Amelia Lai

Amelia Lai

Economics Research

Amelia Lai
She is a 12th grade student from WLSA Shanghai Academy. She is interested to work on an Economics research project related to South Korea.

Amelia has her background in STEM subjects. She is poised to inherit her family’s business and will most likely apply for an Economics degree. Amelia’s involvement in a Gender Studies mentorship program complements her STEM expertise as an additional hobby.

University admission result

★ UC Berkeley

Learning objectives

  • Amelia wished to complete her high school Capstone project, which was to write a research paper about how certain South Korean films have images which depict the negative impact of capitalism on gender equality.
  • Amelia is new to gender studies, having focused on STEM areas, especially economics, and wanted to find a qualitative research method on which to base her paper.
  • The objectives set in her mentorship program is to:
    – Define the terms capitalism and gender equality.
    – Choose 5 South Korean media/films to analyze.
    – Choose a methodology in which to ground her paper/analysis. (She used the Peirce semiotics
    – Identify the key symbols/metaphors in each media and analyze using Peirce methods
    – Learn how to do a literature review and do one for the paper.
    – Write the paper, submit for editing, and turn in Capstone version.

What challenges did she face?

  • Amelia struggled at times to put complex ideas into English. She would need to continue to spend time with native English speakers so that she is more at ease in hearing the language.

How did our program help her?

  • As someone new to gender studies and to qualitative methodologies, Amelia has learnt a lot in terms of research writing.
  • She gained experience in choosing a research methodology, identified key symbols/metaphors in her analysis and to conduct a literature review.

Matched Professor

The mentor is a lecturer at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University. Before this, she worked as an Editor and Reporter for the Contra Costa Times, where she designed and wrote the weekly Religion and Ethics segment.

I always found my conversations with Amelia stimulating. I wish I had more time to spend with this student. I would enjoy being in a situation where we could just talk informally about the many ideas I could am willing to predict she will have a successful life, both at university and after.

Mentor from Duke University

Excerpts from student’s research work

Excerpt from the student’s final research paper “Exploring Capitalistic Exploitation of Women Through Semiotic Analysis of 5 South Korean Visual Media”

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