CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
QUARTERLY REPORTS: EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING (7/17/2014)
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED: Estrella Besinga Sybinsky, VP CHAPTERS
Thank you, especially to the nineteen chapters for responding to the call for chapter reports and congratulations on all your noteworthy community outreach activities and scholarly and research collaborations. You all make the EWCA proud.
The following chapters and chapter leaders responded: 1) APLP (Vinh Ho) 2) ASDP (Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen) 3) Bali (Anak Agung Muninjaya) 4) Brisbane (Iraphne Childs) 5) Chandigarh (Rajesh Kumar Aggarwal) 6) Faisalabad (Muhammad Ibrahim) 7 )Kansai (Seiko Furuhashi) 8) Korea (Jeong Taik Lee) 9) Lahore (Arfa Zehra) 10) Laos (Chanthavong Saignasith) 11) Latin America (Laura Viana) 12) Mumbai (Sarosh Bana) 13) Nepal (Nirendra Maske) 14) Okinawa (Keiko Yamazato) 15) Philippines (Pauline Bautista) 16) Singapore (Alice Seok Hoon Seng) 17) Sri Lanka (Rajapaksha Harshini de Silva) 18) Taiwan (Nora Chiang) 19) Tokyo (Yasukata Yano)
In his report, chapter leader Vinh Ho raised three significant issues. First, since January 2013 on a bi-monthly basis, members have had Skype gatherings; the most recent was held on March 2014. A scheduled meeting in June was tabled due to low turnout. The President mentioned some difficulties with assembling members such as: participants are spread out, attendance is a chronic challenge, the lack of alumni activity ideas and a clear mission coupled with the volunteer nature of the board weakens commitment and follow up. Second, the chapter as a board, are working on the following: 1) Evertrue application has been introduced so alumni can upload geographic information on the residency of members. 2) Implementing a mentorship program where students are paired with mentor alumni volunteers, 3) Re-launching the Navigator alumni journal and 4) Making plans for the Okinawa conference. Finally, regarding chapter attendance at the Okinawa Conference-caveats that mitigate attendance: work obligations, cost trade off (attending or using the money for other priority obligations), and the factor of members’ lack of time and money.
The chapter hosted its twentieth national conference in Houston Texas on March 2014. The ASDP Alumni Board of Directors and the Association of Regional Centers for Asian Studies also held their annual board meetings (ASDP Board changed its by-laws, increasing at-large positions from two to three and extending their years of service). According to chapter leader Jessica Sheets-Nguyen, keynote speakers UC Berkeley’s Michael Nylan covered the theme of Friendship from a Confucian perspective and University of Arizona’s Yasmin Saikia shared stories of Bangladeshi women caught up in the 1971 field of war. Over 140 members attended the conference, which included a tour review of the Asia collection at the Houston Gallery of Art (led by Stanley Murashige). ASDP notables at the conference included: Roger Ames, Betty Buck and Peter Herschock. The chapter set two goals for 2014: 1) acquire 501c3 status and 2) work with the Association of Regional Centers for Asian Studies to host the March 2015 conference in Branson MO.
Last year, the Bali chapter facilitated the collaboration between the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and Udayana University, Bali Medicine faculty. Chapter leader Anak Agung Muninjaya reported that last year, CUHK sent thirteen Public Health Students to engage in field studies on public health at Bali’s community health centers. This year, the chapter is proud to report the continuity of the collaboration. On June 2-7, four public health students from CUHK, including a professor of Public Health, arrived to study public health at Bali’s Community Health Centers. The overall goal of this exchange and collaboration is to build mutual understanding on public health practices across cultures. The Bali chapter president will visit CUHK on September 14, before proceeding to the Okinawa Conference to explore the enhancement of collaboration and expansion of the relationship to include joint research and staff exchanges.
Chapter leader Iraphne Childs reported that the Brisbane chapter members are very busy collecting funds toward the support of two chapter sponsored Nepalese students who are beginning their tertiary studies. The chapter’s financial and other relevant support of these students has been ongoing and committed.
