Time off from Harvard helped her thrive

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.For Blessing Jee, one of the best things about her Harvard education was putting it on hold.Jee knew when she arrived that she would take time off from her studies. What she didn’t expect was that it would make her “fall back in love with Harvard” — and set her, newly energized, on her future path. When she graduates in May, Jee will take another break before returning to pursue public interest law at Harvard Law School.“Harvard has been my home. Now I have the skills and the ability to make more homes and new homes in different places,” said Jee, who when she was 2 moved from Seoul, South Korea, to Kentucky, and moved again, when she was 7, to the Los Angeles area. “I am excited to leave and explore and be in the world again.”Jee, a sociology concentrator, credits her parents with helping inspire her interest in social justice work. Her father, a Methodist minister, took part in democratization movements in Korea in the 1980s, and Jee considers her mother her “first philosophy teacher” and feminist role model.Jee’s activism took shape in high school where she remembers demonstrating after the death of Trayvon Martin and helping stage a sit-in to protest school budget cuts that led to teacher furloughs. Growing up in a minority-majority city, Jee felt attuned to “social dynamics and to diversity and race in America.” She said that understanding has prompted her to always “be aware of who is in the room who is not in the room, who is at the table who is not at the table.”“At Harvard, I have always thought about who’s not here, whose voices are not being heard,” said Jee, co-founder of the Asian American Women’s Association, and a student mentor to incoming freshmen and current College sophomores.Jee followed her older sister, Haemin, to Cambridge, based in part on Haemin’s advice that at Harvard she would make friends for life, be challenged intellectually, and find opportunities she could never imagine. “And that was it,” said Jee, who started at Harvard in 2013, when her sister was a senior. Haemin had another critical tip:“She said her biggest regret during her Harvard time was not taking a year off. It just rang true with me, and it was just so exciting that was even possible during college — the ability to go out and do something that’s different and then come back and recharge and have a different outlook with those new experiences behind me.”So, in 2015-16, Jee worked first for the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation as a policy intern, researching federal regulations regarding campaign finance reform. In the spring, she was a law clerk for the L.A. District Attorney’s office investigating a high-profile case and assisting deputy district attorneys for trial. She also researched education and disability rights as part of a successful effort to help her mother’s friend who wanted her autistic son to remain in his public school.Her year away from Harvard, said Jee, “helped me realize my passion for public service could be translated into a calling towards public interest law.”After her junior year, a summer internship as an investigator with the Bronx Defenders, working with underserved clients, confirmed her decision that law was her next step. It also helped her begin to view forgiveness as part of the justice system. To fully process her role as a defense investigator, Jee said she needed “to allow for the possibility of forgiveness to exist between these two people, one who committed the crime, the other who was the victim.”Her experience with the Bronx Defenders and the impressions it made have dovetailed with her recent role as a Radcliffe research partner. For the past several months, Jee has been working with former Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, who is writing a book about forgiveness in the law. Jee said Minow, whose work includes research into amnesty and pardons, debt relief, and child soldiers, helped her see that “forgiveness has a real place in the law and it shouldn’t be discarded just because the law should just be principled and objective.”“Working with Professor Minow has really fleshed that out for me and given me a more nuanced view of the law I think will be helpful when I go to law school.”Minow, the Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence and current Radcliffe Fellow, called working with Jee “joyous because of her wide-ranging interests, precise reasoning, and boundless energy and generosity. … It is unusual to find someone so powerfully able to combine deep focus and wide vision. She will bring tremendous talents to the Harvard Law School.”What’s next for Jee is another break from school. She applied and was accepted her junior year to Harvard Law School’s deferral program, which admits students early with the stipulation that they work for two years before enrolling. She will teach English in Chile this fall with a program run by the Chilean Ministry of Education and backed by the United Nations.Harvard, said Jee, has perfectly prepared her to step into yet another world and another home. The best kinds of homes, she said, “are the ones that equip you to leave them.”First, she will enjoy one more Harvard milestone: graduation. It’s a day that holds a special relevance for Jee. Her junior year in high school she took part in a program for aspiring journalists sponsored by the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C. The prominent Civil Rights leader John Lewis, this year’s Commencement speaker, was one of the program’s featured guests.“He was one of the heroes in my high school social justice curriculum,” said Jee, who was able to ask Lewis about what he brought with him from his activist days into his political career. The longtime Georgia congressman told her the common denominator was “righteous anger” and an unyielding sense of justice. “He said at the core, it’s always about doing right for and to others,” Jee recalled.“He made me realize social justice work could take many forms, as long as you carry with you that same spirit of justice and generosity and liberality toward man. I wrote about that in my Harvard College application and now he’s coming to speak. It’s just come full circle. And I am so excited to hear him.”last_img read more

