Quarterly Report from EWCA Alumni Chapters (April 2013)



RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED BY:  Estrella Besinga Sybinsky



For all of the chapters that responded, we extend our deep appreciation for your chapter responses.  We continue to have faith that other chapters will soon follow with their reports for the next Quarterly Executive Board Meeting.

The following chapters and chapter leaders responded:  1)  ASDP Chapter (Jessica  Sheetz-Nguyen)  2)  Bali Chapter (Anak Agung Gde Muninjaya)  3)  Brisbane & Virtual Australia (Iraphne Childs, Leader & Karen Reid Nunan, Secretary))  4)  Hanoi Chapter (Hoang Hoe)  5)  Hawaii Chapter (Carl Hefner)  6) Lahore Chapter (Arfa Zehra) 7)  Laos Chapter (Chantavong Saignasith)  8)  Mumbai Chapter (Sarosh Bana)  9) Nepal (Nirendra Maske)  10)  Okinawa Chapter (Keiko Yamazato) 11) Philippines Chapter (Ramon Clarete and Pauline Bautista) 12)  Singapore Chapter (Seng Seok Hoon)  13)  Southern CA Chapter (Claire Langham Richmond)  14) Tokyo Chapter (Yasukata Yano (current) & Shigeo Tonoike (past))  15) Washington D.C. Chapter (Jacob Dowd).


The ASDP special project for 2013 is the planning and hosting of the 20th National ASDP Conference to be held in Texas on March 13-15, 2014.  Conference coordinators are Betty Buck and the ASDP Alumni Chapter President Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen, University of Central Oklahoma.  Hoping to make this conference the best attended in its history, they currently are supported by a large conference committee and expect to have the participation of many ASDP alumni and members of the EWC community in Houston. Their keynote Speaker will be Dr. Yasmin Saikia, Hardt-Nickachos Chair of Peace Studies at Arizona State University.

Four other chapter activities are reported for this chapter:  1)  The chapter held its 19th Annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ between February 28-March 2, 2013.  Participants were treated to Junya Shao’s traditional ceramics making and by Xiaoping Luo’s  lecture on “The Evolution of Fine Art in China” and Dr. Llewellyn Howell’s lecture on “The Advance of Han.”  2)  Dona Cady, Dean of Global Studies at Middlesex Community College is the chapter’s new VP.  3)  The chapter updated its by-laws to reflect the growing engagement of the members.  4)  The ASDP alumni newsletter editor Rachana Sachdev, will release the Spring issue din April.

Contact the EWCA ASDP Chapter


The collaborative program between two chapters, the Bali Chapter and the Hong Kong Chapter, grew out of the EWCA Conference in Beijing.  The collaboration has been a big success, and has promoted and they hope, will continue to promote, further expansion of cooperative activities between the two chapters.  The Bali chapter is appreciative of the effort of  Glenn Shive, Hong Kong’s  chapter leader, in the visit to Bali of students from Hong Kong.  What followed after the Beijing Conference?  The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Udayana University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong provided their institutional support to the chapter collaboration, by completing an agreement whereby 10 post graduate students in the Master of Public Health Program in Hong Kong (with their supervisor, Professor Xialoin We) visited Udayana University.  Their goal:  to learn community health practices and public health programs in Bali which is part of Bali’s village community health student teaching program.  The visiting students were in Bali from March 30 – to April 7, learning about the Indonesian Health System and primary health care practices from Chapter Leader and Prof. Muninjaya’s lecture, visited community health centers, conducted home visits, made a cross-cultural study and shared their reflections about community health problems and primary health care practices.  The program was beneficial to both chapters and the Bali chapter expressed special gratitude for being a part of the East West Center community.

Contact the EWCA Bali Chapter


The Chapter continues to engage in EWC related activities for the year relating to:

May 11 Nepali New Year  2) Hike to help Nepal and 3)  Karen and Peter Nunan visited EWC alumni Bruce Allender in Melbourne last October.

