Quarterly Report from EWCA Alumni Chapters (July 2013)

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED BY: Estrella Besinga Sybinsky

ALOHA TO ALL OF OUR US & INTERNATIONAL CHAPTERS!  My personal sympathies for those among us who are inconvenienced by a climate that is hotter than usual, for the heavy rains/flooding that comes with the monsoon season and for those who have lost loved ones. For all of our chapters, mahalo for your chapter responses, and as always, we hope that those unable to respond this quarter, will do so in the next.

The following chapters & chapter leaders responded:  1) APLP Alumni Chapter (Vinh Ho)  2) Brisbane Australia Chapter (Iraphne Childs) 3)  Faisalabad Pakistan Chapter (Muhammad Ibrahim) 4) Kathmandu Nepal Chapter (Nirendra Maske)  5) Lahore, Pakistan Chapter (Arfa Sayeda Zehra)  6) Laos Chapter (Chantavong Saignasith) 7) Mumbai India Chapter (Sarosh Bana)  8) Nagoya Japan Chapter (Yasuo Hoshino) 9) Northern CA Chapter (Barbara Bornet Stumph) 10) Okinawa Japan Chapter (Keiko Yamazato) 11) Papua New Guinea Chapter (Solomon Kantha)  12) Philippines Chapter (Ramon Clarete/ Pauline Bautista).


Vinh Ho has officially been serving as President of the Asia Pacific Leadership Program Alumni Board since January 2013 (replacing Caitlin Wyndham) and has conducted two bi-monthly conference calls. The APLP Chapter is currently involved in the following activities:  1) Established the newly inducted board members. 2) Defined the vision and goals of the chapter for the next two years. 3) Took the immediate action step of rolling out the “Navigator”, an alumni-led journalistic report on the program’s alumni profiles, staff updates and current activities. 4) The following topics have been identified for the upcoming conference calls:  a) how to engage/utilize the greater EWC alumni network  b) how to improve communication between cohorts and alumni  c) discuss best practices for fundraising and for preparations vis a vis the EWCA Okinawa 2014 conference.  We congratulate the APLP Chapter Alumni Board for closing in on meeting the chapter’s 60% goal of the McInerny Foundation Student Scholarship Matching Funds! A big mahalo to the APLP Chapter.

Contact the EWCA APLP Chapter


The overseas trips of five of the current members have limited the activities of the chapter for this quarter.  Nevertheless, two significant activities are reported:  1)  The chapter was pleased to host Dr. Charles Morrison’s visit to Brisbane.  The chapter met for dinner at a local Nepalese restaurant with Iraphne Childs (chapter leader), Patricia Byrne, Edilyn Bajracharya, Bhisna Bajracharya and Ralph Carliesle.  2)  For some time now, the Chapter has been financially supporting two underprivileged Nepalese students. Finally, they are finishing high school in 2013, intending to move forward to their tertiary studies.

The Chapter (with a core group of ten Brisbane –based members) is currently investigating ways to raise funds for the two students, as their tertiary studies mean a larger increase in financial commitment and support.

Contact the EWCA Brisbane Chapter


Chapter leader Muhammad Ibrahim reports on the continuing community related activities of their chapter.  First, the cooperative community health project between the chapter and a Chinese International Company, started earlier in the last quarter is ongoing.  The company provides weekly free lectures on health to expand the awareness of the local community.  Coordinating with the company, the chapter facilitates the health benefits of the lectures by encouraging and bringing people to attend.  To date, some 200 men and women have benefited from the free events.  Secondly, the Chapter leader reports that a large growing field, akin to a Marijuana plantation, is prevalent in one community. Many people are addicted to smoking and drinking the dried narcotic plant, without awareness of the negative effects of taking the drug. Some simply are not concerned about the side effects.  The chapter, under the lead of Muhammad Ibrahim, is involved in educating the community about the plant, has convinced four neighbors to eradicate the marijuana plants and the chapter plans to continue the education and eradication activities during their spare time and during holidays.

Contact the EWCA Faisalabad Chapter


The chapter reported seven noteworthy social activities for this quarter:
On May 24th, invited chapter  members attended an evening reception at the residence of U.S. Ambassador Peter Bodde, to celebrate Independence day.  2)  On June 4th, held at the Atrium of the U.S. Embassy, Ambassador Bodde and the Executive Director of the U.S. Educational Foundation-Nepal, Dr. Laurie Vasily, hosted a reception to celebrate the 52nd Annual Fulbright day  attended by the chapter.  3)  The chapter leader, Nirendra Maske, on a family visit to Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore, reported meeting and interacting with chapter leaders and alumni of the three countries and was overwhelmed with the aloha spirit of hospitality and kindness.  4)  On May 18th, Nirendra had a lunch meeting with the Taiwan Chapter communication liaison Dr. Nora Chiang and two members, including EWC alumni Drs. Tony Kao and Yuh Chao Yuh.  The Taiwan chapter gave Nirendra a tour of the National Taiwan University.  5) On May 21st, Nirendra interacted with Singapore chapter alumni at a dinner hosted by Vivian Wong.  Earlier in the day, Singapore’s chapter leader, Alice Seng Seok Hoon, not only helped Nirendra and his wife in booking for their hotel accommodation, but took them on a tour of Singapore.  6) In Malaysia on May 24th, the entire Maske family was invited to dinner with former EWCA chair, Kok Kian Poh and family.  The chapter leader for Kuala Lumpur, Dr. Saleh Ghazali and his wife, as well as Dr. Gan Siowck Lee, likewise attended.  7) The chapter is celebrating EWC Day on July 6th with a talk program on the topic:  “Corruption, Good Governance & Leadership” followed by a lunch reception.  Invited guests: EWCA members, Fulbright, Humphrey, Embassy guests, USEF and Ministry of Education officials.  The chapter hopes to make the event a big success.