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Bulgarian-born computer science student finds her niche

first_imgOriginally planning to study pre-med at Harvard College, Maria Zlatkova ’18 changed gears to computer science after taking CS50. Zlatkova discusses her time as an undergraduate at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).Q&AMaria ZlatkovaSEAS: What were some of the challenges of coming to Harvard from Bulgaria?ZLATKOVA: Coming to Harvard from Bulgaria was a very big change both culturally and in terms of the environment I was used to. But there are a lot of support structures Harvard provides for international students. I joined the Woodbridge International Society, which was an awesome experience. International students participate in a freshman preorientation program where we have upperclassman mentors. We form “families” with two upperclassman students we can always turn to for help. It was the best way to transition into Harvard — meeting people from all over the world, but also knowing that others are going through the same things. I gained so much that I became a leader in that program in subsequent years. It was a really cool experience to welcome freshmen and show them everything Harvard has to offer.SEAS: How did you decide to study computer science?ZLATKOVA: I was set on coming to Harvard as pre-med and becoming a doctor. My parents are doctors, and I always admired their work and thought it was a very noble profession. But a lot of my peers were taking this class called “Introduction to Computer Science” (CS50); it was very popular, especially with international students. It was very challenging for me, coming in with barely any experience. But I ended up finding this amazing, supportive community that I didn’t encounter in the same way in most of my other classes. That’s what convinced me to consider switching gears into computer science. My first winter break, I remember going home and telling my parents that I didn’t know if I was good enough to do computer science. The community here, and having amazing mentor figures, convinced me that it doesn’t matter what kind of a background you come from as long as you put in the work.SEAS: What appealed to you about computer science?ZLATKOVA: The biggest appeal was the idea that you can combine these technical computer science skills with almost any other field to make an impact on problems you really care about. I realized that the skills that I’m getting are going to be worthwhile for whatever I want to do in the future.SEAS: After taking CS50 as a freshman, you immediately took on a teaching role. What was that transition like? “International students participate in a freshman preorientation program … we form ‘families’ with two upperclassman students we can always turn to for help. It was the best way to transition into Harvard …” ZLATKOVA: Jumping into a teaching role after never having done anything like that before was overwhelming and intimidating. I questioned myself a lot, feeling like an imposter in some ways, and wondered whether I would be effective enough as a teacher. But it was extremely empowering after my first section. Something in my head clicked, and I jumped into the material and told myself that I just need to communicate what I know. Since then, I’ve fully eliminated any anxious feelings going into teaching; it just feels like a natural role for me. I like helping people understand things and finding the best ways to communicate to people. The summer after my freshman year is when David Malan, [Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science,] approached me about potentially joining the heads team. I then went on to become involved with teaching even through my extracurricular activities when I became a seminar leader for the Harvard Summit for Young Leaders in China (HSYLC), teaching high school students in Shanghai about musical theater and its history.SEAS: What are some of the challenges of being on the heads team for an academic juggernaut like CS50?ZLATKOVA: It is a big job, especially as a student when you’re trying to juggle your own classes. There’s a lot to try to manage both in terms of our 80-member staff and the 700 students who take the course each year. All of that coming together takes a certain level of planning. The most enjoyable moments have been interacting with students and staff. I’ve had a lot of “A-ha!” moments with students. It is amazing to watch them go from this state of mental block, where they see a problem and can’t even begin to think about how to solve it, to guiding them so they understand the lower-level aspects of the problem and can build their own reasoning.SEAS: Tell us about your involvement with the Red Cross.ZLATKOVA: I was inspired by a very defining moment for me. An eighth-grader at my high school passed away due to a cardiac emergency at the soccer field during a phys ed class. It was a tragic moment because nobody there was trained and could even try to perform this life-reviving procedure until medical help came. That was a big moment for me; I went from feeling incapacitated and angry that this tragedy happened to feeling like I have some responsibility to help prevent these things from happening. I became a CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] and AED [automated external defibrillator] instructor with the Red Cross. Teaching at Harvard and in the Cambridge community has been such a rewarding experience.SEAS: Why has SEAS been a good fit for you?ZLATKOVA: I’ve loved the emphasis that SEAS puts on entrepreneurship, design, and innovation. The School does that both with classes, but also with other activities that it offers its students. I’ve gotten to meet and work with amazing professors who have turned around the way I think about the fields that I’m involved in, and taught me to be very conscious about the impact of the things that we do. There are so many unpredictable ways that the products we build may impact the world. If we don’t think about them and make our design intentional, that’s very problematic.This article was originally published in May on the SEAS website. It has been lightly edited.last_img read more