For their international community service project, Jeremy Webb is consistent with his Alumni Climate Change Network, sending out press releases and reports on climate change development.  Further, the chapter continues to support two students in Nepal through their partner organization, NAFA.  Two students in Nepal are doing well academically.  One wants to pursue Nursing school, possibly in India, and the other, a daughter of a former prisoner, wants to study fashion.

For their local community service project, four of the chapter members are continuing their work with disaster relief through the Australian Red Cross.  Currently, Queensland  has wetter than usual conditions with cyclones, tornadoes and floods.

The chapter is encouraging members to make contributions to the Center individually.

There are ten current members of the chapter and nine affiliate members.  Please contact the Alumni office for details.

Contact the EWCA Brisbane Chapter


The Chapter Leader reminded the Alumni office that they would like to get a list of EWC alumni that had just come back to Vietnam in the last two years so they can follow up with them.  For this quarter, they reported no special activities.

Contact the EWCA Hanoi Chapter


Chapter activities this Spring include regular meetings with members and providing support and assistance to the East West Center.

Monetary donations were given to EWCPA on several occasions:

1)     Support for the collaborative participant-led event titled “Participant Vision: East West Center 2020.”  The event was held on March 15 at the Imin Center from 8 am to 1pm.   The event was a response to President Charles Morrison’s call at the Friends of the EWC Anniversary dinner, challenging the audience to adopt new and creative approaches for the sustainability of the Center.  Perspectives of participants and community members on key opportunities vis a vis the medium term future of the Center were shared at the event and the Chapter hopes that this “world café” inspired dialogue will become an annual event.

2)      The EWCPA students needed donations for a new sound system for their presentations at the East-West Fest.  The Chapter supplied monetary support for the rental or purchase of a new sound system.

The annual Hawaii Chapter Dinner and Fundraiser will again be held at the Pacific Club on April 21, 2013.  The annual meeting will be conducted at the event and will likewise include an Art bazaar, an Asian Art Auction and performances by EWC students. Please contact the Alumni office for tickets.

Contact the EWCA Hawaii Chapter


Although this part of the world is going through strange and difficult times, the Lahore Chapter, as a group of EWC alumni, are trying to do their best to contribute to humanitarian and social needs in their limited sphere.  This quarter they extended themselves to raise the voice against sectarian and targeted killings.  A couple of members, along with the chapter leader, made efforts for public awareness through peaceful demonstrations and talked to the public regarding the issue on different forums. Lahore Chapter is currently very involved in letting people know the importance of the coming elections and the use of their vote as responsible citizens. Our member, Dr. Muhammad Sadiq is investing his time and energy for this vital task.

The Chapter leader spoke to a group of students from the reputed educational institutes in Lahore about East West Center fellowships and gave them a briefing on the programs and their goals.  Lahore Chapter members continue to work towards generating support for the marginalized and underprivileged school going children. This has been a success over the years and the chapter leader is very keen that this project continues to serve the community.  The chapter leader is deeply involved to extend her services and herself to her best.

Regarding the fundraising, it has a different profile of priority in Lahore. It is strongly felt that right here around us there are much more acute and basic needs and the energies would be directed to help the community first. The chapter leader personally contributes to EWC and will make this year’s contribution soon.  The chapter leader emphasizes that the contribution of the chapter may not be visible in quantity, but as a group conscious of its debt of gratitude, they are trying to do their best to reach out to those who are in need of it. In an extremely disturbing environment the chapter is keeping itself focused

Contact the EWCA Lahore Chapter


For this quarter, the Lao chapter reported that they have no activities.

Contact the EWCA Laos Chapter


The Mumbai chapter events for this quarter has been very energizing for its members.

On April 1st, EWC alumnus D.K. Shankaran who retired as Chief Secretary of Maharashtra state, gave an informative and insightful talk on an issue that the Secretary has been working on:  “Living In A Dangerous Neighborhood.”  Participating in the event were retired senior bureaucrats and EWC alumni chapter members.  The presentation led to animated discussions among participants.

