Quarterly reports from EWCA Alumni Chapters (4th Quarter)

East-West Center Association

Chapter Development Committee, Quarterly Reports

2016 Fourth Quarter Chapter Reports (October-December)

Compiled by Dr. Jessica A. Sheetz-Nguyen
Vice President for Chapter Development

Thank you to the 12 Chapters who submitted Quarterly Reports. Your submissions as well as your ongoing commitment to EWC and EWCA outreach are sincerely appreciated. The following Chapters and representatives responded to the call for reports: 1) APLP (Miloni Gandhi)  2) ASDP (Dona Cady)  3) Beijing (Hongxia Zhang)  4) Chennai (S. Rajamani)   5) Brisbane (Iraphne Childs)  6) Hawaii (Carl Hefner)  7) Islamabad (Arjumand Faisel)  8) Kansai (Yumiko Okamoto)  9) Laos (Chanthavong Saignasith)  10) Malaysia (Gan Siowck Lee)  11) Manila (Ramon Clarete)  12) Mumbai (Sarosh Bana)  13) Nepal (Nirendra Maske)  14) New York (William Armbruster)  15) Northern California (Barbara Bornet Stumph)  16) Okinawa (Kiyoshi Nakachi)  17) Singapore (Alice Seok Hoon Seng)  18) South Korea (Eun-Young Cho)  19) Taiwan (Frank L. Hung)  20) Tokyo (Kazuhiko Takemoto)



The APLP Chapter continues to meet virtually every month and recently released its latest (December) issue of the Navigator.

Contact the APLP Chapter


The ASDP Alumni Chapter is preparing for the 23rd annual ASDP National Conference,  Asia Connections:  Confluences and Contradictions, on March 2-4, 2017 in Portland, Oregon hosted by the Association of Regional Centers of Asian Studies (ARCAS) and Regional Center Portland Community College.

Keynote speaker Dr. Edward Slingerland, Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences Stanford University, will speak on Trying Not to Try:  Cooperation, Trust and the Paradox of Spontaneity.  Dr. Alissa Freedman, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature and Film at the University of Oregon, will be the luncheon keynote. Prior to the conference, there is an optional field trip to Portland’s famous Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Conference registration information is available at:  http://www.eastwestcenter.org/education/asian-studies-development-program/national-conference/2017-asdp-national-conference

Contact the ASDP Chapter


In early December, the Chapter planned to have a face-to-face meeting at a skiing park but due to a busy schedule, it did not come about. This process, however, strengthened their connection with each other. To motivate the alumni, the Chapter leader initiated two activities at the end of the year. The first one is to snatch a red envelope, followed by a game which is to encourage the alumni to introduce themselves. The  Chapter leader chooses five alumni whom she is not very familiar with or whom she wants to know more, and then these five participants will introduce themselves by talking about their life, job, or anything interesting that happened in Hawaii. These five participants will then ask another five.

At the end of the year, the Chapter leader also initiated a discussion in January on how the Beijing Chapter can better contribute to the EWC, and how to promote EWC values and build a bridge between the East and West. This is currently in process.

Some challenges up to now are that there are in total, 127 Chinese alumni logged in the WeChat group for the Beijing Chapter. However, the very active alumni number less than ten. Although many of them read the WeChat message, seldom do they give a response. Also, the New Year activities have motivated more than 40 alumni in the group. However, it is still a challenge  how to further motivate more alumni and have more effective communication, and how to make the alumni function well.

Moving forward, the Chapter needs support to better operate. They ask whether it is possible to connect the Chapter leader with other Chapter leaders in China (Shanghai, perhaps) and to check the possibility of cross location activities. The Chapter would also like to know if it is possible to build a group for all Chapter leaders and arrange regular meetings for good practice. They mentioned that there can also be meetings when they have overseas travel. More meetings will make the EWC alumni platform more available. The Chapter also asks whether it is possible to have a virtual meeting between the alumni and the EWC either via Skype or some other chatting software. Finally, the Chapter notes that China currently has the South Cooperation and One Belt One Road policy, which a good opportunity to build an Asia EWC Alumni Consortium, and that based on this platform, it may be possible to mobilize resources and personnel.

Contact the Beijing Chapter


The Brisbane Chapter had their AGM/potluck dinner on October 21, 2016. At this gathering, they also had an election, with the current officer-bearers elected to continue in their executive positions for 2017.

Contact the Brisbane Chapter


The period ending 31st December 2016 was an eventful time for Chennai Chapter, who organized many programs in co-operation with other organizations, and participated in major programs including the 2016 East-West Center Media Conference – South Asia Delhi from September 8-11, 2016.

