University of Vermont

GIAC Student Presentation of Projects Day

Governor's Institute on Asian Cultures students present individualized projects before family, friends and community members

GIV director and two students taste food from Japan and discuss Japanese writing (left). From top to bottom, Austen discusses Japanese fashion, group picture, and Cypress explaining Manga styles

"It was the students' idea to organize the Presentation of Projects event today," explained program director, Jocelyn Fletcher Scheuch. Standing in front of an audience of students, family members and friends in the Waterman Memorial Lounge, Mrs. Fletcher-Scheuch recounted how it was less than nine months ago that the same group of people gathered to watch the GIAC students host the Closing Ceremonies. The Closing Ceremonies marked the end of a week-long introduction of Asian Culture and the students, of their own accord, took it upon themselves to determine how to best highlight the lessons that they gained that week.

“The Closing Ceremony was so successful that the students decided that they wanted to share their individualized research projects with everyone.” explained Mrs. Fletcher-Scheuch, referring to the project that students have spent the past nine months researching.

The topics of the day varied according to the personal interests of the student. During the first presentation of the day, entitled “Japanese Language” by Taylor Allred, Taylor explained how he had taught himself all three of the Japanese alphabets as well as several hundred Kanji characters. “I’m really, really interested in Japanese language and culture.” said Taylor at the start of his presentation as he led the audience through pronunciation exercises.

The presentations continued to encourage participant participation as Katiya Boudette and Stevie Hunter, who presented on Chinese and Japanese Mythology, asked the audience to compose their own myths based on their own Vermont culture. Donaghue Burke and Meg Lannen Neet had the audience practicing the four tones of the Chinese language, and Brooke Angell and Hunter Goodenough had the whole audience on their feet when it came time to taste samples of Japanese and Chinese cuisine.

Students displayed their skills in art and fashion as Austen Carpenter and Katherine Cook explained the history of fashion in China and the art of the Japanese kimono. “My grandmother and I made this kimono together.” Said Austen modestly, referring the aqua blue kimono she was wearing during the presentation. Cypress Ellen also received compliments for her drawing skills during her presentation on the “The History of Manga and the Influence of Manga in China”. Cypress created her own Manga comic to demonstrate the styles and themes present in Manga. Clare Salerno received a round of applause following her musical performance on the flute to support her presentation on “A Comparison of Chinese and Western Classical Music”.

The afternoon brought about more serious topics of presentation. Jhonna Dober provided a presentation on TaiChi, explaining to the audience that her appreciation for TaiChi developed during the summer GIAC program. Tai Chi, Jhonna explained, “helps me to calm down the 100 million thoughts I, or we, all have running through our heads”. Heather Perry and Keara Sternberg addressed China’s One Child Policy, with Keara asking the audience to consider various scenarios in which women and families are affected by the One Child Policy.

“Again, the students have done a wonderful job.” Concluded GIAC director Brian Nelligan. The presentation of projects marked the final stage that students must complete in order to be eligible to participate in the overseas program in China this summer.