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Former Student Prepares for Ph.D. Dissertation


By Pauline Moc, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

Jonathan Lee, a 1999 graduate of UC Riverside, is earning quite the reputation as a scholar. Vivian-Lee Nyitray, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, advised Lee during his undergraduate years. While at UCR, Lee was the recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, the Maurice Jackson Award from Ethnic Studies and the Roberta and Loretta Holstein Family Student Award from Religious Studies. After graduating from UCR, he received his M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley where he studied the San Francisco acolytes of the Chinese Buddho-Taoist sea goddess, Tianhou (or Mazu).

Currently, Lee is in the process of earning his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara where he is completing his dissertation titled Transnational Goddess on the Move: American-Mazu's Celestial Inspection Tour and Pilgrimage as Vernacular Chinese Religion. To prepare for his collaboration with American Mazu pilgrims, Lee spent two years studying advanced Mandarin, classical Chinese, and Minnanese (Taiwanese) at the National Taiwan University.

Lee was awarded a number of grants and fellowships during his graduate career including a US State Department Foreign Language and Area Studies Grant, a Blakemore Freeman Fellowship, and a scholarship from the Taiwan Ministry of Education. Additionally, he is the author of a number of scholarly and general publications.


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