East-West Center Student Leader Receives Ann Dunham Scholarship

East-West Center Participants’ Association President Micah Fisher has been awarded an Ann Dunham Soetoro Graduate Scholarship, named in honor of President Obama’s mother.

Micah Fisher recieves the Ann Dunham Soetor scholarship from Dunham's UH graduate Anthropology advisor, Alice Dewey

” Micah Fisher recieves the Ann Dunham Soetoro scholarship from Dunham’s UH anthropology advisor, Alice Dewey

Fisher, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in geography at UH Manoa, received $1,000 from the Ann Dunham Soetoro Endowment, a collaborative effort of the university and EWC to support students who “represent Ann Dunham’s values and interests in nurturing understanding, engaging in community service, and promoting empathy to encourage global cooperation.”

“I very much look up to her as somebody that was deeply committed to Indonesia and admire her for her approach in conducting research, as well as her pragmatism in working with communities,” Fisher said of Dunham and her work. “These are all areas I hope to strive for in my studies and my work.”

Dunham, an anthropologist who studied village industries in Indonesia, received her  doctorate degree at UH Manoa on East-West Center grants.

The graduate scholarships in her name are awarded to students focusing on:

  • Anthropology or other social sciences, with an emphasis on action-oriented and collaborative work addressing contemporary issues of pressing concern in local communities and the region as a whole.
  • Development studies with particular emphasis on communities in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, focusing on connections between economic change and the social and cultural factors that give meaning and value to people’s lives.
  • Women’s studies addressing the role of women in social and economic change.

Fisher grew up in Bali, Indonesia, where his parents worked in agricultural development and were acquainted with Dunham. Fluent in Indonesian, he has done resource and community development work there for the World Bank, Center for International Forest Research, the International Rescue Committee, and others.

Previous recipients of the Ann Dunham Scholarship include EWC degree fellows and Livia Iskander and Wendy Miles.