Quarterly Report from EWCA Alumni Chapters (January 2015)




Happy 2015 to all of our chapter leaders! As always, thank you for your response to the call for quarterly reports and thank you for your public service to the communities in your respective countries and your scholarly and research endeavors and collaborations.

For those of you who may have missed these recent events impacting our East West Center alumni family, we acknowledge with heartfelt sadness the unexpected passing of two “joyful moonbeams” who positively affected our lives: Honolulu’s Larry Smith and Kansai’s Kiyoshi Hamano. We also send our big mahalo and appreciation to retiring chapter leader Arfa Zehra, whose tireless leadership of the Lahore chapter touched so many lives in her community, her country and ours.

The following chapters and chapter leaders responded: 1) APLP (Ving Ho); 2) Brisbane (Iraphne Childs); 3) California, Northern (Barbara Bornet); 4) California, Southern (Claire Langham); 5) Faisalabad (Muhammad Ibrahim); 6) Hanoi (Hoang Hoe); 7) Hawaii (Carl Hefner); 8) Kansai (Seiko Furuhashi); 9) Lahore (Arfa Zehra); 10) Latin America (Laura Viana); 11) Laos (Chanthavong Saignasith); 12) Mumbai (Sarosh Bana); 13) Nepal (Nirendra Maske); 14) New York (Bill Armbruster); 15) Okinawa (Keiko Yamazato); 16) Ontario (Jonathan Jacobs); 17) Philippines (Pauline Bautista); 18) Singapore (Alice Seng Seok-Hoon); 19) Tokyo (Yasukato Yano).


Chapter leader Vinh Ho reported that the members would be holding a conference call by the end of January. The chapter did not have activities for the past quarter.

Contact the APLP Chapter


Iraphne Childs reported on the notable accomplishments of their chapter members.1) Jeremy Webb received his PhD in Economics 2) at the G20 Conference (Nov. 2014), the chapter was recognized by 2 invitations extended to the chapter. Iraphne Childs attending the address of Pres. Obama at the Univ. of Queensland (she surmised because she was the EWCA Brisbane chapter leader) and Harry Bhaskara who attended the speech of Indonesian Prime Minister. Jeremy continues sending climate change developments via regular press reports to members. On their international outreach activities: a) the chapter was represented by Marvin Starominski-Uehara at the Okinawa Conference in September, b) Bhisna Bajrachary presented a paper on disaster governance in Queensland at a Honolulu EWC conference on governance capacity and natural disasters and was invited to the EWC conference in China. c) The chapter sent off Takashi Tsuchiya to Yokohama after a 3 year Sydney posting for the Japan External Trade Organization. Finally, The chapter sent $2500 to the Nepal-Australia Friendship Association for their continuing support of 2 Nepalese students who are now in their higher studies. For 2015, they hope to raise $3,000 towards this chapter activity. Members are consistently urged to support and contribute to the EWC individually.

Contact the Brisbane Chapter


Barbara Bornet Stumph reported the following activities related to the chapter: 1) encouraged young scholars in China, as well as the Dean Jin of the Hang Zhou China Art Academy International College to apply to the EWC via EWC website posting. Also posted article/video on Facebook webpage about the Asia Society meeting in the falll. 2) Initiated through EWCA virtual chapter the start of a scholarship fund towards the memory of drowning victim Kirk, EWC grantee to Japan. 3) Barbara hopes to stage better a planned co-sponsored chapter conference in the coming months.

Contact the Northern California Chapter


Chapter leader Claire Langham reported that she will be in Latin America from mid-January to mid-March. A number of the chapter members attended the EWCA International Conference in Okinawa. The group had two large gathering – in March at the Langham’s home and in July at their other home in San Diego. Finally, members of the chapter have traveled to India and in the Panama Canal, Latin America. The group is organizing a spring gathering hoping to have members volunteer as hosts for their meetings.

Contact the Southern California Chapter


Muhammad Ibrahim reported on chapter activities (new and ongoing). 1) The chapter continues to disseminate information about EWC scholarships to colleges in the area. 2) A luncheon meeting to discuss chapter future plans was scheduled for December 21st. 3) From the summer to winter 2014, the chapter’s kitchen gardening program and marijuana eradication were ongoing. 4) Popular in the community is the weekly seminar on health awareness co-sponsored with a Chinese company that deals with food supplements. 5) The chapter has recently engaged in getting older people to attend popular religious awareness classes in the community. Lastly, the chapter leader noted internal unrest and suicide attacks from groups as the Taliban, causing economic and political disturbances in the country.

Contact the Faisalabad Chapter


Chapter leader Hoang Hoe extends the chapter wishes for a happy new year to all.

For this quarter, the Hanoi chapter has not had any activity to report.

Contact the Hanoi Chapter


Chapter President Carl Hefner is happy to inform the EWCA community about the ongoing activities of the chapter supportive of student grantees at the East West Center. 1) The chapter’s annual Fundraising Dinner is scheduled for April 19, 2015 at the Pacific Club in Honolulu. This event supports student summer travel awards enhancing student professional development. 2) The chapter participated in the annual EWC Christmas fair raising additional funds for student grantees. 3) In October, the Hawaii chapter donated $2,000 to the EWC Alumni Scholarship Fund and such donation was announced at the International Conference in Okinawa. 4) In August, the Hawaii chapter’s support for students came with the annual picnic, which enhanced community building. This, along with chapter sponsored excursions to interesting sites on Oahu and the raising of funds to support student academic endeavors did help in the chapter’s ongoing student support activities. On behalf of the EWC student grantees, thank you Hawaii chapter.

Contact the Hawaii Chapter


We are happy to announce the informative and visually appealing newly produced Kansai Quarterly Report/Newsletter sent by Marie Thorsten and Seiko Furuhashi. Despite an ankle surgery performed on our Kansai chapter leader, the group is forging forward with the same enthusiastic energy as in the past. The following activities are reported by the group: 1) The late Kiyoshi Hamano (economics professor and VP of the chapter) has been nominated by the Kansai Board to the EWC Wall of Honor. 2) At a chapter board meeting on December 7th, discussion about the re-structuring of the board was held. 3) A new cabinet meeting tackled proposed changes in governing policies and new chapter activities. Special mention was made about the sadness of the chapter over the most recent passing of Larry Smith.

Contact the Kansai Chapter


Outgoing chapter leader Arfa Zehra commented on the present need for courage despite a gloomy period nationally and personally for the chapter. Discouraging for the group were the atrocities carried out against a Christian couple in the suburbs of Lahore and the carnage of young students in Peshawar 2 weeks earlier. The chapter leader visited Peshawar to express grief and solidarity with the teachers and the grief stricken families of the students and others killed. Corner meetings were arranged in Lahore by the group to promote religious tolerance. The greatest highlight of their chapter activities: Despite a most disturbing situation in the country, 3500 students attended the three day Teachers’ Children’s Literary Festival where Arfa was an Ambassador. The chapter continues its support of school children in marginalized sections of the country. Finally, we are truly sorry to accept the resignation of Arfa as chapter leader for our Lahore chapter (she hopes that younger leadership will continue the tradition of excellent public service to their communities). You are a shining exemplary humanitarian star among chapter leaders Arfa, our global chapter leaders and myself personally, will miss you.

Contact the Lahore Chapter


Laura Viana reported that five members attended the Okinawa conference. In addition to Laura, Vince Okada, Marvin Uehara, Mayco Santaella and Ratirose Supaporn participated. Laura and Marvin represented the Latin America and Brisbane chapters. Two of the chapter members did paper presentations: Mayco Santaella on Seascapes & Soundscapes: Island Culture and Music Making in the Nusantara Region and Vince Okada on The EWC Arts Program: Recent Initiatives.

At the August WUB International Conference in Peru, Michelle Taminato, Liana Nakahodo and Robson Takara promoted the WUB scholarships for the EWC.

Contact the Latin America Chapter


Chanthavong Saignasith reported that the Lao chapter is looking forward to meeting and assisting Brunei English teaching apprentices. These English teachers from Brunei will be in Vientiane for ten months to teach in the Brunei EWC programme according to Mr. Puongpun Sananikone.

Contact the Laos Chapter


Chapter leader Sarosh Bana reported on the sweltering November heat in Mumbai.

The chapter met informally on December 20th and reported the shock and sadness among their members at the sudden demise of Larry Smith describing him as a person that is helpful, affable, reassuring and held in very high esteem by so many.

The chapter held their Board meeting on December 1st. This quarter, the chapter hosted Hyderabad chapter leader Nageswara Rao, his wife and fellow alumnus at a Parsi lunch, Ripon Club in Mumbai.

Contact the Mumbai Chapter


Nirendra Maske reported that Nepal is counted as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to natural disasters. This quarter saw deadly avalanches in the Annapurna and Everest regions as well as annual floods impacting thousands of lives. These gravely deteriorating natural calamities added to the inability of executive members to hold a meeting and vote on a proposal to move the EWC Day celebration from August 12 to August 23rd. They regret that for this quarter, the nature made setbacks kept the chapter from reporting any activity.

