Class of 2019
Samuel holds a B.A. in Economics with honors from Grinnell College, where his research interests focused on East Asian economic integration and Swedish labor market discrimination. As a student there, he developed a global sensibility by studying abroad in Wonju, Korea through a Critical Language Scholarship; completing the year-long International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) at National Taiwan University; sourcing upstream materials and machinery as a purchase team intern at Doosan Corporation Electro-Materials in Seoul; and providing strategy and operations consulting in the China nuclear energy market as a business analyst intern at Nicobar Group in Shanghai.
Being surrounded by cornfields in rural Grinnell, Iowa also provided the opportunity to build a socioeconomically diverse community with an immediacy precluded by segregated neighborhoods and urban sprawl. Formative experiences such as serving as a faculty-nominated writing mentor to peers and tutoring incarcerated adults through the “Liberal Arts in Prison” program led to a strong interest in education as a means of social engagement – as life itself rather than preparation for life. After graduating from Grinnell, Samuel pursued education work for three years as a strategic planning assistant in the Grinnell College President’s Office, a high school English teacher in Nagasaki, Japan through the JET program, and a Chinese teacher for local K – 5 students at an afterschool program in San Diego.
Samuel now seeks to combine his interests in foreign languages, international affairs, and public service through a Foreign Service career in order to facilitate diplomatic solutions to collective action problems by drawing on his extensive experience bridging cultural divides in Japan, Taiwan, China, and Korea. He is also motivated by an attunement to Asian-American issues and critical theory.