#IncomingElliott: Venesia Delancy

#IncomingElliott: Venesia Delancy

Venesia Delancy smiles, wearing a white AKA windbreaker and stands in front of the King Sejong monument in Seoul, South Korea, Venesia Delancy, M.A. in Asian Studies, 2025, #IncomingElliott

Venesia Delancy is a Posse Scholar alum and a GW Korean Studies Fellow from South Florida. She received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College majoring in International Relations. During her time on campus, she held leadership roles in numerous organizations such as co-chair of the Association of Pan-African Unity and was one of the first non-native Korean language tutors on campus. Her extensive involvement in the Korean language department earned her the 2022 Korean Cultural LA Award and she was awarded first place in the 2022 MHC Korean Speech Competition for her “History of Arirang” presentation.

During her gap year, Venesia has served as a research intern at both the Human Rights in North Korea and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. Venesia was also awarded a scholarship from Black Girls in Tech to pursue a Data Analytics and Program Management Certification. Through these certifications, Venesia hopes to enhance her research on the impacts of colonization in Korea by using SQL and R to synthesize and present her data.

Is your graduate program related to your undergraduate degree? If so, how?

I graduated with a Bachelor’s in International Relations, so the Asian Studies program at the Elliot School will allow me to delve further into regionally specific international affairs; while my undergraduate coursework included some East Asian centered courses, the volume of coursework available through the Asian Studies program will definitely enhance my understanding of more specific topics like South Korea’s industrialization boom or the impacts of Japanese imperialism on South Korean culture and politics.

What are you most looking forward to about starting your program?

I am very excited to delve into the complexities of Korean history and learn more from the top scholars in the field! Being able to take courses like History of Korea with Professor Jisoo Kim and Korean politics with Professor Celeste Arrington will be invaluable to expanding my knowledge of Korean sociopolitical issues. I am also very excited to engage with alums and current students who are specializing in Korean affairs as well. The Korean department at my undergraduate school was newer and thus made networking with previous students slightly harder.

What would you like to have accomplished by the time you finish your program?

By the time I finish my program, I would like to have further completed an internship at the Asia Society as a research intern and to achieve collegiate level proficiency in Korean. I am also hoping to write a dissertation on the impact of Japanese colonialism on Korea’s national identity and how it impacts the relationship between the two nations.

Why did you choose to commit to the Elliott School for your graduate program?

After researching numerous programs across the country, the diversity and depth of the Elliott School’s Korean program was a characteristic I immediately noticed; from impeccable faculty to the plethora of courses devoted to Korean affairs, the program’s coursework was definitely the best in regards to my concertation interests. Also, the Elliot School’s location optimizes my ability to network and connect with professionals and intern at research organizations focused on the Korean peninsula. As a hub for international organizations and affairs, D.C is the optimal place for me to expand my network while furthering my education.

If you could bring any international food to D.C., what would it be and why?

My family is Bahamian, so I’d definitely have to say Bahamian food; I remember being in undergrad and wanting to buy conch salad or fritters but there were no Bahamian restaurants within a 20 mile radius of our campus! 

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The #IncomingElliott profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights newly enrolling students to answer common questions posed by prospective and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at esiagrad@gwu.edu.

The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs.