Around the World with the EWCA Chapters

The East-West Center Association (EWCA) represents the 55,000 individuals who have participated in East-West Center programs since it was established in 1960. EWCA provides many programs and services for its members throughout Asia, the Pacific, and the United States. These services and programs are designed to support the Center’s mission to help build an Asia Pacific Community and to extend the outreach of the East-West Center.

There are nearly 50 East-West Center Association (EWCA) chapters throughout Asia Pacific and the United States. The goal of each chapter is to support the Center by broadening its outreach throughout the region. Chapters facilitate professional networking through a variety of activities including informal get-togethers, seminars, lectures, and workshops. Chapters also support the Center by helping to recruit qualified participants for Center programs, increasing awareness of the Center, and carrying our community service projects.

In November 2009, we received a series of reports from more than a dozen of EWCA Chapters, here is a summary from some of their activities in the year 2009. While some of the reports include activities that have already happened in this 2010, the reports provide a clear idea of the activities that the EWCA Chapters.

Reading these chapter reports shows the active international network of the East-West Center Association, and is like traveling around the world without leaving your chair.

EWCA Tokyo Chapter (Report by Taka Tsuchiya)

This fall 2009 the Tokyo Chapter welcomed two distinguished leaders of other chapters, namely South Korea and Thailand: on October 16th Dr. Song Young-Sun, member of National Assembly of Korea and on November 5th Dr. Naris Chaiyasoot, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Thai Ministry of Finance, respectively. Dr. Song is a former classmate of EWC President Dr. Charles Morrison. Dr. Naris is the president of EWC Thai chapter.

The chapter held a steering committee on October 24, 2009 and decided to hold a general meeting on January 23, 2010 to discuss activities and budget for 2010.

EWCA Washington D.C. Chapter (Report by Anny Wong)

This September 2009, several members in the DC chapter met with Gordon Ring to learn about upcoming 50th anniversary celebration activities and plans in Hawaii. This provided important input to spur thinking on activities the DC chapter could organize to help celebrate this special occasion. Members are expected to meet again on November 16, 2009 to further discussion and to reach out again to the entire chapter membership for ideas and involvement.

EWCA Bangladesh Chapter (Report by Abu Ekramul Ahsan)

  • Monthly Chapter Meeting: The Chapter meetings are held regularly each month. The last meeting was held on Friday, October 30, 2009.
  • Presentation by Mary Hammond, Dean, Education Program: Mary Hammond, Dean, Education Program made a presentation on September 10, 2009 at the American Center, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She spoke on opportunities for study and fellowships at the East West Center. About 25 prospective students and some university faculties attended. The representative of the Bangladesh Chapter and some alumni were also present.
  • Alumni mini conference 2009: A mini conference and alumni get together was held on September 11, 2009 at Hotel Sheraton, Dhaka, Bangladesh during visit of Karen Knudsen (EWC Director of External affairs) and Mary Hammond (Dean, Education Programs). Several alumni attended. At the mini conference, details discussions were held about chapter activities, constraints to organize larger events, contribution issues, and participation in the EWC 50th anniversary events in Honolulu etc.
  • Community service project: The Chapter has undertaken a pilot project in a selected village  (Village: Goakandia, Upazila: Durgapur, District: Netrokona, Bangladesh) for a holistic development of the poor community through selected interventions in health, education and income generating activities of the 30 vulnerable and ultra poor women headed households. These women are either widow, divorced or abandoned by their husbands. The activities of this community services project include among others, (i) providing cash for their subsistence, (ii) supply of cloths and medicines to these women and their children, (iii) training for social awareness and income earning activities in the form of poultry or goat rearing with small investment, and (iv) support to poor children for their education. The activities are being carried out by contribution of some alumni and being coordinated by the Chapter Leader under the banner of EWCA Bangladesh Chapter.
  • Chapter development: Updating of alumni database is continuing which is about half way thru.

EWCA Northern California Chapter (Report by Barbara Bornet Stumph)

  • We co-sponsored two events with the Asia Society, Asia Foundation, World Affairs Council of San Francisco, and others: on May 5, 2009 we attended an event on: “The Future of Relations between Taiwan and People’s Republic” with four scholars. The event was attended by a room filled with Asian Americans and others.
  • October 5, 2009 we cosponsored an event with the same organizations entitled, “The Future of Democracy in China,” with four scholars. There were over a hundred people in attendance and the organizer, Dr. Robert Bullock, said it was one of their best panel discussions.
    • At the welcome desk of both events listed above, a Chapter member passed out EWCA colored brochures given to us by the Alumni Services Office, Gordon Ring and Noreen Tanoyue. Special effort was made to contact visiting high school students to discuss our APLP Program.
    • Summary notes of both events were emailed to our virtual Chapter members and to various EWCA Chapter Leaders around the world, including former Junior Year Program alumni (’65-’69) and those of our Chapter who have returned to Asia or moved to other States.
  • Five and eight of our members were delighted to meet with two EWCA officers for lunch and dinner: the Publicity Officer (name?) and Gordon Ring. We were updated on current EWC events. A new friend of the EWCA has joined us for all four events listed, Lotus Fong. We get so much energy from these visits, as well as useful information.
  • Chapter Coordinator telephoned half of our members in California about fund raising.
  • We advertised the Silk Road Trip of Dr. Tim Wong to our membership. Barbara Bornet Stumph, and two brush painting friends (located in Colorado and Australia) have paid their deposits to attend in October 2010. (Two hundred dollars per person of the trip fee goes to EWCA scholarships.)
  • Two recent published articles by Barbara Bornet Stumph were built upon the mission and work of the East West Center:”
    • Wisdom of a Swordsman, a Review of Asian Art Museum Exhibition” was published at History News Network, George Mason University (
    • “Learning Chinese Brush Painting: Fun , Frustration, and X Factor” has been accepted for publication for Voices, an in-house news publication for five hundred docents, Board members, and volunteers at the Asian Art Museum in SF, CA.

EWCA Singapore Chapter (Report by Seok Hoon)

  • 27 August 2009. Welcome dinner meeting for EWC grantee Jennifer Weinmar and her husband. Jennifer is working in Spore at the UNLV (University of Las Vegas. Spore campus).
  • 9 Sept 2009. Welcome dinner for EWC grantee Takuya Murata and his wife. Takuya is working in Spore at Standard Chartered Bank.
  • 28 Oct 2009 Fellowship dinner in MYMCA to meet EWC spore grantees who were in the center past year. Those who could come: Bong Siew Fang, Cai Dingyan, Sofiah Jamil, Ella Sze, and Amy Amporn Jiratikorn.
  • 30 Oct 2009. Balinese masked dance performance by Garret Kam from EWC. The event was held at the National Institute of Education. Well attended by students and staff from the NTU campus.

EWCA Chicago-Mid West Chapter (Report by Pam Drymiller)

The Chicago-Mid West Chapter had the following activities from January 2009 – November 2009:

  • Met with Bulbu Tolani Gidwani and her husband, son and daughter. She was a grantee in 1966. Visited with them and took them to the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • Publicized an Aikido Demonstration by Charles Tseng and his class. Then our group had          a picnic and short meeting.
  • Sent picture and short description for inclusion in the newsletter.

EWCA Faisalabad Chapter (Report by Muhammad Ibrahim)

  1. Held regular monthly meetings and discussed mainly the terrorist activities in the country which affected the country badly. Due to terrorists attach other developments in the country are standstill.
  2. Distributed EWC literature about the availability of different type of scholarships.
  3. Held Alumni meeting with Ms Karen Knudsen, Center Faculty visiting Pakistan.
  4. Maintenance of community projects.
    • Community tree plantation: Post plantation care is continuous activity.
    • Home gardening for vegetable growing.
  5. Fund raising for poor people: Some funds were raised and handed over to poor.
  6. Held weekly seminar or discussions regularly.

EWCA Kansai Chapter (Report by Kiyoshi Hamano)

  • The last Kansai Chapter general meeting was held in 2004 in order to organize the EWCA International Conference in Japan.
  • Between 2004 and 2009, we did not have any general meeting in Kansai area. All the ‘big’ meeting was held in Tokyo.
  • Occasionally, we have a board meeting in Kansai area. Next board meeting will be held on November 29.
  • Our next general meeting will be scheduled sometime in Spring next year.

