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Benjamin Young ’13

Inspired to be Inspirational

MA in History

 

According to Benjamin Young, The College at Brockport has encouraged him to become an exceptional student with a top-notch education. He has done so by studying hard and getting involved in campus life and extracurricular activities.

“Brockport has provided me with a quality education, and the relatively small size of the College allowed me to not just be a number,” he said.

Benjamin initially went to Keuka College but decided it wasn’t the right fit. He transferred after a year and in 2012, graduated from The College at Brockport with a bachelor’s degree in history.

“I am extremely happy that I transferred to Brockport. I have had so many opportunities that I would not have had at Keuka College,” said Benjamin. One of these opportunities includes Brockport’s 4+1 program, which helped him to accelerate his graduate program, saved him money and fast-forwarded him into the life of a graduate student. The professors in the Department of History at Brockport pushed Benjamin to study northwestern topics in which he has interest.

“All the professors in the department have been supportive of me and pushed me to become a better historian,” said Benjamin. He believes that the professors in the Department of History are a superb community of scholar-teachers who devote a significant amount of time to helping undergraduate and graduate students to succeed in and out of the classroom: “Dr. Meredith Roman, Dr. Anne Macpherson, Dr. Takashi Nishiyama, Dr. Angela Thompsell, Dr. William Morris and Dr. Morag Martin have recently helped me apply to PhD programs around the country and have been incredibly supportive of my future scholarly endeavors.”

“The master’s program in history is a top-notch program and can launch students in a variety of career paths, from applying to PhD programs to becoming a certified high school history teacher,” he said.

Since Benjamin began studying the history of the Cold War and Communism, he has acquired a passion for such topics as North Korea, the 1960s and East Asia. This passion made him want to further his education and knowledge. Determination and curiosity led Benjamin to venture to North Korea on two separate occasions to study Cold War history and see aspects of North Korea as a fascinating and complex country.

The trips allowed him to see a society that is still ascribing to socialist values. “I travelled to the ethnic Korean region of China, known as the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, and studied the North Korean dialect as part of a program with a Canadian NGO, the east West Coalition,” he said. The trip inspired Benjamin to write his master’s thesis on the Black Panther Part’s relationship with North Korea.

“Whether it be human rights violations, possible reform or the history of the country, I am always striving to know more about this country and the complexities of its ideological system.”

Benjamin enjoys the engaging experience in the classroom. The research seminars and class discussions are among his favorite aspects. “You are viewed as a colleague within the history profession, and the professors give you much more independence and respect as a result,” he said.

Where do Benjamin’s life goals lie now?

“I hope to pursue a PhD on some aspect of world communism and East Asia. I also hope to write a number of books on several aspects of the Cold War, North Korea and East Asia. I hope to mentor students and push them to become better students, global citizens and people, just as my professors at The College at Brockport have done for me.”

 

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