Welcome to the Third Space Lab Research Assistants!

This month, the Third Space Lab recruited six new research assistants to help with our three interrelated research projects.

Read their bios below to see who joined us!

Dr. Zhang Xin’s project
Negotiating Third Space Personae: Foreign Professionals in Modern Chinese Workplace

Aya Lahlou

Aya Lahlou
My name is Aya Lahlou, I am a junior student majoring in Data Science. I am a research assistant at the Third Space Lab working on the project Negotiating Third Space Personae: Foreign Professionals in Modern Chinese Workplace. I am hoping to use this experience to deepen my knowledge about applied and social linguistics and ultimately apply it in my future signature work and career prospects. I believe this is a great place for me to reconcile my experience in data science and my passion for linguistics, especially as a prospective working professional in China. In my free time, I enjoy art, learning languages, and solving linguistics puzzles.

Cameron Page

Cameron Page
My name is Cameron. I am a DKU undergraduate student in the Class of 2023, and I intend to major in Global China Studies with a track in Political Science. I am delighted to be appointed as a Research Assistant for Professor Xin Zhang’s project, 
Negotiating Third Space Personae: Foreign Professionals in the Modern Chinese Workplace. I am confident that I will utilize this research experience, and my engagement with the wider Third Space Lab, to help fulfill my future goal of studying Chinese and East Asian law.  In my downtime, I like to watch Shark Tank, read up on Western and Southern Chinese societies, and play football. I am incredibly excited to come on board with Professor Zhang’s project and contribute to the wealth of knowledge produced by the Third Space Lab and greater Humanities Research Center.

Dr. Emmanuelle S. Chiocca’s project
Fostering Perspective Transformation in Intercultural Spaces

Hong Pham

Hong Pham
My name is Hong Pham and I use She/Her/Hers pronouns. I am a Junior majoring in Global Health Public Policy. I am working as a research assistant for the project Fostering Perspective Transformation in Intercultural Spaces. I plan to use this experience in relation to my future plans by developing my research skills. Furthermore, I would like to use the knowledge about international communication, education, and sociolinguistics for future experiences and understanding to work internationally in the global health field. Beyond my involvement in research and as a college student, in my spare time, I like to read, paint, and go on long walks with my dog, Bear.

Chunyuan Shen (Juno)

Chunyuan (Juno) Sheng
I am a junior student at Duke Kunshan University majoring in economics. I work as a research assistant on the project Fostering Perspective Transformation in Intercultural Spaces in Third Space Lab. I am enthusiastic about topics in interdisciplinary social science and am particularly interested in educational psychology. It is my ambition to contribute to developing an educational practice that can teach students to recognize themselves and find their unique life paths instead of simply following the herd.

Dr. Saghar Leslie Naghib’s project
Conflict Management & Personal Transformation in Intercultural Contexts

Ryan Trombly

Ryan Trombly
My name is Ryan Trombly from Arizona in the US and I am a member of the class of 2022. I am majoring in institutions and governance (public policy track) and am excited for the future of my academic career at DKU. I am a research assistant for the project Conflict Management & Personal Transformation in Intercultural Contexts, and am thrilled to be a part of a project that will actively study some of the most distinctive attributes that come with being a student at DKU. One of the most meaningful lessons that I have encountered at DKU- a lesson that is constantly evolving- is how to interact with a diverse student body who are all going through periods of immense personal growth. I feel that this specific field of research is very underdeveloped, thus the opportunity to assist in potentially groundbreaking research on conflict management and personal transformation- subject matters that I am currently trying to navigate- is enthralling to me.
My future goal is to work in an international setting like law or government, so any knowledge I can gather in conflict management and transformation will be invaluable. But regardless of my workplace, the ability to empathize with others who don’t share the same perspectives is increasingly critical. Cultivating this ability underlines all the projects of the Third Space Lab.
As soon as I get back to Kunshan, I’ll most likely be out hunting for the best milk tea or enjoying the few (but very tasty) international restaurants dotted around the city. On campus, I enjoy being involved in the PETAL lab, in the Duke East Asia Nexus club, and as a member of Bridge. In my free time, I love to write creatively, read books, and maybe take a nap or two.

