Williams-Mystic Fall 1992
Williams College ’94: German major (Pre-Med)
“There is no other program that unites all aspects of American maritime studies the way that Williams-Mystic does, with Science, Policy, History, and Culture. Since America is so much a maritime nation, Williams-Mystic is unique in that it is an immersive course in America, and what made us who we are. It is this immersive aspect — including sailing, skills, traveling, living at Mystic Seaport — which has no comparison.“
Chen-Li Sung is a Surgeon in the United States Army.
“My job responsibilities alternate between Staff Officer, which is primarily operational planning and policy work, and clinical care, or taking care of patients who are active duty Soldiers. I like the variety and the changes, and the ability to impact a system for the better. And I like going to faraway places and having experiences most people will never have.“
BETWEEN THEN AND NOW:
After college, Chen Li completed his M.D. at Mt Sinai School of Medicine. Since then, he has worked as an Army surgeon all over the world, including in Turkey, Estonia, and Korea. He also finds time for some adventures reminiscent of Williams-Mystic, such as scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef.
HOW DID WILLIAMS-MYSTIC HELP YOUR CAREER?
“Williams-Mystic helped in concrete ways, such as teaching me to view an issue at multiple levels, from the point of view of people all along the line of impact. Such experience as an undergraduate is invaluable. The precision of thought that the Program requires for academic excellence was great preparation for my later dealings with high-ranking officials; it also helped to remove trepidation, because we learn that there is no reason to be intimidated by position or rank. Williams-Mystic students work with world experts every day. Even seemingly casual things, like learning to live with strangers in a house and getting along, has been of critical benefit when I have been crowded in a tent in the cold for months on end. ”
HOW DID WILLIAMS-MYSTIC CHANGE YOUR WORLDVIEW?
“Understanding the sea, the cosmopolitan nature of seafarers, and the limitations of that worldliness, has made me much more aware and appreciative of my own experiences. My understanding of our country’s history is much more deeply informed, and thus my political views are more global than local. A view of the world that recognizes the fact that most of our planet is ocean gives a much more accurate and deep perspective of the human position in the world. And I just know more, because you learn things at Williams-Mystic you won’t learn anywhere else; and that just makes you more curious, because you WANT to learn more. If the unexamined life is not worth living, Williams-Mystic has made my examination of my life much more fruitful, and my entire life therefore much more worth living.”