Quarterly Reports from EWCA Alumni Chapters 2017 (2nd Quarter)

East-West Center Association

Chapter Development Committee, Quarterly Reports

 2nd Quarter Chapter Reports (April-June 2017)

Thank you to the 21 Chapters who submitted their second quarter reports for 2017. Your submissions help us and others know how active the Chapters are, and show your continued patronage for EWCA/EWC outreach. The following Chapters and representatives responded this quarter: 1) APLP (Miloni Gandhi); 2) ASDP (Dona M. Cady); 3) Bangladesh (Abu Ekramul Ahsan); 4) Beijing (Hongxia Zhang); 5) Brisbane (Iraphne Childs); 6) Chennai (S. Rajamani); 7) Kansai (Yumiko Okamoto); 8) Karachi (Ghazala Fasih); 9)  Kathmandu (Nirendra Maske); 10) Kuala Lumpur (Gan Siowck Lee); 11) Laos (Chanthavong Saignasith); 12) Mumbai (Sarosh Bana); 13) Nagoya (Mamoru Tsukada); 14) New York (Ramy Inocencio); 15) Northern California (Barbara Bornet Stumph); 16) Okinawa (Kiyoshi Nakachi); 17) Philippines (Pearl Pacada); 18) Seoul (Eun Young Cho); 19) Singapore (Alice Seng Seok Hoon); 20) Southern California Chapter (Claire Langham); and 21) Taiwan (Frank Hung).


The APLP Chapter held a global day of service and released a newsletter. They look forward to their board transition in July.

Contact the APLP Chapter


The ASDP Alumni Chapter is gearing up for the 24th annual ASDP National Conference on March 1-3, 2018 in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Marriott Georgetown.  The call for papers submission deadline is October 1, 2017;  the guidelines and registration information is available online. There is an optional field trip to the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery prior to the conference.


Contact the ASDP Chapter


The Chapter held two meetings during the report period. Newly returning alumni members joined the chapter and showed interest in participating in the Chapter’s activities.

Five alumni chapter members, Abu Ekramul Ahsan, Najma Haq, Moushumi Das Purkayastha, Sabera Zohra and Towhid Khan visited a non-profit voluntary rural organization named, Ogropothik Palli Samity (OPS), popularly known as the Zinda Park for social welfare and development of the livelihood of the local people. They identified areas where the Chapter could assist in its Community Development Projects.


EWCA Bangladesh Chapter Alumni with students of Class III and IV at the School operated by OPS

Knowing that a number of EWC alumni live in other cities of Bangladesh namely Chittagong and Rajshahi, the chapter decided to initiate visit programs to other cities of Bangladesh. They will hold chapter meetings there with other local alumni and encourage them to participate in chapter activities. The Chapter also wants to organize visit programs to neighboring countries, namely, India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar in collaboration with the local Chapters there.

Contact the Bangladesh Chapter


Hongxia Zhang facilitated the visit of 15 Jefferson Fellowship project fellows and three staff members (Charles, Ann, and Jill) on May 20, 2017. The group visited the former residence of a famous author and thinker.

Two new alumni joined the wechat group, bringing the total number to more than 140. How to attract more alumni to join the chapter is still a challenge.


Contact the Beijing Chapter


Dr. Bhishna Bajracharya presented a paper on governance of peri-urban growth in Southeast Queensland, Australia at the Asian Regional Conference on Peri-urbanisation: Emerging Issues and Practices hosted by Tongji University in May in collaboration with the East-West Center.

Karen Nunan and Iraphne Childs were on several deployments to Northern and Southeast Queensland in April/May with the Australian Red Cross engaged in community recovery from Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Contact the Brisbane Chapter


EWCA Chennai Chapter participated and organized diversified programs during April – June 2017 in co-operation with other organizations. Dr. S. Rajamani along with other members of EWCA Chennai Chapter actively participated in the demonstration project of domestic Solid Waste Segregation and Conversion into Bio-fertilizer. Massive tree plantation organized in South Chennai to overcome the loss of trees during the last cyclone as a part of World Environment Day in June 2017. South Chennai citizens forum provided appreciation certificate for the environmental awareness activities of EWCA Chennai Chapter members during the World Environment Day celebration.