On March 1st, chapter members and spouses met and dined at Bombay Gymkhana (Mumbay’s best).  Topics covered included the EWC, chapter activities and an enthusiastic initiative by the chapter to forge an India-Pakistan Friendship Forum under the aegis of the EWC.  Alumni from both sides of the border have enthusiastically embraced the initiative. Further, there appears to be a strong idea to enhance the bi-lateral initiative and expand the scope to a comprehensive SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Countries) Friendship Association Forum, given the problematic and dispute ridden relationship characteristic within this grouping.

In the context of EWC alumnus enhancing EWC connections, the chapter leader was in Kathmandu on an official visit  and spent a pleasant dinner with Nirendra Maski, one of Kathmandu’s prominent citizen and his family.

Contact the EWCA Mumbai Chapter


One, January 23rd, three Executive members from each of the three alumni Associations, namely Fulbright, Humphrey and East west Center, were invited to meet U.S. Ambassador Peter W. Bodde at the USEF Commission. What was really exciting to note was the strategic input sought by the Ambassador, which is perhaps the first time ever, such a statement was made openly. It was great to reconnect with colleagues from FAAN, and NAHF, and the other younger alumni.

The Chapter would like to acknowledge appreciation to Dr. Laurie Vasily and Yamal Raj Bhandari of the USEF for successfully organizing a collective interaction with Ambassador Bodde.

On February 16th, the East West Center Fellows, State Alumni Team members, Nepal in association with Sabalturn Forum, Asia Media Forum, and Trinity International College invited Nirendra Maske  to attend the inaugural ceremony of a week long Leadership Training Program on “promoting dialogue for Nepal’s peaceful transformation and a lasting democracy, “ as a guest. Fifteen students in class X1 and X11, were selected through open competition on the basis of ethnicity, marginalized group, women and regions. They indeed were an enthusiastic group.

One February 22nd, the Chapter attended a talk program sponsored by the Fulbright Alumni Association Nepal entitled “non communicable diseases through diet, exercise and stress management: best practices.” It was held at the USEF Auditorium, in Gyaneshwar.

The three Alumni Associations – Humphrey, Fulbright and East West Center, on the initiation of Humphrey Alumni Association Nepal, have planned for quite some time  to hold a combined symposium on a thyme “Corruption”. The plan is to have two keynote speakers from each organization. The timing and other details are being worked out.

Contact the EWCA Nepal Chapter


The chapter is proud to announce that one of their younger member, Tetsuji Matsumoto, has just been elected as the new Mayor of Urasoe City on February, 2013.

He attended the EWCA Beijing Conference and meeting so many participants from different countries, he was inspired to work for others by tending his candidacy.  He is the founder of NPO TEDAKO Life Support Center and the chapter believes that his EWC experience working with others and in the area of welfare services contributed strongly to his electoral victory and to his new leadership role among the young leaders of Okinawa (his competitors were in their 60’s).

The chapter is also proud  of their NPO Okinawa Language Center Manager, Ms. Jinko Itokazu (APLP alumnus).  She succeeded in securing a 3 year contract and financial support from the local government on EWC related business as recruitment of EWC candidates and specialist workshops like the workshop of EWC Nicholas Parker.

The Okinawa chapter is happy and elated at the prospect of hosting the 2014 EWC/EWCA International Conference and is currently busy working towards the end.

Chapters in Japan have been asked to assist and Okinawa’s VP chapter attended the Tokyo Chapter’s General meeting to solicit support about the upcoming conference.

Rinda Yamashiro Kayatani is the leader of the 2014 international conference and the chapter believes she is well qualified to lead and coordinate this event.  The chapter wishes to thank the EWC for the rich education programs they received at the Center.

