Gunter-Gross Asia Initiative Recipients

Elana Zeltser

As recipients of the Gunter-Gross Summer Fellowship both Demren Sinik ’13, who traveled to Turkey, and Jamie Chang ‘13, who traveled to South Korea, explored their countries of origin.

Sinik interviewed students and professors about their opinions on Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey.

“[Some things] simply can’t be learned in the classroom or sitting at home in front of the computer,” Sinik said.  “By going to Turkey I learned a lot of information about Turkish politics, but the whole experience really went beyond that. I really got a sense of what people my age were feeling about their country.”

Chang took photographs of elderly people for a South Korean ritual where a recent portrait of the deceased is placed next to a closed casket at the funeral.

While the portraits are culturally significant, many people can’t afford them, or are physically incapable of getting to the studio, so Chang donated them.

Chang described her ovreall experience as “overwhelming and amazing at the same time. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to do it.”