Julien Teel, senior SMU student and student fellow at the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, gave a presentation on “Territorial Disputes in the East China Sea and Its Implications on the China-Japan-U.S. Triangular Relationship” at the Tower Center boardroom on September 17, 2013. More than 20 students, faculty, and Tower Center members attended and had a lively discussion.
Territorial disputes in the East China Sea are complex, involving many different interests and issues—which made it the perfect subject for Julien to study considering his deep interest in national security, and maritime security in particular. In addition to building on his studies at SMU these past years, his internship at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. this past summer also allowed him to work with scholars from Japan who are experts on security and foreign policy in Asia and to attend events at various research organizations in the national capital. Having just 30 minutes to talk about a highly complex issue and to an audience beyond his peers in a typical classroom setting made him a little nervous at first.
Feedback from the audience indicates he did a fantastic job. Julien said he learned a lot from this experience: from thinking critically about how to present information and analysis to gaining confidence in public speak and skills in interacting with audiences. He urges other students to seize opportunities to present their research to broader audiences, and hope the Tower Center and other forums will give students more opportunities to showcase their research.
– Anny Wong, Tower Center Fellow
* This activity benefitted from the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Public Education for Peacebuilding Support Initiative.
Julien Teel is a senior majoring in Political Science and International Studies, while also minoring in Chinese and Asian Studies. His research encompasses security and defense issues in East Asia, as well as analyzing the trilateral relationship between the U.S., Japan, and China. Currently, Julien is in the process of applying for Officer Candidate School in the Navy with the intention of entering as an Intelligence Officer. He eventually hopes to become a Foreign Area Officer in the Navy, formulating and promoting American foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region.