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Luke Voit injury update: Yankees slugger lands on IL with sports hernia

first_imgSlugging Yankees first baseman Luke Voit has been placed on the 10-day injured list after being removed from the the team’s 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks Tuesday night.The team initially said Voit was dealing with a core muscle injury and scheduled for an MRI Tuesday night. In putting him on the IL Wednesday morning, the Yankees said he has a sports hernia.  Prior to today’s game, the Yankees:- Placed INF Luke Voit on the 10-day IL with a sports hernia- Placed RHP David Hale on the 10-day IL with a lumbar spine strain (retroactive to 7/28)- Recalled RHP Jonathan Holder (#56) and INF Breyvic Valera (#36) from @swbrailriders.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 31, 2019Manager Aaron Boone told reporters (via WFAN) Wednesday morning that the Yankees’ medical staff should know within the next 24 hours whether Voit will need surgery to correct the issue, potentially sidelining him for six weeks, or whether they can treat it day to day with a much quicker return. “Even in talking to Luke during the game when he was coming out, he was having a hard time putting his finger on it,” Boone told reporters after the game Tuesday (via the New York Post). “He just said, ‘I was having a hard time getting loose, before the game and all game.’ Like he didn’t feel like he did anything to it.” Related News Yankees ‘working all angles’ ahead of trade deadline, Brian Cashman says Afternoon baseball as we look to bite back.Powered by @Biofreeze pic.twitter.com/lhOLfkXvz0— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 31, 2019After Voit’s exit, the Yankees inserted third baseman Tyler Wade in Voit’s spot in the order, with Gio Urshela moving from third base to first. Wade, just up from Triple-A, hit an eighth-inning homer, his first of the season and the second of his big league career.Voit’s injury comes as the clock ticks toward the trade deadline. General manager Brian Cashman has been seeking pitching before the 4 p.m. ET Wednesday deadline and recently said he didn’t envision trading for position player at this point of the schedule.The Yankees (67-39) are in first place in the AL East, 7 1/2 games up on the Rays going into Wednesday’s play, so there’s no need to make a panic move. MLB trade rumors: Yankees will not give up top prospect for anyone less than Noah Syndergaardcenter_img Per the Post’s report: Boone leaned back in his chair, gestured to his core to emphasize the point and said Voit indicated something in his core just felt off.Voit, 28, is slashing .278/.392/.493 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs in 94 games. According to Boone, Voit didn’t mention any tightness or discomfort before Tuesday’s game, but he could be seen wincing on television replays after his third-inning strikeout against Taylor Clarke. Voit was removed in the top of the fifth inning.Voit sustained a lower abdominal strain during the Yankees’ series against the Red Sox in London that cost him only seven games, thanks to the All-Star break.Given the Yankees’ depth, replacing Voit doesn’t appear to be too difficult, though he has been an important piece of the team’s offense, leading in on-base percentage and ranking in the top five in several other categories.”It’s tough when one of your best hitters goes down with who-knows-what,” Aaron Judge said. “We’ll see what the diagnosis is on him and how he’s feeling. Like I’ve said before, when guys go down, people step up.”When Voit missed the time before the All-Star break, the Yankees turned to Mike Ford, Edwin Encarnacion and DJ LeMahieu to play first base, and Encarnacion was set to start there Wednesday afternoon against Arizona. LeMahieu, dubbed by the Post as “the logical choice to play first should Voit miss extended time,” didn’t play Tuesday with a slight groin strain and was not in the lineup Wednesday. MLB trade rumors: Yankees, Phillies among teams interested in starter Tanner Roark Yankees trade rumors: Gleyber Torres ‘off limits’ in discussions for starterlast_img read more

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The pictures Arsenal fans will not want to see after Spurs win – say cheese!