Queena Zhong
As a third-year student at DKU, I am majoring in Environmental Science with Public Policy track but I maintain a strong passion for behavioral and cognitive psychology. I am assisting the project Conflict Management and Personal Transformation in Intercultural Contexts under Dr. Naghib. Despite my major, I continue to seek opportunities to enhance my knowledge and experience in psychology. I hope to use what I learn from this research experience on my signature work and other future projects. As a Chinese-American from California, I feel connected with both Chinese and American cultures and have a great interest in learning about various cultures. I am actively involved in student life, serving as a Resident Assistant for two years in a row and as the Co-chair for the Duke to DKU (D2D) Program under DKU Kunshan Student Ambassador Council (KSAC).


Duke Kunshan Students in Conversation on Interdisciplinary Themes

Recently, the Humanities Research Center organized a series of conversations on the theme of interdisciplinarity and innovation. James Miller, co-director of the Humanities Research Center and Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Strategy joined with students from the HumanSpace+ research group in conversation with four distinguished practitioners of interdisciplinary research.

Following the conversations, the students in the HumanSpace+ group penned their thoughts about the conversations. Continue reading “Duke Kunshan Students in Conversation on Interdisciplinary Themes”

Third Space Lab to present at NAFSA Conference (2020 NAFSA eConnection)

The co-directors of the Third Space Lab will present on the online launch and subsequent workshops at the international NAFSA conference on May 27th. While the conference was originally planned in person, the organization decided to move online to allow researcher-practitioners and the international education community to connect.

It goes without saying that the events of this year have made our initial research and presentation goals rather difficult to achieve. Rather, most of the research on fields dealing with intercultural studies and international education will likely be exercises in damage control, or rather focused on the issues stemming directly from this crisis such as displacement and international tension.

This poster introduces how the Third Space Lab had to adapt its research agenda, launch, and workshops, to the current crisis. Continue reading “Third Space Lab to present at NAFSA Conference (2020 NAFSA eConnection)”

Report on Exploring Bio-Art and “Pan Bio-Art”

By Momoko Mandere

Class of 2022

On April 17 at 9pm China Time, the AH Division and the Humanities Research Center held a talk on Bio-Art and the concept of “Pan Bio-Art”. The talk, which was held as part of the Media and Arts Speaker series, was graciously given by Beijing-based curator and researcher, Jo Wei. Jo Wei is currently based at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In consideration of the current global situation with COVID-19, the talk was given on the Zoom platform.

Although the interest in Bio-Art has boomed over the past decades, it is still a relatively new field in the art world. As such, Jo Wei began her talk by first walking her audience through a brief history of Bio-Art. Jo Wei explained how bio-art has evolved as the field of genetics evolved, from the initial excitement and fame that genetics-based science brought, to the ethical and political dilemmas raised by projects such as the cloning of Dolly the Sheep.  Through this explanation, she was able to contextualize the growth and importance of Bio-Art in the 21st century. This would lead us to our working definition of Bio-Art, which can be understood as the manipulation, change or creation of life or living organisms. Continue reading “Report on Exploring Bio-Art and “Pan Bio-Art””

Interdisciplinarity and the Future of Life

Thursday 7 May, 10pm Eastern / Friday 8 May, 10am China

Interdisciplinarity lies at the heart of Duke Kunshan University’s innovative curriculum for the 21st century. Recently DKU appointed James Miller, Co-Director of the Humanities Research Center to be its first Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Strategy. Join Professor Miller and students from the HumanSpace+ research group as they embark on a series of conversations with leading theorists and practitioners of interdisciplinarity in the world today to explore how interdisciplinarity is tied to innovation and future of knowledge.

Ed Turner

The fourth conversation in this series is with Professor Ed Turner from Princeton University and focuses on the future of the life. Working extensively in both theoretical and observational astrophysics, Professor Turner has published more than 240 research papers with particular concentrations on topics including binary galaxies, dark matter, quasars, exoplanets, astrobiology and the origin of life.  Professor Turner is also a leader of the Breakthrough Starshot initative, which aims to develop a light-powered starship to journey to Proxima Centauri b, an exoplanet discovered in August 2016.

Continue reading “Interdisciplinarity and the Future of Life”