Dr. S. Rajamani and other members in MRC Nagar, South Chennai

EWCA Chennai Chapter participated in the panel discussion on Strategies for Administrative, Legislative and Judicial Paths to Securing LGBTQI Rights led by Judge Victoria Kolakowski. Dr. P.M. Belliappa participated in the Reception cum meeting hosted by the US Consul General, Chennai as a part of celebration of Independence Day of the USA. The EWCA Chennai Chapter gave a brief presentation of the activities of the Chennai chapter during the celebrations. Dr. Vasanthi Ranganathan – Program Coordinator of EWCA Chennai Chapter actively organized many dissemination programs such as special training programs for more than 4000 students mainly girls and dropouts in 14 rural locations in Tamilnadu based on her learning in Hawaii under East West Center fellowship. She is promoting the EWCA Logo and the services to the community in various fields.


Dr. Vasanthi Ranganathan is pictured on the left

Contact the Chennai Chapter


The chapter engaged in three activities between April 1 and June 30, 2017. The chapter held their third board meeting of the year. Board members organized two seminars (open and closed) held at Kansai University on June 5th. The title of the open seminar was “Using English Internationally: Research and Experience in Diverse Cultures.” Third and fourth-year students of the Faculty of Literature at Kansai University (around 70 students) and 5 EWC alumni participated. The title of the closed seminar was “What are the main benefits of studying abroad? What do you need to prepare if you are interested in studying abroad?” First-year students of the Faculty of Literature at Kansai University (around 60 students) and six former EWC grantees including the current president of the EWCPA participated.


Pictured here (L to R) are Anderson, Sakamoto, Hara, Taniguchi (a Ph.D. candidate), Nita, Mita, and Okamoto



Contact the Kansai Chapter


The Karachi, Pakistan Chapter held a general membership meeting on April 1, 2017 at Essa Labs Shaheed E Millat Road. The meeting was attended by Kamal Siddiqi, Ghazala Fasih, Asis Hussain Dr. Mahtab Karim, Saima Huma, Hira Siddiqui, and Athar Khan. Ms. Hira Siddiqui will assume the responsibility of treasurer, as well as maintain the association’s Facebook page. Ms. Ghazala will follow up with US Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Ms. Sharlina, about the proposal submitted to the US Consulate General. Dr. Mahtab Karim discussed his work on the census.

Poor attendance at meetings was lamented; more effort will be made to get members to attend. The chapter will reach out to potential members based in Karachi who have been involved in EWC activities in Hawaii and other places. It will also get more details about EWC scholarships offered for Pakistani students and develop a system to advertise these scholarships.

In an attempt to place more emphasis on work under the EWCA platform, two groups will be created – health and media – and members will be asked to do some work in these areas such as holding lectures and providing advice on career planning. The chapter is setting July 2017 as a target date to start new EWCA initiatives.

Contact the Karachi Chapter


The chapter participated in a breakfast meeting at Coffee Pasal on May 2, 2017, sponsored by the Fulbright Commission/USEF-Nepal for executive committee members of various commissions related to alumni associations to meet the new Fulbright Commission Executive Director, Dr. Thomas B. Robertson, and to alumni network.

On May 4, 2017, Nirendra Maske participated in the FAAN talk program and panel discussion on “Disaster and Gender” presented by Ms. Allison Beach, a Fulbright Nehru Scholar based in Chennai, India. The program was organized by FAAN, US Embassy, Nepal and USEF-Nepal.

On May 23, 2017, Nirendra Maske participated in “Elections Are Not Enough: Local Governance in a Federal System,” part of the Fulbright Monthly Lecture and Policy Discussion Series to celebrate the 70th anniversary of US-Nepal relations, held at the Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka. The speakers were Dr. Shyam Bhurtel, former member of the local level- Restructuring Commission, Dr. Lok Raj Baral, Nepal Center for Contemporary Studies, Ms. Srijana Chettri, PACT and Sajedari Bikas, and moderator, Thomas Robertson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Fulbright-Nepal.

Members of the chapter attended a reception on June 9, 2017 hosted by the Honorable U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, Alaina B. Teplitz, and U.S. Educational Foundation-Nepal executive director, Dr. Thomas B. Robertson, to celebrate the Fifty-Sixth Annual Fulbright Day at Kamal Kunj, Kamaladi, Kathmandu.

The chapter is planning to celebrate the East-West Center Day soon.

Contact the Kathmandu Chapter


The chapter has no activities to report for the second quarter.

Contact the Kuala Lumpur Chapter


On June 1, 2017, the Lao Chapter, represented by Mr. Chanthavong Saignasith and Mr. Vilay Soulatha, handed over and planted 50 Hawaii Rainbow Shower Trees to Luangprabang Province authorities at Kayson Phomvihanh Park. The project to plant Hawaii Rainbow Shower Trees in Laos will continue with planting along the Mekong River in Vientiane Capital expected by the end of the year.


