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Williams International

Scott Wong, Professor of History

1.) What, specifically, is your field of study? And how does it relate to international issues?

I study Asian American history and American immigration history.

2.) What is one of the best things about teaching at Williams?

Being able to teach pretty much whatever courses I want, great colleagues, good students, and good support from the college for research and teaching.

3.) Despite being in western Massachusetts, is Williams a place that encourages dialogue about international issues? Or could Williams be more supportive in this regard?

In my department, yes. Given that we are academics in the 21st century, I don’t see our location as hindrance to being involved in international interests.

4.) Do you believe Williams students are interested and knowledgeable about international issues?

I can only speak for History majors, and for the most part, yes, I would say our students are fairly engaged in international issues.

5.) If you could travel to one place, right now, where would you go and why?

Kyoto, Japan. Simply a wonderful city. One of my favorite cities in the world.

6.) What is your favorite food?

Asian and Italian, seafood especially.

7.) What were your first impressions of Williams when you arrived? Have they changed?

I came to Williams 20 years ago and I saw it as a very good college, but one that catered mostly to wealthy White students. I do think it has changed quite a bit since then. Both the student body and the faculty have changed quite a bit, for the better.

8.) What are you reading at the moment?

Jennifer 8. Lee, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food

9.) Do you see a difference in how international and domestic students approach their time at Williams?

Not necessarily. While international students come to Williams with different backgrounds, I think class has more influence on how students approach their time at Williams than country of origin.

10.) Do you enjoy living in the Berkshires? If so, why?

Yes. I like the hills, the woods, fly fishing, and the pace of life. And, thanks to the College’s support for conference and research travel, I get out of town enough to get my share of other environments.