The Founder/President of the chapter, Rajesh Kumar Aaggarwal, is happy to report that they now have six members. Due to the hectic schedule of members, only informal meetings within the chapter have occurred. A Chandigarh chapter member family get together is tentatively scheduled for August 2014. The chapter is hoping to get regular flows of information and materials from the EWC to help the chapter increase interest among alumni from Chandigarh. They would like to procure a listing of Chandigarh members from Hawaii who completed their courses and have expressed their desire to become chapter members. The chapter is planning outreach activities with local academic institutions (colleges/universities) specifically relating to student activities. The chapter president will attend the Okinawa conference and the chapter leaders workshop.
Chapter leader Muhammad Ibrahim reported on two important outreach activities. First, the chapter continues to carry out the marijuana community plant eradication project. Secondly, the leader has initiated a free Farmers Advisory Service. Due to a chance observation of hilly areas at 6000 feet above sea level, it was observed that agricultural lands eroded by rainwater have been abandoned. Upon interviewing two farmers in the area, the leader was informed that most of the farmers have migrated to other parts of Faisalabad in search of employment. They eagerly requested that the chapter leader provide knowledge about the planting of horticultural plants and the prevention/control of soil erosion. This is a win-win chapter community outreach activity -farmers would benefit and the chapter is enjoying the creative challenge. Topics shared with the farmers: what to plant, how to plant, fertilizer to use and efficient use of limited irrigation water.
Chapter leader Seiko Furuhashi reports that new board members were chosen at the August 2013 Annual General meeting; Seiko Furuhashi (chapter leader), Kiyoshi Hamano (vice-chapter leader), Fumitero Nitta, Nobukazu Tanii, Yumiko Okamoto, Yasumasa Maeda, Kazufumi Boh, Marie Thorsten and Hideaki Sakamoto. Due to the sudden and shocking passing of vice chapter leader Kiyoshi Hamano and the subsequent illness and passing of the chapter leader’s father, chapter activity has been suspended after the last meeting. The chapter leader hopes to gather the chapter members this coming semester to re-organize the board and their responsibilities. There are a few regularly attending senior members who may not be able to attend meetings as frequently due to physical limitations. Seiko Furuhashi will attend the Okinawa conference and apologizes that the Kansai chapter is currently unable to assist the Okinawa chapter at this time.
Chapter leader Jeong Taik Lee reported on the following activities for this quarter: 1) On June 3, 2014 a meeting was held to discuss ways in which the EWCA Korea chapter can be re-vitalized under the UH Korea Alumni Association. 2) Given that the chapter leader will not be in attendance at the Okinawa conference, attendees agreed that they would select one person out of the five Korean registered participants. 3) The meeting participants agreed that the President of the UH Korea alumni association nominate one of their members to serve as the communication contact point between the EWC and the Korea chapter. In attendance at the June 3rd meeting were: Thomas Jin Park, (Executive Director, Duksung School Foundation and President UH Korea Alumni Association), Jeong Taik Lee, (EWCA Korea chapter leader), and Professors Yung-Seok Park, YK Wang, KH Meng and WS Song.
Chapter leader Arfa Zehra, continues to report on the important community outreach activities of their chapter. First, the chapter project of supporting the schools of underprivileged children is ongoing. Clean drinking water and book supplies especially for the needy students are provided by chapter members. Second, the Lahore chapter held consultative meetings with members of the Punjab provincial legislature, and the print and electronic media. The chapter’s goal is to actualize the important issue of gender governance and justice via the passage of advocacy laws and the implementation of these laws. By hard work and closely associating with the legislature in the formulation of laws, the chapter succeeded in pushing through the Punjab provincial legislature laws helpful in raising the status of women. On a related point, a member resident of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, Moneeza Hashmi, got elected President for the third term. Third, this quarter, the Lahore members gathered for fun and food at their informal chapter meeting.
Chapter leader Chanthavong Saignasith stated that the chapter has nothing to report for this quarter.
Chapter leader Laura Viana is happy to report on the following activities for their chapter. They now have two additional members: Paulo Maurin and Ratirose Supaporn.
