Faculty Voice

Haeng-ja Sachiko Chung, Ph.D.

Hi! I would like to welcome those of you who have felt at some point in your lives that you do not quite fit into a community or a group. I believe that such experiences form your uniqueness and enrich your learning. I was born in Kyoto and educated in Japan until I went to the United States. After I earned my doctorate degree called Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology from UCLA, I taught at Colorado College, Hamilton College, and Smith College in the United States (U.S.) until 2015. In-between, I conducted research at Harvard University and the University of Tokyo as a postdoctoral fellow.

In 2015, I decided to come to Okayama University to join a team to build the Discovery Program for Global Learners (Discovery). I have been working very hard to incorporate the strengths of various systems, including American and Japanese. One of the examples is the diversity of faculty and students. The number of languages in which our dozen or so faculty members are fluent is ten. Our students’ heritages include Asia, Africa, America, and Europe. Some students have two or more cultural backgrounds.

You may know little or might not even have heard of anthropology, but no worries. You can learn anthropology from the basics at Discovery. My courses increase students’ understanding of others as well as their own cultural practices and value systems. In my classes, you may also have opportunities to improve your presentation and facilitation skills because of my interactive, student-centered pedagogy.

Don’t you think “Haeng-ja Sachiko Chung, Ph.D.” well represents my mixed cultural and educational backgrounds of Korea, Japan, and the United States?