first_img There were some supporters below where the hoardings hurtled down from the upper tier 8 8 8 8 8 Arsenal beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane and some fans appeared to rip up advertising hoardings Police move in Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see more pics that could land some Arsenal fans in trouble They are scenes the majority of Arsenal fans will be pretty embarrassed to see.Following the club’s 2-1 win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, a minority of supporters on the upper tier of the away end decided to rip up advertising hoardings and let them fall towards fellow Gooners located below.“We are concerned that this happened, involving a minority of fans,” an Arsenal spokesperson said.“We will work with Tottenham Hotspur and the authorities on this.”Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see the photos – clearly these fans are not concerned about the possibility of being banned. 8 8 Say cheese! Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see the pictures that could land some Arsenal fans in trouble Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see the pictures that could land some Arsenal fans in trouble – Following Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, a minority of supporters on the upper tier of the away end decided to rip up advertising hoardings and let them fall towards fellow Gooners located below. 8 A small minority of supporters decided to ruin it for the majority who were simply keen to celebrate a win “We are concerned that this happened, involving a minority of fans,” an Arsenal spokesperson said last_img read more

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Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova 1st Round Showdown Seizes Spotlight at US Open

first_imgNew York: Serena Williams faces Maria Sharapova in a blockbuster first-round match Monday at the US Open, the feature showdown on the first day of the year’s final Grand Slam tennis event.Eighth-ranked Williams, who lost to Naomi Osaka in last year’s US Open final and to Simona Halep in last month’s Wimbledon final, is seeking her 24th career Grand Slam singles title to match Margaret Court’s all-time record. The 37-year-old American owns a 19-2 record against Russia’s 87th-ranked Sharapova and has beaten her 18 consecutive times dating to 2005.That lopsided rivalry, however, has not prevented the matchup from being the talk of the tournament since Thursday’s draw announcement.”Of course I’m going to watch it,” Osaka said. “I think everyone in New York is going to watch it.”Williams owns a 3-1 record over Sharapova in Grand Slam matchups, having lost their first such meeting in 2004 at Wimbledon, but this will mark the first time they have met in a US Open.”Someone texted me about it,” US 10th seed Madison Keys recalled. “I think I was shopping, had no idea the draw was actually happening. So it was like, ‘Oh my God. Look at this first round.'”Williams last won a Grand Slam at the 2017 Australian Open, while pregnant.Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova, 32, failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open and served a one-year ban. The 2006 US Open winner last won a Slam at the 2014 French Open. She has reached the fourth round at the past two US Opens.Two years ago, Romania’s Halep who was handed an epic first-round matchup against Sharapova, just back from her doping ban, and lost.”Yeah, it’s OK. We don’t talk about that. It’s past, so we just live the present,” Halep said. “It’s going to be a big match, definitely.”Other first-day matches in Arthur Ashe Stadium send Swiss third seed Roger Federer against India’s 190th-ranked Sumit Nagal, top-seeded defending champion Novak Djokovic against Spain’s 76th-ranked Roberto Carballes Baena and French Open champion Ashleigh Barty, the second seed from Australia, against 77th-ranked Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.CRAZY OPEN ATMOSPHEREUS Open crowds are known for loud and boisterous behavior, an atmosphere where some thrive and others must adapt.”Here in New York, the atmosphere is crazier than any other Grand Slam,” said 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu, who won a WTA tuneup event in Toronto.”Everyone makes it so intriguing. You never know what you’re going to see on the streets. There is always something to do.”Halep tries to relax to deal with the energy and uncertainty Flushing Meadows crowds can produce.”You expect very loud crowds. You expect loud atmosphere here,” Halep said. “I’m trying just to stay on my rhythm. I have my restaurants where I’m going. I went to Central Park just to relax myself. So I’m doing easy things to get the pace I need.”Barty revels in the thrill of New York.”There’s no place in the world like New York,” she said. “I know how it works. You come here and you just take it in your stride. You enjoy it. There’s no point fighting it.”The US Open will unveil Monday a sculpture of Althea Gibson, who shattered tennis racial barriers in the 1950s and 1960s. She was the first African-American to win a Grand Slam title at the 1956 French Open and also captured the 1957 and 1958 US Open and Wimbledon singles titles.”I think it’s really important,” Osaka said. “She has done so much for tennis.”Sloane Stephens, an African-American who captured the 2017 US Open women’s crown, also applauded the tribute.”I think it’s awesome,” she said. “Recognizing the greats that came before us, people that have done amazing things for our sport, is cool. She’s a really important part of our tennis history.” Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Ash BartyMaria SharapovaNaomi Osakaserena williams First Published: August 25, 2019, 10:35 PM ISTlast_img read more

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