Contact the EWCA Okinawa Chapter


On February 3rd, the Chapter gathered at the residence of Senen and Yolie Bacani for their chapter meeting.  The summary of their discussion follows:

2016 EWC International Conference – They will make a bid to the host 2016 international conference at MOA and can have a tour of the Walled City. Senen deposited P500,000 in the EWCAA-P bank.  They will aim to partner with the US State Department and DOT.

EWC Events in 2013 – They intend to hold meetings to consolidate members in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and partner with institutions to mount these events.

April 27 meeting event in Luzon – The theme is RICE.  They will use “PalayBigasKanin”.  The event will be hosted by Bruce at IRRI.  (Many alumni in UPLB).

After elections meeting event in Mindanao – The theme is PEACE.  They will partner with Mac to host it at MSU. A model for this is the EWCAAP- PILG Feb 4, 2012 event entitled “Muslim Perspectives on the Peace Forum” held at University of Makati.

For future discussion meeting event in the Visayas – Cres Gonzaga will coordinate with alumni in the Visayas and update the board.

Contact the EWCA Philippines Chapter


The chapter was involved in an important event in Singapore.  The East West Center, Honolulu hosted about 50 ASEAN alumni from the Environmental Institute’s workshop held in Singapore from March 8 to 11.  The purpose of this alumni workshop was to gather information about effective environmental practices that participants can bring home and share with their respective countries.  The study of the US Institute for Student Leaders on Global Environmental Issues was the topic of this alumni workshop.

Contact the EWCA Singapore Chapter


For this quarter, the chapter had a potluck get-together at the home of Jay & Geeta Brara on February 16th.  In addition to the delicious lunch, the host shared a power point presentation on their African Safari in 2012.  EWC connections and highlights on the members respective lives and preoccupations were shared.  More importantly, one of the chapter members, Elizabeth Susie Chen, described for the group the process and the ease that she experienced in creating a memorial scholarship fund during her visit to Hawaii.  She strongly encouraged other members of the chapter to consider creating an EWC memorial scholarship fund also.

Contact the EWCA Southern California Chapter


The General Assembly of the Tokyo chapter, EWC Association of Japan, was held on March 16th.  Twenty-three members and two guests attended (including Fumiko Nishihira, VP of the Okinawa chapter who gave a speech about Okinawa’s 2014 EWCA International Conference and asking for the Tokyo chapter’s assistance).  The following activities are reported by the chapter:  1) The outgoing chapter leader, Shigeo Tonoike reported on the 2012 activities which included the March 2nd general assembly and the September 27th summer Aloha party.2)  The financial report presented by Michiko Yamashita was approved.  3)  The election of the new President, Yasutaka Yano was approved.  In his brief inaugural speech, he expressed his desire to initiate small group activities for the chapter, including participation in the United Nations charity walk  for the world food program on May 7th.  4)  The chapter budget for 2013 was approved.  5)  EWC alumnus Matori Yamamoto gave a special talk on “Modern Pacific Arts,” including works of Samoan artists in New Zealand.  6) The chapter revised their Executive Board membership.  Please contact the Alumni Office for the most current names and titles.

Contact the EWCA Tokyo Chapter


Chapter Leader Jacob Dowd, Mike Anderson and Mary Jo Furgal met in early February to discuss re-energizing the Washington D.C. chapter and are working on a plan towards this goal.

The Washington D.C. chapter held a reception in October for the APLP fellows visiting Washington D.C.  While in Washington, fifteen APLP fellows met with high level personnel, leaders, policy makers and multilateral institutions, NGO’s –  persons and institutions involved in interpreting the Asia Pacific region for the United States.

Chapter members Mary Jo Furgal and Mike Anderson over dinner and conversation, introduced Dr. Somei Kobayashi, EWC Japan Studies visiting fellow and International Scholar from Kyung Hee University, Seoul  to the D.C. area.  Likewise, the visiting fellow was familiarized with the Arlington VA version of the Mardi Gras parade.

Contact the EWCA Washington, D.C. Chapter