College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Humanities and Communication

Leon Smith '02: Fulbright Scholar

Leon Smith earned his BA in Human Communication after realizing one night in the IT Lab that ESSP was not his calling. His writing ability jumped light years ahead through the coaching and discipline of Professor Frances Payne Adler in poetry, writing, and haiku. The relentless attention to details and maintaining authenticity in his capstone project (an actual exhibit model of the Japanese American Internment Camps) through the use of technology was made possible with the help of Troy Challenger. Leon also learned the importance of interdisciplinarity and cross-cultural communication after working with Dr. Saito Sensei who introduced and challenged him to learn the Japanese language and her husband Professor Tom Abbott who helped him discover where his real passion lay: Japanese Mind and Culture.

So Leon went on to University of San Francisco to earn an MA in Asia Pacific Studies concentrating on Japanese Culture as a Fulbright Scholar. He participated in the 50th Peace-Signing Treaty Anniversary Between the US and Japan Event in San Francisco only to wake up the next morning to the horrible four-prong attack on the US that became known as 9-11.

Fighting off numerous high-paying job offers, personal death defying illness, and family tragedies, Leon went on to receive his Ph.D. at Alliant International University in Education, Leadership, and Management with an Asian Emphasis. He is now teaching, continuing his reading and research, and working in Airport Transportation Industry.