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The Road He’s Taking

After reading about a ‘voyage,’ this alumnus discovered the world

Evan Hacker, ‘13, always noticed the globe sculpture sitting in front of Boyden Hall and one day decided to take a closer look. 

Underneath the globe was a plaque with a poem titled, “One Final Voyage,” written by alumna Rosamaria Carlozzi, ’93. 

The poem encouraged those reading it to, “forge international connections, travel and converse, with those who came from places uniquely diverse.”

“Reading what it said was reassuring,” he said. “I was interested in traveling and seeing the world but nervous about taking the risk. But when I read that, knowing someone else at Bridgewater (State University), who had stood in the same location as me, it encouraged me.”

Before arriving at BSU, the Easton native attended Columbia College in Chicago, an art school where he explored music. 

“I liked working with other musicians on songs but found I didn’t enjoy the business aspect of the music business,” Hacker said. 

During this period, he also spent much of his time in the Chicago Public Library where he gravitated towards history book. As he poured over page after page, it reignited his passion for knowledge of the past. 

It was then he decided to move back to Massachusetts, the “home of American history,” as he described it. 

“I switched my major to history and heard Bridgewater had a very good program, and that’s what led me to BSU,” he said. 

Hacker was confident that studying history would strengthen his reading and writing skills. It would also include some travelling, of which he is especially fond of. 

Hacker enrolled in different language classes, but it was when a peer suggested he try taking a Chinese class that things clicked. 

“I was always drawn to Chinese culture, even as a kid…the art, the sounds, the music,” he said. “It introduced me to a different world and made me realize there were different cultures out there to explore.”

Two mean stand and talk to each other

Hacker joined BSU’s international Club which introduced him to international students and professors, such as Dr. Wing-Kai To, assistant provost for Global Engagement and senior international officer. 

It was To who encouraged him to apply for a scholarship that would allow him to participate in an 8-week intensive course at Beijing Jiaotong University. 

“That was a game changer,” Hacker said of the experience. “Every day was a challenge, a puzzle for me to figure out how to navigate the society there.”

Back on the BSU campus, he also worked as an English as a Second Language tutor for international students. 

“That was my first real teaching experience, and I found I really enjoyed it because I could see I was making their lives easier,” he said. 

After graduating from BSU, when an opportunity presented itself to teach English in China, Hacker jumped at the chance. 

He moved to Shaoxing, China, where he worked for nearly eight years as an American culture professor at YueXiu University of Foreign Languages. 

While there he also promoted BSU, making Chinese students aware of the opportunities the university offers international students. He even met with Dr. To and President Frederick W. Clark Jr, who traveled to China in 2017 to participate in an expo in Shanghai. 

Two men stand together smiling together

Outside of work, China took on a more significant role for Hacker who met and married his wife, Juliette, there. Even his dog, Jack, is originally from China. 

The couple now resides in North Carolina but travel back often to visit with family and friends. 

He’s currently teaching online and taking public speaking gigs where he shares his international knowledge with like-minded peers and organizations. 

And of course, Hacker is always on the hunt for new travel opportunities. 

“You never know what you will experience when you travel, whether it’s good or bad…go into it with an open mind and learn from everything that happens,” he said. 

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