Furthermore, two of their members reported on job promotions: Elke Yamazato is Finance Manager for the IBM Services Global Delivery Centers in Latin America and Vince Okada is now affiliated with Kapiolani Community College and joined the EWCA Hawaii board. Finally, the Latin America chapter will be well represented at the Okinawa conference. Members Vince Okada, Mayco Santaella, Ratirose Supaporn and Laura Viana will be attending the conference. In August, Laiana Nakahodo and Robson Takara will attend the WUB International conference in Peru to promote the WUB scholarships for the EWC.
Chapter leader Sarosh Bana will be representing the chapter at the Okinawa conference. Initially, a couple of members planned to attend but changed their minds for the following reasons: a) they would have liked to tour with other EWC alumni, but they found the cost $2,937 for the post-Conference tour to be on the higher end b) they posit that if the members are traveling to a far away destination, given the considerable amount they would have to spend, they would prefer to have the opportunity to spend some days in Japan rather than spending 3-4 days at the Conference.The Okinawa conference was discussed at the chapter’s quarterly meeting on May 31, 2014. The meeting concluded with discussions on the new government elected in the general election and the impact of this new power in India over US-India relations.
Chapter leader Nirendra Maske happily noted that their chapter would celebrate their Annual East-West Center Day sometime at the end of July or beginning of August. Their chapter participated in 3 events for this quarter. On May 12th, the chapter participated in a Fulbright forum talk presented by Maneeshika Madduri of Stanford University, USA. The topic was: “Feasibility of Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaic System in Katmandu.” Chapter members were invited to a celebration of the Annual Fulbright Day reception on May 21st, Hosted by Ambassador Boddhe and Laurie Vasily, the Executive Director of USEF-Fulbright Nepal. Finally on June 4th, Fulbright research fellow Dr. Pokheral led a Fulbright forum talk program on the topic: “Agricultural Research, Teaching & Outreach in Nepal.”
Chapter Leader Keiko Yamazato, sends her greetings to all chapter leaders and encourages them to join the EWCA Okinawa conference. She noted that the chapter is “excited to welcome attendees from every corner of the world.” Important highlights of the Conference are: 1) Local government officials, realizing the important contributions of EWC alumni to Okinawan society especially the younger generation, have promised to support the Conference financially and extend needed conveniences. 2) The Tokyo chapter membership has been a source of great financial support and other EWCA members in Japan have volunteered their support for the Conference by arriving earlier in Naha. 3) The Prefectural University of Arts students will be entertaining conferees with traditional and modern Ryukyuan dances. 4) The endemic bird in “Yambaru” forest, two birds of Okinawa rail, is the symbol of the Conference. A bird watching tour is scheduled post Conference. 5) “A Peaceful and Sustainable Asia Pacific Community” is the main theme of the Conference. The theme will be reinforced by 90 presentations, 4 plenary sessions and a poster session.
Chapter Leader Pauline Bautista, gladly reported on the US State Department Alumni Travel & Accommodations Grant. This grant funded the chapter’s initiative, Sinigbayan. In 1977, EWC fellow Jose Abueva founded the UPNCPAG- Center for Leadership, Citizenship & Democracy (CLDC), referred to as the “inception space” of Sinigbayan. The latter was coined by Filipino cultural icon Joey Ayala and Filipino civic leader Tony Meloto who defined Sinigbayan as an “art whose canvas is society.” Since 2007, Sinigbayan continues to evolve as a journey of values-inspired network weaving for nation building. In 2013, Dean Alex Brillantes convened the PILG Youth Leaders camp for Senator Pimentel’s Institute for Leadership & Governance and brought together 63 youth leaders in the spirit of Sinigbayan. This year, a 2nd Youth Leaders Peace camp was highlighted by EWC alumnus and Presidential Peace Panel member Senen Bacani’s presentation on “The Bangsamoro Peace Treaty.” The chapter’s journey of network weaving has continued for the last 7 years.
