Behind the scenes of SU Globalists with Jane Lee: More than just a magazine

student standing in front of brick campus building

On its website, the team behind SU Globalists describes a globalist as someone who is proud of his/her/their cultural and social identities, and unafraid to start difficult conversations to bridge differences and find commonalities. The award-winning publication’s president Jane Lee gives this new meaning. “When SU Globalists was first started, it was an organization that catered toward the underrepresented international student community on campus,” notes Lee.  Among other publications and magazines on campus, Lee had noticed that there were limited options for voices of the international student body of Syracuse University. When she came across a Facebook post about Globalists shared by a former colleague, Lee was immediately drawn to the idea. Her engagement eventually led to her role as president this year.

“Back then, we were five people in a room in the lobby of a building, planning week-by-week story ideas and scheduling social media posts for outreach,” Lee said, reminiscing. She assumed the role of communications director her sophomore year, where she learned to use the public relations tools from classes, and apply them to grow Globalists. “Despite that we were a small group, everyone was dedicated to the overall mission — to serve as a platform for the underrepresented.

One of the biggest reasons how that idea is strong today, some four semesters later, is the methodical process that goes on behind the scenes. Embedded within the organization is an extensive editing structure where editors work 1:1 with writers to best represent a story.

n fall of 2019, Globalists opened their doors as a contributor-based publication, increasing the variety of storytelling mediums from narratives to poetry, playlists and video contributions. Each post is published under one of four categories: Narratives, Perspectives, Culture and From Abroad. These banners that SU Globalists uses is reflective of the overarching themes that the publication leaves a lasting mark in.

Globalists is also unique in the diverse representation of colleges and majors in both their e-board and general members. The visuals department is led by both Amy Nakamura, a junior magazine student, and Sujean Gahng, a sophomore animation student. This integration makes it an attractive place for students to share their strengths to better the organization as a whole.

More than the macro-environment, SU Globalists also celebrates its members. In Lee’s foreword for the fall 2019 issue for the magazine, she notes, “Globalists are wide-eyed, hopeful and courageous.” She goes on to further mention the contributions of every member of the organizations to recognize them for their zeal that makes Globalists what it is. This is very much in line with what Lee believes is what makes the organization what it is. The founding idea of “Globalists is a safe space where anyone can come and share their stories” allows the members to push themselves through passion and find success and recognition through their work.

The magazine was the recipient of the Spring 2019 Award for Outstanding Media and Publication at the 44 Stars of Excellence award ceremony hosted by Syracuse University, for its unique and effective approach to diversity and storytelling.

To revisit the point of why Lee fits the definition of a Globalists, it is crucial to understand her upbringing. Lee, who was born in Los Angeles and moved to South Korea at the age of 7, was always exposed to the idea of a multi-cultural identity since then. She describes her high school setting in South Korea as a place where she was friends with students who shared her place in society, with two or more cultural identities. It was during high school where she cultivated a true sense of curiosity and took part in various extra-curricular affairs. She is particularly proud of her predominant contributions to the high school yearbook.

Lee moved back to the states in Fall 2016 to pursue higher education. She is currently majoring in Public Relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and pursuing minors in Information Technology at the School of Informational Studies and Sociology at the College of Arts and Sciences.

Even after a drastic change in scenery, Lee maintained her curiosity and let it motivate her. In fact, it was this curiosity and drive that led her to find SU Globalists. Lee had been introduced to the organization via the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by TechStars, where she was a contributing member of another initiative at the institution. It was a former member of that initiative who introduced her to SU Globalists. She has found it to be a place to find and implement a vision: “To be a place where you could do what you wanted to do because it was valued, and everybody was heard.”

When asked about her vision for the organization, she says that she wants the organization to maintain the same set of ideals and drive that it has today, no matter how big it grows.

This is because ultimately, Lee believes that, “We are more than just a magazine.”  

Story by LaunchPad Global Media Fellow Krishna Pamidi

Photo supplied by SU Globalists and used with permission