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News & Stories: 2007-08

Student profile: Mallory SnyderClass of 2009 - Asian Studies and Chinese

Mallory Snyder with floor-mates

Mallory Snyder (far left) gets ready for an 80s night floor date with friends.

From video games to Asia

Mallory Snyder once had dreams of becoming a doctor. Instead, the first-year student has found herself following the influence of something decidedly un-academic: video games.

As a child growing up in Saint Louis, Michigan, Snyder was enthralled by her brother's constant video-gaming.

It was through video games, many of which originate in Japan, that Snyder first became enamored with that country. Interest in other parts of Asia soon followed.

"Once I had a mild interest in Japan, I wanted to learn more about Korea because it's my heritage and China because it has close ties with Korea."

After getting hooked on Japanese pop music and doing independent research on Japan, she abandoned her original intentions to study medicine.

Mallory Snyder"I didn't like science enough," she says. "But I liked the way Japanese sounded, thought the history was fascinating, and liked the culture and the games."

When it came time to find a college, Snyder decided to look at schools that offered Japanese and Asian history courses. On a church trip to a college fair, Calvin caught her eye.

"It was one of the only schools that had a Japanese program." Snyder was attracted by the academics, but was pleased that Calvin was a Christian college.

"That was just a bonus," she says.

Another school offered Snyder close to a full-ride, but in the end she chose Calvin.

"Everyone was friendly and seemed to really care about me being here, not just getting my money," she says. "And I wanted to major in Asian Studies - I could not think of anything else I loved as much."

Snyder, who is pursuing a double major in Chinese and Asian Studies (with a Japanese emphasis), thinks she made the right choice.

"It's a really great program. Calvin profs are superb at what they do and it's clear they have a passion for the subject. That makes the classes interesting."

Snyder hopes her Calvin education will propel her toward a career overseas. She'd like to participate in the JET Program, a position through the Japanese government that requires a three-year commitment teaching English in Japan. If that doesn't work out, there's always China.

She plans to get a taste of both in the next few years through Calvin's study-abroad programs.

"There's no other time you can go abroad for so long for so little money."

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