Cindy Liliana Gonzales '14

Why did you choose the Asian Studies major?
When I left home for college I had one goal, learn something completely new.  I never knew that would be Chinese.  I experimented with other majors but Asian Studies truly gave me a space to challenge my mind and gain so many new experiences.  I really enjoyed all of my history classes but also dove into other departments that offered Asian Studies tagged classes such as Theology: Islam.

How are you currently using the skills gained as an Asian Studies major?
I am currently the Administrative Partner for the CSB/SJU Becoming Community grant-funded initiative. Our team is focusing on co-creating a more inclusive community at both CSB and SJU as well as surrounding communities. I am also pursuing my Master of Divinity degree from the Saint John’s School of Theology. Asian Studies gave me the opportunity to learn more about identity as a whole which in turn further ignited my passion for social justice. I am also in the process of becoming a certified Doula in the hopes of providing pro-Bono doula services to expecting underrepresented and marginalized women.  

Did you participate in an internship?
Yes.  Gary Eichten Fellow, Minnesota Public Radio

Did you study abroad?
China.  I used my Chinese language skills every single day while at Southwest University. My skills were put to the test daily as I ordered my meals at local restaurants and in Chinese class with amazing professors. The highlight of my entire experience was going on excursions -- specifically to Hong Kong with my study abroad group. Hong Kong is such a diverse country filled with beautiful scenery and delicious food. 

Other comments?
Asian Studies is a major that focuses on further developing an understanding and passion for diversity.  It ignites a passion for a lifetime of learning and encourages students to think beyond CSB/SJU — there is a whole world outside of campus and Asian Studies invites students to enter into that world without fear and authentic curiosity.