Contact the EWCA Kathmandu Chapter


Special thanks to Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Lahore’s Chapter Leader, for her personal contribution of $500 towards the EWCA Endowment Fund.  The chapter continues the fine tradition of active involvement in the political issues of the country as well as commitment to different aspects that confront the community.  The following activities are reported:  1) Prior to the general elections in Pakistan, the chapter invested long hours and expanded time towards a political awareness program.  Engaging in the dissemination of education via persuasion and counseling, the goal was to mobilize citizens for active participation in the elections.  The chapter wanted to enhance public interest towards the cause of democracy.  Chapter members met regularly to coordinate this project.  2) Continuing their commitment to school education assistance, the chapter provides free textbooks and related materials to deserving and needy students.  Through personal contributions, drinking water is supplied to the students, given the excessive high temperatures and the scarcity of water supply.

Contact the EWCA Lahore Chapter


The Chapter Leader, Chantavong Saignasith, is saddened to report that a member, Sombath Somphone, is still missing according to the Lao police.  The chapter reports that they are planning to organize an Orientation meeting to be attended by EWCA alumni Dr. Joseph Overton & Dr. George Brown, six college professors and the Lao chapter.  The meeting held between July 5-12, focused on the topic of Chinese migration and its role in Laos, and discussions on the Lao culture and economy. The chapter planned to invite a representative from the Chinese Association in Vientiane to attend the meeting.

Contact the EWCA Laos Chapter


Due to the heavy downpour caused by the monsoon rains starting around the 10th of June, activity for the chapter has been limited.  Nevertheless, the chapter did meet on June 1st over tea and snacks, led by senior member Bishambar Makhija, as chapter leader Sarosh Bana was out of the country.  Discussed at the meeting were the taking stock of chapter activities and issues concerning the EWC, India and the rest of the world.

Contact the EWCA Mumbai Chapter


The Nagoya chapter held its general meeting on June 16th .  In addition to the chapter members, attending the meeting were members of the Nagoya Fulbright Association at Aichi University.  Following the general meeting, three presentations were made: 1)  “The Performance of ICT Industry in Six Asian Countries,” by Mohd Fazli Mohd Sam of Aichi University and University of Technical Malaysia Melaka and Yasuo Hoshino of Aichi University and the University of Tsukuba.  2) “Fulbright’s Trinity: A Sentimental Journey to Arkansas,” by Prof. Toyoshi Kase and 3) “Open Access On Line Journals,” by Prof. Yasuo Hoshino.  The chapter reports that the question and answer sessions that followed were very stimulating.  All three presentations will be published in the chapter’s annual journal named “The Fulbrighter in Chubu,” Vol. 23.  A party where newcomers had the opportunity to talk freely followed the 3 presentations.

Contact the EWCA Nagoya Chapter


Chapter leader Barbara Bornet Stumph, reported on the following activities of the chapter: Barbara personally reached out to the AAUW and Delta Kappa Gamma Sorority presidents in Contra Costa County to acquire the name of Jaime Pena for the APLP Program.  She followed with an interview of Jaime, assisting her in her essay and writing a letter of recommendation, which she submitted to the Committee chairman.  2) Barbara raised public awareness of the EWC through articles (four) published in the largest English language magazine in China, the Beijing Review.  In these articles, Barbara underscores the role that the EWC had on her own experiences. The Beijing Review editor has positively reinforced Barbara by asking for more of her articles in the future.

Contact the EWCA Northern California Chapter

On a related issue, Barbara facilitated the submission to the Beijing Review of an article on America’s voting process, zeroing in on the “one man, one vote as the only way to stand against tyranny” (written by her father, Dr. Vaughn Bornet).  The article was published a week before President Obama’s re-election.


