Hi! My name is Irene Park. I’m currently a sophomore at Duke, but I was born and raised in the D.C. area: home to NIH, NASA, the Smithsonian, and countless other major research complexes. I suppose my proximity to all these different knowledge bases must have influenced my current self in some way, as I’ve got a lot of multi-dimensional ideas free-floating through my mind.

At the top of Montserrat in Barcelona, Spain!

In my free time, catch me looking up cheap flights across the world, staring out the window at nothing in particular, or trying to figure out how to magically save the Amazon. And as you might expect, I’m still relatively undecided about my major simply because I feel that there’s just too much in this world to learn. Picking one specialized area is a bit daunting for me.

But what I do know is that I love stories – both hearing and telling. At age 11, I made a whole blog dedicated to chronicling what I found to be my sister’s strange K-pop obsession. That phase of her life was rather short-lived, however, and eventually I better realized my interest in journalism. I became a writer and editor for my high school newspaper and editor-in-chief of my county one. I became a film buff as well, building a portfolio that included several award-winning shorts.

In general, what I’ve learned through my last few years of storytelling is that while research is typically considered purely objective knowledge, it’s nothing without its “softer” side. Virtually everything can change depending on how a subject is framed through words, sound, or visual media. Being able to effectively communicate – whether informatively, editorially, or both – is and has always been an immensely important task.

One of the many pictures taken while “working on a film” with my group.

That’s something I’d like to build upon during my time with the Duke Research Blog: being able to turn data into words, words into sentences, and sentences into ideas. I find historical, environmental, sociological and anthropological research especially interesting, but those are already some very long terms with highly complex concepts that desire a whole lot of unpacking.

Hopefully I’ll be able to do some of that here. I might also go out on a limb and hope that my experiences at Duke Research Blog could potentially help me decide on a major, but I’m guessing all that interesting new information will just make me more confused. But who ever said that was necessarily a bad thing?

A photo of my friend and me (R) trying to figure out the inner workings of my brain.