Meet the 2020 Shansi Fellows to Japan!

We are thrilled to introduce our newest Shansi Fellows to Japan! Ava Prince ‘18 will teach at JF Oberlin University and Léo Anderson ‘20 will work at the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and local grassroots NGOs in Hiroshima.

Ava was a History major and East Asian Studies minor at Oberlin. As a senior, she served as the Outreach Coordinator for a visiting public history exhibit, Courage and Compassion: Our Shared Story of the Japanese American World War II Experience. In this role, she developed educational programming for Lorain County’s K-12 students. Ava has continued to pursue a career in museum education since graduation, utilizing object-based learning techniques to encourage cross-cultural understanding. As the first Curatorial Assistant in the Education Department at the AMAM, she helped implement a grant to expand the museum’s East Asian art education initiatives, and she currently works as an educator at the New-York Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Brooklyn Historical Society. During her Fellowship, Ava hopes to deepen and diversify her relationship with contemporary Asia, become a more versatile educator, and prepare for advanced studies in history and education.

Léo is a Studio Art and Politics major, with a minor in East Asian Studies. Growing up, they moved countries periodically; this international experience strongly influenced their academic focus on comparative politics, social movements, and minority rights in Japan. It has further informed their exploration of identity, community and alienation in their artistic practice, through forms of painting, sculpture, and installation. At Oberlin, they have been involved with student groups such as the Japanese Student Association and the Student Labor Action Coalition, and have engaged with the arts by contributing as an illustrator to publications such as Oberlin’s Asian-American literary magazine “As I Am”, and working in the Theater Department paint shop as a scenic painter for two years. Through this Fellowship, Léo hopes to utilize their skills and passions to address issues of social conflict, political oppression and minority rights through art and education.

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