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1 Huang

Tell us about yourself. What has made you/influenced you to be that person?

Identity is not merely a projection of ones nationality and culture, but it is also recognition of oneself and a combination of personality and life experience. Despite the fact that I was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, moving to the U.S. and China have allowed me to see myself as a member of the Chinese community and be more aware of different cultures. I began to pick up English at a very young age and ever since then I had always wanted to chase the American Dream. This wish came true in 2006 when my father announced that we were going to move to Seattle. Despite my familiarity with American culture, the individualism in the U.S. still was one of the greatest cultural shocks I have ever experienced. During my first year here I was surprised at how independent American teenagers are. They start working when young and leaving home as soon as they go to college. In comparison, most of the young adults in Taiwan, myself included, still live under the protection of their parents. However, with my mom having moved back to Asia, I started to live by myself, taking care of all kinds of errands that used be my parents responsibility. In addition, I befriended people from all around the world at UW, where in Taiwan, I had few opportunities to. After living here for almost five years, the individualism and multiculturalism the U.S. has taught me to be a grown up. Most importantly, it taught me to step out of my comfort zone and learn about what other cultures can offer. Two years ago, my family moved to Shanghai due to my fathers job. It was there that I realized how much I love my own culture even with the political turmoil between Taiwan and China. Shanghai is a place where traditional Chinese culture is blended with the rapid urbanization perfectly. Regardless of China's growing population and economy, its roots have not been forgotten. The mixture of different cultures and new technology shows the openness of

2 Huang China and allows me to see beyond my own perspective. Because of my experiences in Shanghai, I gradually grew to see myself as a member of the Chinese community. There was a time when I was uncertain about who I was, I felt confused about where I truly belong. Nevertheless, living both in Seattle and Shanghai gave me a chance to become a selfreliant and open-minded person to anything unfamiliar. Most of all, it taught me to appreciate my own culture; the culture that shapes who I am, where I am from, and what I represent.
What are your current educational and/or professional goals?

People have said that when choosing a major it is better to do what you truly like, rather than what others expect you to do. Indeed, I have spent a year taking classes that I didn't enjoy at all, which made my first year at UW seem gloomy and painful. Now, I have finally found where my passions lie. I found that I am enjoying learning about all environmental issues including those relating to Seattle, such as climate change and pollution, and urban planning, Taking the Introduction to CEP class last quarter started my interests in these new topics. Right now, I am focusing on environmental studies and also planning to minor in Japanese with my three years experience so far. CEP program admission may mean changing environmental studies as my second minor. However, I am also planning to minor in urban planning if not admitted to the program. In addition, I hope to study abroad in Japan next year. I want to go to Japan not only because I want to improve my speaking skills, but also see their different lifestyles. Japan has been a pioneer country in developing renewable energy and sustainable living and as a result, I would like to study and compare their lifestyles and how they promote sustainability within my Capstone project. I am glad that I have finally found what I truly enjoy learning. If I can, I wish to use what I acquired in class to help promote ideas of sustainable living in my own country.

3 Huang

Why is CEP the right program for you?

Programs that are involved with environmental aspects have been the most appealing to me. I am interested in majors that teach about humanity, nature, and their interdependent impacts. The main reason I chose CEP is because of its multifaceted aspects, connecting humanity to the environment and future planning. Furthermore, the fact that CEP is essentially a student-bodied government will benefit me in learning how to interact with one another, organize events and meetings, and turn a simple idea into actions. In addition, after moving to Shanghai, I have seen the ability of the city to progress in urbanization, while at the same time, also preserve its historical essence. However, regardless of Chinas rapid development, topical issues such as heavy industrial pollution and human rights controversies have been rising. Lacking educational opportunities in rural areas, for instance, often cause people to overlook the environmental impact that industrial activities bring. Consequently, demographic differences make planning even harder and can sometimes make a society less united in China. Because of this, I am applying for CEP in order to learn planning strategies that bring the now, then, and the future together in communities and the surroundings.
How does CEP help you with your goals? How may the CEP community benefit from your participation in the program?

As a program that requires one to express opinions actively, CEP will not only improve my social ability, but train my critical thinking as well. As the name of the program suggest, CEP covers different aspects, which in my opinion, are the most significant influences to the growth of civilization.

4 Huang The unique and diverse meanings behind CEP will allow me to understand humanity and the surroundings better, and help to eventually acquire the knowledge to organize and plan. Through service-learning and weekly meetings, I will be able to use what I absorb from the program and gain more real-life experience. If I have the opportunity, I would like to bring the concepts of CEP to where I am from to help my own city become greener. I believe my participation will bring more diversity into the program. My travel experiences have enabled me to be more open-minded and sensitive to unfamiliar matters, and I will be able to relate to other places as examples during discussions. Furthermore, I enjoy each class where my ideas are stimulated and reflected on, and therefore helps me bring more voices to CEP.