2016 APLP Awardee Mr.Phanikumar, from Chennai and an excellent social activist, joined EWCA Chennai Chapter. Mr.Phanikumar, 2015 awardee Ms.Devi Jessie Mary, Dr.S.Rajamani, (Secretary, EWCA Chennai Chapter), and Dr.Vasanthi Ranganathan (Alumni, EWCA Chennai Chapter) participated in the interactive meetings organized jointly by EWCA Chennai Chapter and Rotary Club of Ambattur.

The photograph taken in one of the interactive programs is shown below:


From L to R: Ms. Devi Jessie Mary, Dr. S. Rajamani, Mr. Phanikumar, Rtn. Gita Menon, Rtn, Sarma and Rtn. Vasanthi Ranganathan

There was active participation of EWCA Chennai Chapter members in the 2016 East-West Center Media Conference – South Asia in Delhi from 8th to 11th September 2016.

The following Chennai Chapter members participated in the 2016 East-West Center Media Conference:

  • P.M.Belliappa, President, EWCA Chennai Chapter
  • S.Rajamani, Secretary, EWCA Chennai Chapter
  • Vasanthi Ranganathan, EWCA Chennai Chapter
  • Syed Ali Mujtaba, EWCA Chennai Chapter

Reception at U.S. Consulate General House, New Delhi


EWCA Chennai Chapter Members with Ms. Karen Knudsen (Director, Office of External Affairs)

Dr. Syed Ali MUJTABA, Senior Journalist, Founder/Moderator: South Asia Contact Group, Chennai, India served as a Moderator on the session “Media in the Age of Visual Communication.”

Dr. Vasanthi Ranganathan, EWCA Chennai Chapter member and Managing Trustee, T. Ranganathan Educational Foundation (TREF), Chennai, India, made a presentation on “Women Empowerment – Printed Media Influences.”


EWCA Chennai Chapter Members attended the Pot making demonstration



Memories with Mr. Daniel Berman who had interacted and participated with EWCA Chennai Chapter for many years

Mr. Daniel Berman (former President of EWCA) honored Dr. S. Rajamani & Dr. Vasanthi Ranganthan, EWCA Chennai Chapter Members by nominating them to the EWC’s Virtual Honor Role List.

Contact the Chennai Chapter


  • On Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 the Hawaii Chapter hosted over 125 incoming East-West Center students and alumni at their annual CBI picnic in Kapiolani Park. Alumni prepared BBQ picnic style food for the students, along with members of the CBI committee & EWCPA. The Chapter also provided a talk on the history of Kapiolani Park, Diamond Head and Oahu for the students. Each year this proves to be an excellent way to network with students who will be future alumni of the East-West Center.
  • Hawaii alumni held a sale of kitchen items for incoming EWC participants during the month of August. This sale helps students adjust to dorm life, and gives them an opportunity to pick up kitchen items for preparing food in the dorms. This year was again a success, coordinated by EWC Alumnus Itsuko Suzuki.
  • Hawaii alumni also participated in the Christmas Craft Fair on Dec. 1 & 2 at the EWC, raising money that can be used to support EWC student travel.
  • The Chapter is continuing the Professional Linkage Program (ProLink), providing EWC participants an opportunity to “shadow” relevant Center alumni in order to get first-hand experience of the everyday work environment and work culture. Each semester the ProLink Committee, made up of both alumni and participants, hosts a social for alumni and participants to meet “their match.”
  • On April 23, 2017 the Hawaii Chapter will once again hold the Annual Dinner and Fundraiser at the Pacific Club. Attended by over 150 alumni and friends, the Hawaii Chapter then sponsors 4-5 EWC students to attend professional conferences with travel stipends.
  • The Chapter will also continue to hold regular monthly meetings in 2017, in the President’s Conference Room in Burn’s Hall.

Contact the Hawaii Chapter


In the last quarter, EWCA Islamabad Chapter (EWCA-IC) reported about joining hands with the Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC) and Gallery 6 for an “Art for social change” venture. The Chapter organized “Climate Change and Art – A Practitioners Retreat” in the beautiful area of Swat in Pakistan’s north-west region in the last week of August 2016. The purpose of this retreat was to enable and facilitate development of products (such as paintings, photographs, documentary, short visual stories) which would attract media, groups, individuals and all stakeholders to learn about and explore factors leading to climate change and its resultant negative impacts. The Retreat had 16 participants: 9 painters, 3 photographers, 2 sculptors, 1 film maker and 1 writer.