EWCA Lahore Chapter (Report by Arfa Sayeda Zehra)

  • July 2009: Presented a paper, “Effective Implementation of Judicial Policy: Public Perception” in the National Judicial Conference held in Islamabad, Pakistan. This aligned with the EWC conference theme of Strengthening Good Governance and Social Justice.
  • August 2009:
    • Presented a paper, “Extremism and Its Impact on Society” in the National Conference held in Islamabad, Pakistan.
    • Panelist in a TV talk show on inter-faith harmony. Currently this is a crucial issue in Pakistan.
    • Both of these conformed to the idea of Reducing Conflict and Enhancing Cooperation.
    • The participation in the foregoing activities was based of my association with East West Center and as a leader of Alumni Chapter.
  • September 2009:
    • Hosted two dinners for Ms. Karen Knudsen, Director External Affairs, and Mr. Shabbir Cheema, Senior Fellow, East West Center on the occasion of their visit to Lahore, Pakistan.
    • Chapter Members meeting with the visiting Director and the Senior Fellow to discuss the coming 50th anniversary in July 2010 and members’ participation and contribution to it.

EWCA Laos Chapter (Report by Chanthavong Saignasith)

  • Coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affair and Ministry  of Education of Laos to get entry permission for Dr. Chalintorn of Institute of International Education/South East Asia to come to Laos since the US embassy in Laos refuted to act as a coordinator  between the Institute and the concerned Lao government agencies.
  • Dr. Chalintorn made presentation at National University of Laos on EWC Scholarship “Study in the US and Scholarship Opportunity”.
  • EWC Alumni dinner on the occasion that Dr. Chalintorn coming to Laos on EWC Scholarship.
  • Distributed Flyers on EWC Scholarship.

EWCA Papua New Guinea Chapter (Report by Solomon Kantha)

  • At the end of June 2009 several members of the PNG Chapter were able to participate in the first ever United States-South Pacific (USSP) scholarship alumni workshop in Hawaii at the East-West Center. The PNG Chapter leader took the opportunity to encourage alumni from other Pacific Island countries who were at the workshop to set up their own chapters and reconnect with their alumni.
  • The PNG Chapter would like to thank the U.S. Department of State, the East-West Center and specifically the USSP Scholarship Coordinator Mr. Eugene Vricella for organizing the workshop.
  • At the end of July 2009 the PNG Chapter organized a barbeque at the residence of alumni David Bello Kombako (ADB-GOJ 2005) at the University of Papua New Guinea.
  • The PNG Chapter has been working with the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby in preparing for the first ever visit by the USSP Scholarship Coordinator Mr. Eugene Vricella at the East-West Center to the country. Mr. Vricella would be visiting educational institutions in Port Moresby and Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province and talking mostly to students on the scholarship and other EWC scholarship opportunities.
  • The PNG Chapter Leader, Solomon Kantha has been invited by the US Embassy to give a presentation to the PNG-USA Alumni on the activities of the Chapter. Representing the PNG Chapter Solomon Kantha has been working with the PNG-USA Alumni to organize a reception for the new U.S. Ambassador to PNG Mr. Teddy Taylor. Mr. Eugene Vricella from the East-West Center was also invited to speak to the PNG-USA Alumni during the reception.

EWCA Asian Studies Development Chapter (Report by David Jones)

The ASDP Chapter conducted the following activities in this last quarter:

  • Maintained the Asian Studies Development Program national and international listserv. ASDP-L is the main line of communication for its over 1,000 alumni members and is part of H-NET.
  • Through its relation with the ASDP Association of Regional Centers initiated plans for the 16th Asian Studies Development Program National Conference 2010 and the 20th Asian Studies Development Program Anniversary to be held in conjunction with the EWCA Conference in July 2010. Preparations include reserving meeting space, accommodations for participants, call for papers, developing the program, and planning receptions.
  • Published another issue of the Asian Studies Development Program’s Alumni Newsletter under the direction of its editor, Julien Farland, was published this quarter.
  • Published 2 issues of East-West Connections, the academic journal of ASDP and prepared the next issue.
  • Plans for 2010 ASDPNC Fundraiser: Chapter to host a fundraiser dinner to support EWC Student Scholarships and ASDP Student Paper Awards.
  • Conducted the Samoa and Indonesia Disaster Relief Drive, which is still in progress; the drive has raised over $200 in its first week. (In 2008, the chapter raised $2,200+ for disaster relief for Sichuan earthquake and Myanmar cyclone victims)
  • Plans began for a 20th ASDP anniversary commemorative volume of essays tentatively titled Praxis and Discovery: Essays in Asian Studies.

