Student Profiles

Kris Anderson received her B.A. in Asian and Middle East Studies from Northwestern University (2008). She completed research on contemporary Tibetan art in Lhasa, and studied at Tibet University in 2008-2009. Her current research interests focus on theories of translation and strategies employed translating Sanskrit texts into Tibetan during the earlier and later disseminations, and into Chinese.

Zack Beer received a B.A. in Religious Studies from Stanford University (2004) and then spent ten years studying and teaching in Nepal, during which time he also completed an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from Kathmandu University (2010). His research interests center on the history and theory of Tibetan Buddhist ritual practice, particularly the origins of the tradition of three year meditation retreat.

Rae Erin Dachille received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College (1999) and an M.A. in Asian Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2005). In 2008, she completed a Masters thesis on modes of representation in Tibetan medical paintings and earned an M.A. in the Languages and Cultures of Asia at UW-Madison. Her research interests include visual and literary representations of the body in Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhist and medical traditions.

Catherine Dalton received a B.A. in Religion from Middlebury College (2001) and an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from Kathmandu University (2008). Her current research interests focus on the development and standardization of meditation manuals in early modern Tibet.

Meghan Howard received a B.A. in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies from Harvard University (2004). She then spent four years at Songtsen Library in Dehradun, India, working on a translation project involving Dunhuang materials related to the history of Tibet's imperial period (6th to 9th centuries). Her research interests center on cultural and religious exchanges between Tibet and neighboring peoples from the imperial period through the fourteenth century. 

James Marks received a B.A. in Philosophy from Eugene Lang College The New School in 2009, and an M.T.S in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School in 2012. He is primarily interested in Indian Buddhist philosophy, especially concerning debates over the nature of the self, both within Buddhism and between Buddhist and other Indian philosophical traditions.

Matthew McMullen received a B.A. in Religion from Wabash College in 2002 and an M.A. in Asian Religions from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2008 where his studies centered on Japanese Esoteric Buddhism. He also spent two years at Taisho University in Tokyo as a research student. Matthew’s coursework in the Ph.D. program focuses on Japanese Buddhism, but his research interests also include concepts of esotericism in East Asian Buddhism, Buddhist educational systems, and doctrinal debate in pre-modern Japan.

Shiying Pang received a B.A. in History from Fudan University (2003) and an M.A. in Special History of Chinese Religion, also from Fudan University (2006). In spring 2009, she completed a master thesis on the familial identity of Tang Buddhist nuns and received an M.A. in the East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Her research focuses primarily on Chinese Buddhism, especially Buddhist nuns and laywomen represented by epigraphy and literature.

"Tatsuo" Florian Saile received his B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature from UC Berkeley in 2001, and his M.A in Buddhist Studies from the Osaka University of Foreign Studies (Osaka, Japan) in 2003. He is currently completing coursework in the Ph.D. program with a focus on Heian and Kamakura-period Japanese Buddhism. His primary area of interest is the doctrinal, ritual, and institutional evolution of the Hosso and Tendai schools.

Trent Walker received a B.A. in Religious Studies from Stanford University in 2010.  He spent two years in Cambodia researching Khmer and Pali "Dharma songs" (dharm pad or smūtr) in preparation for his B.A. thesis on the aesthetics of this liturgical tradition. Trent's current research interests include Buddhist musical and liturgical practices, particularly the history of Theravāda chant in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

Joseph Wood received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota (1966), an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Wisconsin (1972), and a J.D. from the University of California-Berkeley (1981). His research interests include philosophical/legal principles underlying rules of monastic conduct, and causation theory as it relates to effect of vows, rituals, etc.