The “products” of this art retreat turned out to be stunning as participants have put their heart and soul in their creative instincts. Hence, EWCA–IC again joined hands with MOCC and Gallery 6 to exhibit these at Gallery 6, Islamabad in October 2016. The Exhibition was inaugurated on  October 7, 2016 by Mr. Zahid Hamid, Minister for Law and Climate Change. It was attended by Ambassadors of France andAustria, senior officers from the American and German Embassies, the Head of UNDP, ex- ambassadors and several distinguished government officers and citizens.

On this day, EWCA-IC also invited the Mohammad Ali Saeed Foundation (MASF), who gave free fruit trees to the visitors. Over 250 guava, orange and other fruit trees were collected from their stalls by the visitors, during the inauguration reception.

Contact the Islamabad Chapter


The Kansai Chapter engaged in a couple of activities between October 1, 2016 and December 31, 2006. First, the Chapter’s seminar was held in Okayama on Oct. 8, 2016. It was given outside Osaka or Kyoto for the first time since its establishment. The seminar started with the introduction of the East-West Center and its activities, by Professor Mita (Osaka University). Then, Professor Monobe, from Doshisha University gave a talk about Hawaiian Japanese descents, followed by a Q&A session. Finally, Professor Nitta played Ukulele songs such as Red Dragonflies, El Condor Pasa, Besame Mucho, Blue Hawaii, etc. Although the total number of participants was not substantially large (13), the seminar ended in a very good and satisfactory atmosphere.

The first meeting of the board of directors for the year of 2016-17 was held on October 8, 2016 in Okayama city, following the seminar. The participants were Professors Mita, Nitta, Monobe, and Anderson, and Professor Furuhashi from the advisory board also joined the meeting. We first reflected on the seminar and then we started to plan the general assembly meeting of 2017. First, the meeting was decided to be held at Kansai University either in May or in June, 2017. Second, the second meeting of the board of directors was decided to be held at Doshisha University on October 24, 2016 to discuss further details of the general assembly meeting of 2017.

The second meeting of the board of directors was held at Doshisha University on October 24, 2016 to discuss further details of the general assembly meeting of 2017.  The Chapter decided as follows:

(a) It will be held at Kansai University either in May or in June, 2017.

(b) Professor Anderson will take  charge of the general assembly meeting of 2017, in collaboration with Professors Mita and Hara.

(c) The general assembly meeting of 2017 will be preceded by a seminar focusing on how to attract the attention of young undergraduate students toward the East-West Center and its activities, instead of just giving a lecture.


Contact the Kansai Chapter


The Lao Chapter previously reported on their project of planting Hawaii Rainbow Shower Trees along the Mekong River at Vientiane Capital City. They have now contracted with Agriculture and Forestry Research Division of Hatdokkeo to handle the layering and nursery for 2,000 saplings. It will take around a year before transplanting these along the 12km of Mekong River bank.  The budget for this project has been set at USD $3200. Now Lao EWC Alumni and Lao private sector have contributed to the project, as needed.

The Chapter hopes the project is going well, and they also plan to have a similar project like this in Luang Prabang City in the World Heritage Site, with cooperation between Lao EWC Alumni and the private sector in Laung Prabang. Details about the planting of Hawaii Rainbow Shower Trees in Laung Prabang will be provided at a later time.

Contact the Laos Chapter


There was no activity in the last quarter of 2016 for the Malaysia Chapter, other than a lunch meeting they hosted for Noreen Tanouye  and Karen Knudsen, from the East-West Center. This gathering was held on Wednesday November 9th, at Bunga Raya Chinese Restaurant, Royal Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur.

Ten members turned up for the lunch meeting. During the meeting, Karen updated the Chapter about EWC affairs, and the new President, etc. Noreen briefed the Chapter about programs in other Chapters. She was told that the Singapore Chapter has contacted the Malaysian Chapter recently, to explore working on joint projects. Noreen  stated that this has been discussed during the Manila conference and that she will continue to work with the various chapters towards this goal.

The Chapter also offered to help the EWC in screening applicants for EWC programs, similar to how they used to do with MACEE over the years. Karen said she will bring this matter up with the EWC. The Chapter has also been doing pre-departure briefing for participants to the EWC programs for many years now and will continue this, as long as EWC connects them with the new participants.

Contact the Malaysia Chapter


Nothing to report this quarter but the Chapter is planning to have a general meeting in February.

Contact the Manila Chapter


Nothing to report.

Contact the Mumbai Chapter


On October 24, 2016, Chapter President Nirendra Maske presented a Talk Program to a meeting of the Rotary Club of Patan on the topic “Recent Geotectonics related to April 25, 2015 Earthquake,” that was held in the Summit Hotel, Patan.