EWCA Korea Chapter (Report by Jeon Taik Lee)

The Korea Chapter held a Steering Committee breakfast meeting on Nov 14, 2009 with participation of members including: Dr Ho Jin Kim, Dr Kwang Ho Meng, Dr Wi Sup Song, and Dr Jeong Taik Lee.

Various ways for stimulating the Chapter activities in 2010 were discussed. Matters pertaining to promoting members’ participation in the 50th EWC Anniversary Conference were also dealt with. All the participants agreed and shared the importance of keeping up with efforts to mobilizing the Chapter’s community togetherness which can come into a reality by “being at the EWC on early July 2010.”

EWCA Chennai Chapter (Report by P. Subramaniyam)

The Chennai Chapter continued to work for the promotion of the objectives of the EWC.

A notable activity in this direction was the collaboration of the EWCA Chennai Chapter with the Association of British Scholars of Chennai in organizing an Evening of Music as part of the Madras Week Celebrations. The event was held on the 1st of September 2009. The focus of the evening programme which was performed by the MADRAS STRING QUARTET was on the influence of Colonial Music on the South Indian musical traditions. The concert addressed three main influences, namely, the adapting of violin to Carnatic music, the use of western concert format for performing Carnatic music and attempts to imitate western melodic structure in Carnatic music. The event was well attended and received good reviews in the Press.

The work on Climate Changes and their Impact on Environment was continued by the President, Mr. P M. Belliappa, supported by Dr. S. Rajamani, the Secretary of the Chennai Chapter.

Mr. P. Subramaniyam, the Vice-President presented a paper on “Nutrition Security Issues” for the National Symposium on Food and Nutrition Security in India held on the 7th September 2009 at the Women’s Christian College, Chennai.

A meeting was convened by Mr. P. M. Belliappa, the President of the EWCA Chennai Chapter to interact with Ms. Karen Knudsen and Ms. Mary Hammond of the EWC/EWCA Hawaii on the 23rd September 2009 in Chennai. Ms. Karen Knudsen stated that the Chennai Chapter’s work was remarkable. She wanted to encourage more students from this region to apply for EWC programmes. She also encouraged the EWCA Chennai Chapter alumni to participate in the EWC 50th anniversary celebrations in the coming year. She further encouraged the Chennai Chapter to collaborate with the USIEF for updating the alumni list.

Mr. Subramaniyam, the Vice-President, explained the proposal of the Chapter to hold a career conference for college students in the city in which information on higher studies including the EWC programmes could be highlighted. Ms. Mary Hammond gave the site ID for finding information on scholarships. Dr. S. Rajamani, the Secretary, referred to climate change and the work done by Pacific Basin Consortium on Environment. Dr. H.K.L. Rao mentioned about his Maths teaching campaign for underprivileged children and Dr. Vasanthi Ranganathan mentioned about her work with the USIEF.  Dr. Syed Mujtaba Ali mentioned about the non-visibility of EWC and supported the idea of a workshop for highlighting EWC programmes to the student population. He also welcomed the possibility of funding for specific projects. Mr. K. B. Sankaran encouraged the preparation of specific project proposals.

Mr. P. M. Belliappa said that there was a need for better marketing of EWC programmes and for holding a workshop highlighting EWC activities.

Dr. Syed Mujtaba Ali, Member in charge of Media, presented a paper on Tiger Conservation at the “USIEF Workshop on Biodiversity Conservation with Stakeholder Participation” from October6-9, 2009 in Kerala.


2 thoughts on “Around the World with the EWCA Chapters

  1. I am surprized that Islamabad Chapter report is not included

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