Contact the Nepal Chapter


Bill Armbruster, reported on the following activities of their chapter: 1) A dinner meeting was held in October attended by ten people (two, non-alumni). He noted that currently, it is harder to get people’s participation than in the past though he did get fifteen emails expressing interest about the meeting, but had other commitments. They had a husband and wife team speakers, Roozbeh MirEbrahimi, EWC journalism fellow and an exiled Iranian journalist and his wife, likewise an exiled Iranian journalist. The couple founded the Non-Stop Media, which translates news about Iran in foreign media. 2) Bill is planning a dinner in April and hopes to get an even better turnout from the 25 people that attended the previous April’s meeting (their Speaker was a consultant, writer with extensive experience in international affairs who ran a women’s empowerment NGO in Afghanistan).

Contact the New York Chapter


Chapter leader Keiko Yamazato extends the Okinawa chapter’s deep sadness over the sudden demise of Larry Smith who they called a beloved friend. The following activities are reported for this quarter: 1) Approximately 400 people attended the International Conference in Naha City, Okinawa on September 17-19. The chapter members are thankful to all who cooperated by attending the conference and bringing the international atmosphere to their island. One positive result: better, closer, more trusting communications among members enhancing relationships regardless of age difference. 2) Two panel sessions, “Discussion on an Asian center for Solving International Conflicts and Maintaining Peace in the Asia Pacific Regions” and “Ideas of APCC, Asia Pacific Communication Center” have led to people studying the possibility of establishing an EWC-like Center in Okinawa.

A meeting was held on December 27th at the EWCA Okinawa Conference Office and was attended with enthusiasm not only by Okinawa chapter members, but also by people from Tokyo, Hokkaido, Saitama, Hawaii and Osaka. Meeting participants have been continuing their conversation via email. 3) Three chapter members have been honored. Mr. Hiromitsu Miyagi was awarded the “Ryukyu Shimpo Award” for distinguished service and contribution to the development of Okinawa by a newspaper company. Recipients of the EWCA Okinawa Awards went to APLP fellow Hidemasa Goya, corporate planner at Kahehide Holdings Co. and Sayaka Sakuma, doctoral student in Geography at UH, Okinawa conference planning committee member and panelist presenter.

Contact the Okinawa Chapter


The Ontario chapter extends their holiday wishes for 2015 to all the EWCA chapters. Jonathan Jacobs reported that while there was not much to report in this quarter, the Ontario chapter has scheduled a morning coffee get-together for the weekend of January 25th. They have asked that interested alumni contact the chapter for further details on this meeting.

Contact the Ontario Chapter


Pauline Bautista reported on the Philippine chapter. The chapter had a meeting with EWC President Charles Morrison on December 10th. Results of the meeting: 1) came up with the idea of setting up a “Filipino Friends of the EWC to promote and support Filipino EWC scholarships. 2) Came up with the notion of a gathering of EWC alumni attending the APEC with the overall vision of arriving at a “prosperous, peaceful and just Asia Pacific community”. The chapter forwarded friendly photos of the meeting with Charles.

Contact the Philippines Chapter


Alice Seng Seok Hoon reported on the following activities of their chapter: First, on August 1st, member Dr. Phua Kai Hong shared his expertise on Singapore’s Pioneer Generation program at a lively roundtable discussion benefiting senior ladies on medical and health issues. Secondly, on September 12-18, four alumni members attended the Okinawa conference – Vijay, Seok Hoon Mui Teng and Pushpa. The latter made a paper presentation on “Perception and Response to Power Display in Southeast Asia: Sifting the Soft from the Hard.” Third, the staff of Raffles Leadership Institute participated in a session of Cross-cultural Awareness for Young Leaders where alumnus Vijay and Seok Hoon discussed ways to incorporate intercultural perspectives in leadership training programs for college students.

Finally, on Dec. 27th, discussion on an international service-learning project in NE India was the topic of a meeting with five youth volunteers from a public service learning group and the MYMCA. Invitation was extended to the chapter for their participation in a nature school project in Mamdapha India in March 2015.

Contact the Singapore Chapter


Yasukata Yano began his report by acknowledging his sadness over the death of his longtime friend Larry Smith. Here are the activities of the Tokyo chapter for the quarter. First, the chapter leader reported on the big success of the Okinawa conference and thanked the members for their donation of 660,000 yen (US 6,600) to the Okinawa chapter. As a Silver sponsor, 50 of the attendees were from the Tokyo chapter. Second, on December 13th, the Tokyo chapter hosted a welcoming luncheon for Mr. Yuki Hayashi (APLP) who now works for UBER, online taxi dispatcher.

Third, on December 9th, Chapter leader Yano was at the American Center Japan Open House representing the Tokyo chapter. He discussed with Minister Counselor Margot Carrington of Public Affairs about building a closer relationship between the US Embassy in Japan and the EWCA Tokyo Chapter via the Alumni Coordinator in the Embassy. He attached photos relevant to their activities.

Contact the Tokyo Chapter