On Friday, December 2, 2016, Chapter members attended the Fulbright Forum Talk Program entitled “Transitional Justice in Nepal: Endemic Violence and Marginalized Perspectives” by Ms. Krista E. Billingsley, which was held at the Fulbright Commission Auditorium in Gyaneshwar. Ms. Billingsley is a Fulbright DDRA student of Anthropology. The research for the Talk Program was conducted in urban and rural Nepal and is an ethnographic analysis. It will discuss the initial findings of the study and the implications for transitional justice in Nepal.

Contact the Nepal Chapter


The New York chapter had a dinner meeting on Oct. 21, 2016. First, members gathered for a reception at the home of Ramy Inocencio, who is taking over as New York Chapter leader this month.. Ramy, an anchor with Bloomberg Television, discussed the EWC Media Conference in New Delhi in September, which he attended. Members then went to Chote Nawab, a great Indian restaurant close to Ramy’s apartment. About 25 people attended, including a strong turnout of APLP alumni.

The Chapter was planning to have another dinner recently with Hajra Hafeez-ur-Rehman, an APLP alum who works as a nutrition specialist with UNICEF, as the speaker. Unfortunately,this had to be cancelled because only nine people signed up. A lot of people had conflicts, and the $60 price was a disincentive. However, the Chapter is optimistic that Ramy will be able to reschedule another event in February, with a lower price tag. Cristina Veran, another APLP alum, has suggested another restaurant with a lower price and has also volunteered to host a reception at her apartment. It is very encouraging to see younger alumni stepping up!

Contact the New York Chapter


Barbara Bornet has written an article for possible publication in the Bay Area Writing Project Teacher online magazine at UC Berkeley.  The article is currently under consideration. Ms. Bornet is also continuing to work on cross-cultural relations through her ink painting work at the China Art Academy International School (CAAIC), in the spirit of the East-West Center, through developing people to people relations between China, US, and Germany. She has also shared fellow a EWC alum’s publication with a professor at the Academy, and continues to share her experiences and knowledge about EWC with others.

Contact the Northern California Chapter


On October 16, 2017 the Okinawa Chapter held an appreciation party for former EWC president, Dr. Charles E. Morrison, for his special contributions to the Okinawa Chapter.  Around 30 members of EWCA Okinawa Chapter participated in the party. Dr. Morrison came to Okinawa from Tokyo, during a trip to Japan. One significant contribution was introduced by the former president of the Okinawa Chapter and adviser, Mr. Choko Takayama.

Among many, one of Dr. Morrison’s biggest contributions was to open the Obuchi Scholarship for graduate students and Senior Research Fellows at EWC, as a commemoration of President Clinton’s visit to Okinawa during the 26th G8 summit, in 2000. Many young students and senior scholars from Okinawa were able to study and perform research under this Obuchi Program.

Members of the Okinawa Chapter donated money to purchase a traditional Ryukyu (Okinawa) music instrument, a Samisen, and this instrument was sent by the former president Takayama and the current president Nakachi, to Dr. Morrison. The new Samisen was played first by the vice president of the Okinawa Chapter, Mr. Munehiro Machida, for putting “Okinawa heart” into the Samisen. Lastly, Dr. Morrison expressed his gratitude to all the members of the Okinawa Chapter.

Also, the group to study on the Okinawa Asia Pacifica Center Plan had a meeting in Tokyo from November 26-27, 2016. Okinawa members (Yamazato, Tsutsumi, Shibuya and Nakachi) participated in the meeting. They exchanged views and discussed the possibility to open an organization APC in Okinawa, like EWC in Hawaii. The group will continue to prepare finalizing the APC Plan and will submit it to the Okinawa Prefecture government in the future.

Contact the Okinawa Chapter


On November 15, 2016, a brief meeting was held to discuss the sister project with the Malaysian Chapter. It was discussed that a more feasible project would be to play host to each other chapter’s member visits. Dr.Gan will be our first visitor next year.

On November 29, VJ and Alice Seng met Nicole Seah, an EWC volunteer who will be helping the chapter to use Facebook or a blog to inform members of EWC activities in Singapore and in the SE Asian region. There is a need to update our membership list as many have lost contact with each other.

December 3, 2016, chapter members were invited to attend a very special arts performance by Garrett Kam (EWC alumnus from Hawaii but now based in Bali) in the Esplanade concert hall. The event Of Music and Art: The Legend Retold is a narrative masked dance named “The Sisters’ Islands,” an interesting local folk tale. It was a very enjoyable evening and Garrett is no stranger to the chapter alumni as he visits Singapore quite regularly.