Chapter leader Alice Seok Hoon Seng shared four community service projects for this quarter. 1) On May 2014 a nature experiential journey sponsored by chapter alumnus Thai Gek Ching was held for 10 kids from My World Preschool. The goal of this project was to generate awareness of the green environment in an urban city space. The students visited the Botanical gardens and the newly created Gardens by the Bay. 2) On June 2014, chapter members Vijay and Seok Hoon discussed cross-cultural awareness for young leaders with the staff at Raffles Leadership Institute. In July, college students will be introduced to intercultural perspectives in their leadership training programs. Chapter member Has (APLP 2012) will share his experiences. 3) On June 18, the MYMCA solicited the help of the chapter to conduct a program evaluation of its cultural activities in their mentoring program for children from disadvantaged homes. The chapter obliged and decided that a simple intercultural program for different ethnic groups be developed and promoted for the mentoring leaders (based on the social emotional learning model). 4) In August, chapter member Dr. Phua Kai Hong will share his expertise on Singapore’s Pioneer Generation program to the senior members of the chapter. Special premium subsidies for the elderly in Singapore is the most recent government affordable health insurance program.
Chapter Secretary Rajapaksha Harshini de Silva reported that the 2014 Annual General Meeting of the chapter was on April 24th. Ten members attended and the newly appointed Board Members are: President Asanga Tilakaratne, Immediate Past President S.B. Bandusena, VP W.A. Siriwardena, Secretary Rajapaksha Harshini de Silva, Treasurer H.P. Susiripala and Board memvers D.M. Celine Athukorala, D. Chandrasekera, N.D. Dickson and R.A.Wijewansa. All chapter related issues are to be forwarded to the email address: email@example.com. The subject of low member turnout at chapter meetings was of great concern and the Secretary was tasked with establishing an updated database of contact information so the chapter can be infused with dynamism, effectiveness and greater member participation. Two members will be in attendance at the Conference: R.A. Wijewansa and Rajapaksha Harshini de Silva. The chapter’s vision of activities for the next quarter are as follows: revision of the chapter’s Constitution and related governance documents, revive professional connections and links to networks, brainstorming about ideas for chapter activity and plan a celebratory event and publication to mark 35 years of the establishment of the chapter which formed in 1980.
Congratulations to the Taiwan chapter for an increase of membership to 50. The immediate past President Nora Chiang appreciates the positive participation of all members. The new President-elect is President Christie Yu-Ling Chang, elected last June 21st. She coordinates study abroad programs for students from different US universities as the Resident Director of the Council on International Educational Exchange in Taiwan.
Other notable members of the chapter include: Chen Cheng-Hsiung whose exhibition “A Retrospective: 1953-2013” is shown at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum; Serena Yang who has been elected Taipei chapter leader of Zonta Women International Club; Nora Chiang who has been appointed for 2014 – 2019 Honorary Adjunct Academic at the Dept. of Environment & Geography, Macquarie University. Since her 2011 retirement, she has published four books with topics ranging from Chinese Migrants, Immigrant Adaptation in Multi-ethnic Societies to Taiwanese Migrants and Issues in Geographical Thought.
Chapter leader Yasukata Yano reported that for this quarter, the JEWC Tokyo chapter acknowledged the importance of money, energy and time in hosting the Okinawa conference (similar to what they had to go through with the 2004 EWCA Tokyo conference). Thus, the chapter decided to voluntarily donate 300,000 yen from their chapter budget to the Okinawa chapter. In addition, chapter members donated 360,000 yen. In total the Tokyo chapter generously contributed 660,000 yen (approximately $6,600) to the Okinawa chapter last June. Thank you Tokyo chapter for your much appreciated generosity. The chapter leader also encouraged their members to attend the Okinawa conference. 2) Another chapter activity this quarter included the members watching the stage production of stage-director Yoko Sakai’s Japanese version of The Odd Couple on June 8th. Sakai joined the group for dinner afterwards along with Timothy Ondo (President of UHAA, Japan) and Chie Hashimoto (EWC 2006 APLP) elected VP of UHAA. 3) The chapter would like to get information about new grantees from Japan and returning grantees so the chapter can hopefully gather to send them off and welcome them back. 4) Finally, inquiries about the “EWCA Virtual Wall of Honor” was passed on to the responsible EWC officers. For now, the names of those honored (the late Masao Baba was the first listed) are displayed in a “virtual” Wall of Honor” on the EWC website. Discussions about an actual EWC physical placement continue to be discussed.