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Connie Chin Memorial Prize for Writing in East Asian Studies -- New Prize Created

Jan 5 2021

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) and the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) have combined resources to create the Connie Chin Memorial Prize for Writing in East Asian Studies.

This prize is open to EALC and CEAS graduate students; students are encouraged to apply here


Connie Chin Memorial Prize for Writing in East Asian Studies

The Connie Chin Memorial Writing in East Asian Studies recognizes and rewards outstanding examples of writing in an essay, term paper, or thesis produced during the current academic year, in any area of East Asian Studies, broadly defined. It is dedicated to beloved colleague Connie Chin (1946-2020), who enjoyed a 44-year career at Stanford beginning in 1976, moving several times between the Center of East Asian Studies and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, where she spent her last 13 years as Department Manager.

Connie Chin

Born Constance Miriam Powell in Long Beach, California in 1946, as the daughter of a US Navy supply officer she lived in several locations – California, Guam, Shawnee OK, Gulfport MI, Alexandria VA, Bainbridge MD, Isle of Palms SC – before attending Oberlin College and Conservatory where she nurtured her cultural curiosity and passion for music. After graduating from college in 1968, Connie pursued her interest in journalism and China, living briefly in San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood before moving to Hong Kong, where she studied Chinese language at New Asia College, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and became the first American journalist to write for the Hong Kong desk at the then-independent British-owned newspaper South China Morning Post. Seeking to become fluent in Mandarin, she moved to Taiwan in 1971 and found a job as an English instructor at Tunghai University where she met Ernest Ching-Yi Chin, a fellow English instructor, whom she married in 1972 atop Yangminshan. Shortly after moving to the Bay Area, she began working at Stanford, and her tenure here was marked by a sincere and deep investment in the intellectual life of our community. She took a keen interest in faculty and student projects, attended talks and presentations regularly, and helped create or manage many enduring aspects of the East Asian Studies community at Stanford, including the Horizons alumni newsletter, the Silk Road Lecture Series, and the Center for Buddhist Studies. Connie’s interests were diverse and her curiosity was insatiable; she was a dedicated and long-term cellist in the Palo Alto Philharmonic; a serious practitioner of Taiji who could often be seen practicing in the department building courtyard; and an avid traveler who embraced adventure--including her 1979 trip to mainland China to meet her in-laws for the first time with their 3-year old son in tow, shortly after the Carter Administration established US-China relations. Connie was also deeply studious and, at the age of 66, completed a master’s degree in History at San Jose State University, writing on cenobitic monastic traditions in 6th-century Central Asia. This writing prize encourages graduate students in the Center for East Asian Studies and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures to strive for excellence in all aspects of the professional and personal lives, and celebrates Connie's nearly a half-century as a cornerstone of the East Asian Studies community at Stanford. The prize will be awarded at a special ceremony in the fall and the first place winner will receive a certificate and $500.
Application Deadline: May 31 annually
Eligible Students: Currently-enrolled CEAS & EALC graduate students only
Application Instructions: Submit the following items by email to John Groschwitz, CEAS Associate Director:
  • Current CV
  • One paper/essay (minimum 20 pages double-spaced, Times 12pt., 1″ margins, prefaced by abstract no longer that 300 words)
  • One recommendation letter from a Stanford professor (emailed by the professor directly to CEAS)