Many thanks to the Okinawa chapter for their donation of Y50,000 (about $500) towards the EWC/McInerny Scholarship Foundation.  The Okinawa chapter is proud to present the following activities:  1)  Congratulations to the successful completion of studies by five Okinawa chapter alumni- Kimuko Yamazato, Ph.D. program and Kenta Hanashiro, Wakana Ishihara, Hitoe Nashiro and Saeko Higa, MA programs. 2)  Member Maiko Namihira, a teacher at Miyako Senior High School leads an exchange program for high school students between schools on Maui and Miyako island.  3)  On June 9th, the chapter held its general meeting.  The following ensued:  a) Munehiro Machida replaced Kiyoshi Nakachi as Vice-President. b) Rinda Yamashiro Kayatani replaced Munehiro Machida as Chief Secretary.  c) Executive members for the 2014 EWC/EWCA Okinawa International Conference were announced and 8 subcommittees and members were asked to join the inaugural ceremony to begin the assigned work on July 13th.  d)  Attending the general meeting from Hawaii were Robert Nakasone, Elizabeth Teruya and John Tasato. 5) Rinda Yamashiro Kayatani and other executive members are hard at work, currently negotiating with local government officials so that the 2014 conference will have the use of newer facilities.  Finally, the chapter published the EWCA Okinawa Chapter Newsletter, No. 1 which included all the items mentioned in this report.

Contact the EWCA Okinawa Chapter


The PNG chapter is pleased to report the following:
On May 2nd, chapter leader Solomon Kantha, Journalist Belinda Kora, Pacific Island Co-Director Dr. Gerard Finin and EWC President Charles Morrison met with the PNG Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen in Port Moresby.  At the meeting, Dr. Finin, Mr. Kantha and Ms. Kora shared their experiences and observations on the election in Timor Leste and Hawaii, respectively.  On May 4th, PNG chapter alumni met with Dr. Gerard Finin at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby.  Welcomed at the meeting was Ms. Deejay Mili, the new recipient of the US-South Pacific Scholarship Program.

Contact the EWCA Papua New Guinea Chapter


The Philippine chapter is proud to report the following activities for this quarter:  1) On June 17th, a reception held at the University of the Philippines Executive House, for UH President Marcy Greenwood and Dean of Social Sciences Denise Konan was organized by Chapter leader Ramon Clarete, 2012 awardee Arsi Balisacan, and EWCAA Graduate Fellow Majah Ravago.  EWC alumni as well as UH alumni and the President of the University of the Philippines, Alfredo Pascual attended the aloha filled gathering.

2) Following the Board meeting held at the residence of Senen and Yolly Bacani, the chapter is pursuing the following regional gathering theme:

A) a gathering of Southern-Luzon based EWC and UH alumni is planned for August 10th.   The theme is Prosperity with Rice, and the title of the event is “Siningbayan- Palay, Bigas, Kanin sa IRRI”.   Cooperating partners include:  IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, BLAFI (Bagong Lumad Artists Foundation Inc.) and AWIT (Foundation for Advancing Wellness, Instruction and Talent).  The chapter noted 3 reasons why this gathering is important:

  1. 2013 is the Year of the Rice.
  2. 2012 EWCAA-P awardee Bruce Tolentino, a chapter Board member, is the Deputy General for Communications at IRRI.
  3. Five chapter members and writers are involved in a project of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (supported by the United Nations Development Program and partnered by the Bagong Lumad Artists Foundations Inc.)  They are:  Alex Brillantes (former Dean of UPNCPAG), Professor Emeritus Jose Abueva (founder of the UPNCPAG Center for Leadership, Citizenship and Democracy, Jose Buenconsejo (Dean of UP College of Music), Ramon Clarete (Dean of UP School of Economics), and Pauline Bautista (Board Secretary of Bagong Lumad Artists Foundation Inc).

B) Regional activities throughout the Visayas, Mindanao, Southern and Northern Luzon are being consolidated by the chapter to gear up for the EWCAA-P bid to host the 2016 EWC/EWCA International Conference. Activities include:  lectures by distinguished alumni, workshops, forums and conferences to attract alumni in each region, and broaden the involvement of person to person networking.

C) The chapter is involved in the Annual International Conference of the Philippine Society for Public Administration chaired by former alumni Alex Brillantes, PSPA President. Others include Plenary Presenter EWC Fellow Jose Abueva, and APLP Fellow Pauline Bautista, Coordinator for the panel on Culture, Worldview, Values and Behavior.

D)  Finally, other chapter activities include:  the visit of EWC alumni Ric Trimillos and Fred Lau who spoke at the Ateneo de Manila Conference on Ethnomusicology in the Asia Pacific on July 22, the completion of Jose Abueva’s theatre production manuscript on the theme of Justice and the EWC-UH Philippines Directory project which is an ongoing project.

Contact the EWCA Philippines Chapter


(Note:   On a short reunion trip to Cebu, Bohol and Manila Philippines, our daughter Andrea (APLP Fellow) and myself (Open Grants grantee) had the opportunity to happily interact with Cebu EWC grantee Becky Pestano Smith of USAID, owner of Hale Manna Beach Resort & Coastal Gardens and Handuraw Pizza Restaurant and UP Dean of the School of Economics, Ramon Clarete.  The trip reinforced the contribution and the importance of the Philippines and the Asia Pacific communities to our 21st century.  I had the opportunity on a recent trip to Washington D.C. to visit the Office of the Senate Chair of the Appropriations Committee, US Senator Barbara Mikulski, to solicit her support for continued funding for the EWC.  ALOHA AND PEACE TO ALL.