vacuum Company).

My younger sister Jeeyoon  and I are the children of a father who immigrated from Korea in the 70’s and a mother whose roots travel to Finland and Germany by way of the Pennsylvania Dutch. While I haven’t traveled to Korea since I was 6 years old and my Korean vocabulary and pronunciation is pitiful, I have a rice cooker in my off-campus apartment at Tufts and held my 21st birthday party at a noraebang (Korean karaoke) in Allston.

In my time at Tufts, I’ve become extremely involved in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development. I’ve spent my past two spring breaks with the Eliot-Pearson New Orleans Project and Professor Chip Gidney in post-Katrina New Orleans, and yes, they still need our help. Last year I served as a peer leader and organizer for the trip and I look forward to returning in the spring of 2011.

I also work closely with Professor Jayanthi Mistry and her Navigating Across Cultures research lab. Professor Mistry’s scholarship focuses on immigrant youth, and under her guidance, I recently completed a pilot evaluation of youth programming at The Welcome Project (TWP) of Somerville, MA. TWP is a non-profit organization devoted to education and advocacy with Somerville’s vibrant immigrant community. The program that I evaluated was the Liaison Interpreters Program of Somerville (LIPS), one that is actually affiliated with this Urban Borderlands course. I will also be writing a senior honor’s thesis based on my work with the LIPS and I look forward to another full year of collaboration with these impressive youth.

I intend to pursue a career in education research, and my hope is that Urban Borderlands will be a useful addition to my growing toolkit of scholarly inquiry. I look forward to approaching a subject matter that I’m relatively familiar with (Somerville’s immigrant community) through a lens that I’m totally unaccustomed to (anthropology).

Here’s to a great semester!