Senior showcases biographic

After traveling to Korea last summer, Chronicle Sports Online Editor Connor Reese ’17 created a HW Go!-sponsored film illustrating the life and achievements of his great-grandfather Chu Yohan which he screened Jan. 26.
With funds granted by the Asian Initiative Fellowship, Reese spent 10 days in and around Seoul conducting interviews and primary research, followed by two and a half months of editing and translating his film.
The unlisted YouTube video is spreading by word of mouth, but Reese hopes to present his film at festivals or to Korean groups in the community.
“I don’t think I went with a true academic bent in the beginning, but once I was there and interviewing these people and truly appreciating that they took their time out of their day and took their time to actually prepare for interviews, I really thought of it more as a big research project that I was doing, and that it was actually very fun and that it was a very engaging and thoughtful thing to participate in,” Reese said.
Learning about Yohan, who promoted Korean nationalism through his poetry, resisted the Japanese occupation of Korea and served in the Korean government, inspired Reese to become more interested in the personal aspects of foreign policy as well as in his heritage.
“This really exposed me to the fact that you should really learn and understand your roots and that it helps you be more grounded and understand what people sacrificed and what they did to get you to where you are,” Reese said.
Reese, who said he has always been fascinated with political science, became interested in international relations after his trip.
He said seeing a more personalized account of history prompted him to consider a field in which he can interact more with people.
“Personal impact is much more important in the broader scheme of things than simply the big picture,” Reese said.
Reese said foreign policy is often times too oriented toward the big picture and fails to take into account smaller opinions and personal stories. He said foreign policy does not consider the ramifications on citizens’ lives.

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