Students Who Do Cool Things: Juhee Kwon ’14

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 4.17.14 PMWhile we understand that everyone is busy with finals and the ever-annoying task of packing (who knew you brought so much to school?!), take a few minutes to read about the work of Juhee Kwon ‘14, who compiled archival material and created a website to highlight the scholarship surrounding Asian American Studies at Brown. The website launched earlier this month and provides unique insight into the dynamics of identity within the context of both Brown and the United States more broadly. Check out our exclusive interview with Juhee below:

BlogDH: How did your project come to fruition? What was your ultimate goal in creating the webpage?

Juhee Kwon: The project was the Asian American program studies website. I wasn’t initially going to do anything for my senior thesis unless it was practical and… applicable. Asian American Studies is a field that has been burgeoning recently; there was an ethnic studies movement in the 60s where a lot of West Coast schools established colleges of Ethnic Studies and programs like that, and it has moved over the East Coast since. Brown has an Ethnic Studies program, but it doesn’t have Asian American Studies or Latino Studies or Native American Studies programs… but there is a lot of scholarship that is being produced in terms of the faculty and the graduate students.

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Robert Lee, who is in American Studies, requested that I compile an archive/website to showcase the amount of scholarship that has been produced, without any sort of University funding or help. Even without the University we have done this much… give us administrative support. [The website serves] as an abstract space so that scholars, graduate student and undergrads can come together and focus specifically on Asian American studies.

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Students Who Do Cool Things: Cody Fitzgerald ’15 and Stolen Jars

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Cody Fitzgerald ’15, a music and computer science double concentrator and the creative force behind the musical project Stolen Jars, has spent years mastering the art of turning musical complexity into simplicity: “I’m really interested in rhythms of parts becoming one part together, and things becoming indistinguishable from each other even though they’re played by different instruments or done by different things and just becoming one melody.”

Fitzgerald, who grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, describes Stolen Jars as a “kind of loop-based music—it mixes between, like, Dan Deacon and Dirty Projectors.” He also cites the ska punk band Bomb! the Music Industry as an influence, having first played in bands of that genre before launching his own projects. “I played in some pretty terrible bands [in middle school]“, Fitzgerald says. In high school, he became more serious about music, forming three different bands that would each record an album.  “After that, I realized I really wanted to do something that was more my own music,” he recalls. “Those other bands were more collaborative, and I started Stolen Jars as a way to make something that was really just me.”

The unorthodox name was a product of Fitzgerald’s perception of his music: “When I was writing [the first album], it always felt to me like I was taking these little tiny pieces of things and putting them together in very weird ways, and that’s kind of what the music sounded like to me: somebody having these little jars of sound and just opening them up at really random times.”

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Students who do cool things: Musicians’ take on Chance the Rapper

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING! Put down your beer book and start watching that video. Right?! Holy crap, that voice is sultry as hell. And guess what: it belongs to a student here! In fact, all the members of this band go to Brown. A collaboration between top musicians such as Dolapo Akinkugbe (DAP) ’16, Clyde Lawrence ’15, and Bryn Bliska ’14, this impeccably shot cover of Chance the Rapper’s “Cocoa Butter Kisses” was conceived before BCA had even revealed that the mastermind of Acid Rap would be playing at Spring Weekend. As Clyde tells it, the group had played a cover of the song at a birthday party, and “once we heard he was coming, we decided we needed to make a video.”

But just look at them go! Chance must be proud. Tune in to this crew to finish your Spring Weekend right.

Here’s the entire list of folks rocking out in the cover:

Clyde Lawrence ’15 // Keys/Vocals
Dolapo Akinkugbe (aka DAP) ’16 // Vocals
Bryn Bliska ’14 // Organ/Vocals
Peter Enriquez ’14 // Guitar
Ana Gonzalez ’15 // Bass
Jamie Fried ’14 // Drums
Sumner Becker ’14 // Sax
Zach Levine ’15 // Trumpet
Filmed/Edited by:
Jordan Beard ’15
If you’re looking for more badass beats, go here for Clyde’s web site, here for DAP’s, here for Bryn’s and here for Jordan’s. You won’t regret it.

