Maryland native and second-year Stamps Eminence Scholar, Stephanie Boyd, took her classroom learning to Capitol Hill this past summer with an internship at the National Bureau of Asian Research. At its Washington, D.C. office, Boyd conducted research about China’s economic retaliation and militarization and how these factors affected surrounding countries.
Boyd said that her upbringing is one of the biggest factors that pushed her to pursue international studies at Ohio State. She grew up in PG County, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. From a young age, Boyd has been in multicultural settings that allowed her to make connections with people from around the globe. Her father was born in Haiti and encouraged open discussion about domestic and international politics, so Boyd is no stranger to cross-cultural communications.
Her enthusiasm was clear to Mitch Lerner, director of the East Asian Studies Center, who led Boyd’s Stamps Eminence seminar. “I thought of Stephanie as soon as I saw the announcement,” he said. “She is interested in politics and policy; she has strong research and writing skills; and she is always just bursting with energy and enthusiasm. It was a perfect fit, and I knew she would represent Ohio State in the best possible way.”
Though Boyd was originally interested in studying European affairs, she surprised herself with how much she enjoyed learning about the history and politics of East Asia. Seeing her own lack of knowledge about East Asian affairs, Boyd knew this internship would help her become a more informed global citizen. “I had to let go of a lot of my preconceptions to actually learn and understand,” she explained. In doing so, she became fascinated with Taiwanese cultural and political identity, and conducted research about how these identities have changed since Taiwan’s separation from China.
In addition to her international studies and film majors, Boyd is also pursuing a Spanish minor. She spoke of the importance of cultural immersion when learning a language, saying that even with tools like Google Translate, “true understanding and communication doesn’t actually happen in the same way” without cultural knowledge. Her experience speaking Spanish and her new interest in East Asian affairs has reinforced her desire to study either Korean or Mandarin, since she knows this will be a way to bridge cross-cultural communication and understanding in her work, whether it be diplomacy or filmmaking.
The Stamps Eminence Scholarship Program brings exceptional students to Ohio State who embrace giving back to society, have demonstrated academic achievement and want to make a positive impact on society.