Meet one of our first-year MAIA students, Elizabeth Yen Tzu Liew! What is your academic…
Jeremiah Bonilla, a graduating senior majoring in Asian Studies with a minor in Peace Studies, was recently awarded a $4,427 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program grant to support his independent project, “Guns, Art, and Empathy: How Filipinos Opposed the Japanese Occupation (1942-1945).” The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) coordinates and promotes opportunities for undergraduate students across all disciplines at UH Manoa to engage in faculty-mentored research and creative works.
Jeremiah’s project idea emerged from his own interests. He applied for the UROP grant because it allowed him to research a topic that he was really curious about, to deconstruct and understand the relationship between the United States and the Philippines during the Pacific War. He says, “To put it in simple words: I am conducting my own research while at the same time getting paid for it. For me, it’s a rewarding and fun experience because I am doing something that I am passionate about. Another rewarding aspect of my UROP experience is the skills that I get to develop through the process, whether in creating a grant proposal or writing a research paper. I know that these skills will come in handy especially during my graduate study and for my future career.” He is working on this project under the guidance of his faculty mentor Dr. Kristi Govella, an Assistant Professor in the Asian Studies Program.
Jeremiah decided to major in Asian Studies because he felt that it was the perfect path to not only learn about different cultures within Asia but also gain an understanding of history and international politics. Reflecting back on his experience, he notes, “The most rewarding part of my experience in Asian Studies was being able to take courses from different fields of study. I took history and political science courses, and for me, they were like puzzle pieces that provided a narrative of Asia. Hence, for us students majoring in Asian Studies, we have this freedom and flexibility that other students don’t necessarily get. Finally, I am glad that I had the opportunity to work with some of the most intelligent and approachable professors in the field.”
Jeremiah hopes to continue his studies at the graduate level and to eventually pursue a career in the Foreign Service.