Yvonne Hong '05
Yvonne Hong devoted most of her undergraduate years studying smoking-related disease and will continue her pursuit in Turkey fulfilling her proposed study of research: “Kicking the Butt: Anti-Smoking Initiatives and Cultural Perceptions in Turkey.”
Why will she research smoking-reduction initiatives with women and women professionals in Turkey? Hong said, “Women are at a pivotal moment in Turkey’s smoking culture and I intend to research women’s responses to anti-smoking initiatives in a society where both smoking and gender play a significant role in daily life.”
According to Hong, the importance of studying this issue is to use the information collected to create more effective anti-tobacco programs to stop the increase of female smokers in Turkey.
Hong studied abroad in the Pitzer in Turkey program and the Pitzer Summer Health Program in Costa Rica, and worked in the Admission Office.
“My long-term career plan is to get my masters in public health with a focus on epidemiology. Pitzer professors that have inspired/ influenced/helped me in my time of need include Ann Stromberg, David Sadava, and Nigel Boyle,” Hong said.
Traci Kutaka '06
A native of Hawaii and a psychology major at Pitzer, Traci Kutaka said she views learning about other cultures as a precious cycle of reciprocity. “I hope to enter Korea not only as a teacher, but as a student of my peers, of my pupils, of my host family, and of a culture that has much to offer the world,” she said.
Kutaka explained that the opportunity to experience and learn about other cultures has fueled her passion for teaching art history, poetry and analytical writing. During her time at Pitzer, she completed an internship program in London where she worked with children with multiple learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder.
Pitzer College and Southern California introduced Kutaka to a large Spanish speaking population. She found that reading books to her assigned ESL student in the Jumpstart Program bridged the gap between cultural and linguistic worlds.
In South Korea as an art history enthusiast and teacher, Kutaka will use her non-teaching time to conduct a research project on the revitalization of traditional Korean painting styles. Her passion for the painting of Song Soo-Ryan, whose work reflects Lao Tzu’s Taoist philosophy, has inspired her artistic direction since observing her exhibition at the Los Angeles Korean Cultural Center.