A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: After \ Devouring: An Evening of Dance by Sarah Friedland ’14 and Nadia Hannan ’14

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Looking for a cool thing you shouldn’t miss?  Check out the premiere of two new dance pieces, “After the Multiplex” and “The Process of Devouring,” choreographed by Sarah Friedland and Nadia Hannan respectively.  The performances are presented as a component of Sarah’s Modern Culture and Media honors thesis and a continuation of Nadia’s Performance Studies capstone.  Attention new sophomore concentrators in MCM and Performance Studies: if Heavy Petting failed to calm your post-declaration anxiety, this might be just the event to reassure your sorting-hat-determined decision.

The choreographers were kind enough to share with BlogDH some information about their respective works after the jump.

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Students who do cool things: Camila Bustos ’16, Mara Freilich ’15, and Sophie Purdom ’16

Senator Whitehouse speaking at the event to promote the Resilient RI Act and other climate change initiatives.

Senator Whitehouse speaking at the event to promote the Resilient RI Act and other climate change initiatives.

On Thursday, March 20th, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave a special legislative briefing on federal climate change initiatives, and more specifically, the Resilient Rhode Island Act. While you may know that State Rep. Art Handy and State Senator Susan Sosnowski hosted the event at the Capital building downtown, you might not know that the Resilient RI Act would not have been possible without a group of dedicated, driven, and eco-friendly students from our very own Brown University.

We sat down with Camila Bustos ’16, Mara Freilich ’15, and Sophie Purdom ’16,  three of the student interns working on the Resilient RI Act, that seeks to make Rhode Island better equipped to address climate change, to talk a little bit about the event, what they’ve contributed, and what they really think about the dining halls.

BlogDH: So you guys are involved in something called the Resilient Rhode Island Act. Can you explain what that is for me?

Camila: Yeah, so, this is a piece of legislation we’re trying to get passed with Representative Art Handy and a group of consultants. And, basically, it’s legislation that combines mitigation and adaptation efforts in the face of climate change in Rhode Island.

BlogDH: What are you guys, as students, doing? Or what are your specific contributions and responsibilities with the act?

Sophie: I would just say that there are definitely more than the three of us. There’s been about five interns every semester, so there were five people that stayed here over winter break and worked on it, and there’s five people working right now, and there will be people following up over the summer.

BlogDH: When did the first round of interns start?

Sophie: This winter. And it’s been nicely supported by the administration, and we work specifically with Professor of Environmental Sociology Timmons Roberts, and he’s been in the news a lot lately winning various awards and such. He’s a great guy. And there are two consultants as well, Ken Payne, who was the Rhode Island Senate Policy Council Chair, and he currently helps to run the Rhode Island Food Policy Council, and there’s Meg Kerr, who is an environmental consultant and [is[ basically  really great at running campaigns.

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Students who do cool things: Essie Quakyi ’14

While I was sophomore slumping and pretending to be productive over winter break, Essie Quakyi ’14 was launching not one, but two projects: Imagine Ghana and According to Plan. Imagine Ghana is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide underprivileged youths in Ghana with the necessary skills, resources, and opportunities to make an informed career decision for themselves. Essie hopes to cause a paradigm shift in the way young people in Ghana approach their career journeys. Unrelated, but equally cool, According to Plan is an event decor and design company also based on her home turf. BlogDailyHerald sat down with Essie to get the details on both projects.

BlogDH: When did you launch Imagine Ghana?

Essie: The Imagine Ghana initiative was unofficially launched in December 2013 in Ghana, though we’re looking to a do a bigger and more formal one in the next few months. This launch will bring together volunteers, educators, program participants, financiers and speakers.

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BlogDH: What were your motivations for starting the nonprofit?

Essie: My high school experience and my time at Brown forced me to become a more critical thinker and to identify potential for change around me, and so I constantly sought ways to improve the state of my home country, Ghana. After interning for some time in some government institutions in Ghana I quickly learned that “quick-fixes” for problems have truly held the country back, and that the most effective solutions are those that tackle problems at their root. In thinking about youth unemployment and the general approach to career decision in Ghana, I developed Imagine Ghana, which seeks to expose the youth in Ghana to a better way of thinking, and to challenge them to explore the ‘whys’ of their career choices.

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