Contact the Singapore Chapter


The South Korea chapter has been busy in preparation for the 2018 International Conference in Seoul. Since a Skype meeting in August, there was a meeting on October 21, 2016 through phone call between Seoul and Honolulu. Korean chapter leader Won-Nyon Kim, co-chair of the Seoul Conference, has been added to the EWCA Executive Board until the conference date. Kim promised to send newly appointed names for the various committees for the 2018 Conference. There were further talks and suggestions about conference theme, timeline, and possible venue, etc. at the meeting. The Chapter was also provided information about the Manila Conference, including the budget. With the information as a guide for the Seoul Conference, they can expect to exert more focused and planned effort for the conference.

Apart from the official meeting between EWCA and the Korea Chapter, Won-Nyon Kim has been actively engaged in organizing gatherings among EWC alumni. These gatherings were wonderful fundraising opportunities as well as excellent reconnection time. Woo-Taek, Jeong and Byung-Moo Yang have recently rejoined one of the alumni meetings. Jeong has been elected to be the representative of the ruling Saenuri Party and Yang has published a Roman history book, which earned an enthusiastic review. Every gathering was a lovely meeting with newcomers and profuse food. In this Skype and Facebook era, however, there is real need to go beyond off-line alumni match-up through social media. There have been suggestions as to how to expand connections through various social media sites.

The Korea Chapter wishes every EWC member ex and present all the best of health, happiness and fellowship during this blessed season and a year of peace, growth, goodwill and love during the coming year.

Contact the South Korea Chapter


On October 20, 2016, the Taiwan Chapter elected its Board for 2016-2018. The Board members also discussed ways to recruit more alumni, broaden exchanges with other chapters, and strengthen ties with EWC and EWCA.

The new leaders, as well as other alumni, hosted a dinner in honor of incoming EWC President Richard R. Vuylsteke and his wife Josephine, in Taipei on Oct. 29. President Hung presented an exquisitely made red ceramic vase to the couple, wishing “peace and prosperity to Richard and Josephine, and the EWC.” Josephine is from Taiwan, where they lived for 25 years.

Joining the dinner party was Gary Lin, who donated $300,000 USD to the Center earlier this year to support student scholarships and art programs. Former Taiwan Chapter presidents Nora Chiang and Christine Chang, and Vuylsteke’s EWC classmate Professor Yu-chao Yu were also present to extend congratulations to the EWC’s next president. Dr. Vuylsteke stated that he would “listen to” the insight and experience of alumni in order to “adjust our programs to meet the needs of the younger people…and older leaders in a rapidly changing world.”

On July 18, Gary Lin hosted a luncheon in Taipei to welcome Yi-cheih Jay Lai, the inaugural recipient of the scholarship fund he donated. Lai, who is from Taiwan, is a doctoral degree student in Ethnomusicology.


Contact the Taiwan Chapter


The EWCA Tokyo Chapter convened its Executive Committee on December 27, 2016 at the United Nations University (UNU) Headquarters in Aoyama, Tokyo. The Committee was attended by Kazu Takemoto (Chapter Chair), Yasu Yano, Shigeo Tonoike, Matori Yamamoto, Michiko Yamashita, Kazuko Tonoike, Hitomi Yokote, Chie Hashimoto and Taka Tsuchiya (Designated Auditor).

The Committee discussed a wide range of outstanding issues on preparation for the next Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for February 25, 2017. It was agreed to follow the arrangements made for the last annual meeting (2016), namely consisting of three parts: (a) General Assembly, (b) Guest Lecture Session and (c) Reception.

During the General Assembly, the participating Chapter members will receive a report on the Chapter activities in 2016 from the Chapter Chair and Secretariat, and will discuss their plan of action in 2017. The Assembly will be chaired by Ms. Hitomi Yokote.

The Committee members unanimously agreed to invite Dr. Naomi Furnish Yamada, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Center for Education of Global Communication, University of Tsukuba as a guest speaker for the Lecture Session of this year. It was noted that some of the Committee members have worked together with her in their common research areas. All the Committee members are looking forward to learning from her presentation and dynamic interactions with her at a Q&A session, which will be facilitated by Ms. Chie Hashimoto.

The Tokyo Chapter expects to have an exciting and fruitful occasion at the forthcoming Annual Meeting in February. They are also pleased to report the outcome of the meeting in the course of future communication, hopefully its next Quarterly report.

Contact the Tokyo Chapter