Stephanie Chamberlain is from the rural, conservative, more-cows-than people Central Valley of California (Hello Visalia). She has been an asianophile since birth, and was raised by two asianophiles who led her down the path of anime, Chinese calligraphy, Indonesian Batik art classes, and a deep love of Thai food. Yet she had a secret guilty pleasure she wasn’t as comfortable sharing with her parents; the guilty pleasure of Korean pop music and pop culture. Yet Stephanie also has an academic curiosity about its significance in our globalized landscape. She is studying the Korean language and Chinese history, intending to attend graduate school, focusing on contemporary Korean history. History is cool.
She is involved on campus in the residence halls as a Resident Assistant, also in Berkeley’s well known student government the ASUC, and the Berkeley Student Journal of Asian Studies. In her free time, if she does not sleep, or nap, or lay around, she sometimes paint (poorly), or does this thing where she goes and talks and hangs out with people in a non-academic setting. It is so rare she has no vocabulary for it. She is thoroughly enjoying her time at Cal and is excited by the academic and leadership opportunities presented to her that literally fall off the trees around her (a flyer for a organization she is in fell on her head one day out of the tree she was standing under). She has made profound changes in her character, intellect, empathy, and humanity in Berkeley. Berkeley is cool. Some of the greatest lessons she has learned have been outside the classroom as an RA. Some of the most inspiring, intriguing things she has heard in her life she has witnessed in just a classroom with a PowerPoint. She hopes to pass on at least an essence of this vigor as she explores ‘Gangnam Style’, kpop, cultural critique in kpop, and how it may very well have propelled it onto the world stage. Kpop is cool. So is third person.