Contact the Laos Chapter


In lieu of holding a meeting, the Chapter President, Sarosh Bana performed two concerts of Indian classical music in two different styles (khayal and dhrupad).

Contact the Mumbai Chapter


The Nagoya Chapter held a welcome dinner for Mr. Shintaro Taniguchi, President of the East-West Center Participant Association and three alumni, Professor Kosaka of Aichi University, Professor Inoue of Aichi University of Arts, and Mamoru Tsukada, Professor of Sugiyama Jogakuen University. On July 15th, they held a general chapter meeting and featured a special lecture by Professor Masaki Kawashima of Nanzan University (former Fulbright Scholar) regarding his book on American History from a Japanese perspective written in English jointly with the Nagoya Fulbright Association.


Contact the Nagoya Chapter


The New York Chapter had a very successful dinner on April 7, 2017, with about 32 alumni and friends attending. The guest speaker was Joanne Ou, director and deputy counselor of the UN Task Force of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York. She discussed Taiwan’s relations with the US and China, its attempts to gain observer status at the UN and its various agencies. Since 2009, for example, it has had observer status at the annual World Health Assembly, the forum through which the World Health Organization is governed. She also discussed how the UN discriminates against Taiwanese nationals by not even allowing them to visit UN headquarters in New York unless they have a document called the Taibaosheng, or Mainland Travel Permit, which they must have in order to visit China.

Contact the New York Chapter


No report for this quarter.

Contact the Northern California Chapter


Mr. Richard R. Vuysteke, President of EWC visited Okinawa from May 15 to 17, 2017 with Mr. Bob Nakasone, special adviser for Okinawa matters. On the evening of May 16, the Okinawa Chapter of EWCA held a welcoming party for the President. About 40 members including members of the Okinawa Chapter and World Uchinachu (Okinawans) Business Association attended.


Mr. Shintaro Taniguchi, President of EWC Participants Association came to Okinawa on June 6 and exchanged views for the future development of the EWCA activities. He emphasized that the joint activities between students from different counties was the best opportunity to understand each other.


Contact the Okinawa Chapter


The Chapter has been working on holding two regional conferences in Mindanao and Ilocos Norte. In Mindanao, the forum is on government’s proposed shift to a federalist structure of government, amending the constitution in the process. Due to the attack by the IS-allies in Mindanao on Marawi City, the venue of this conference was changed from Marawi City to Cagayan de Oro City.

The second regional conference will be on “Investment and Migration Opportunities between the US and Philippines.” They plan to hold the conference on October 24, 2017. This conference serves as an inception activity leading to the bicentennial celebration of Ilocos Norte in 2018. The Chapter also submitted a proposal to the US Embassy in Manila for a small grant to fund the conference. The Embassy has agreed to provide up to $1,000 towards this event.

Contact the Philippines Chapter


Korean chapter has been busy with preparations for the Seoul International Conference in 2018. On May 22nd, the Seoul planning committee held a face-to-face meeting with some of the planning members from Hawaii, Richard Vuylsteke, Karen Knudsen, Ned Shultz, and Noreen Tanouye. The Chapter hosted a dinner on behalf of the EWC visitors from Hawaii over delicious Korean Bulgogi. The planning committee also did a walkthrough at the Lotte Hotel (conference venue) and alternate hotels in preparation for the conference. A reception at the US Ambassador’s residence was held with good wishes for a successful conference next year.


Contact the Seoul Chapter


On June 3, 2017, distinguished alumna Dr. Yap Mui Teng presented Demographic Profile of Grandparents in Singapore as one of the key speakers in The Grand Generation: Intergenerational Ties and Active Ageing, a symposium held at the Singapore University of Social Science. This symposium addressed the cohesion and conflict between generations as well as the issues of active ageing. Three grandparents from the chapter Prof. Eddie Kuo, Mrs. Lysia Kee and Mr. Basskaran Nair (alumni from the 70s) took part in the symposium.


Eight members from the chapter met Susan Kreifels, EWC Media Programs Manager, who was in Singapore on June 26 to lay groundwork for the East West Center’s 6th International Media Conference in Singapore in 2018. The three-day conference is expected to draw hundreds of media professionals from the Asia Pacific and United States. They will present on media trends and cutting-edge technology. A lunch meeting was held with her to explore ways as to how the Singapore chapter can be involved. One Singapore alumnus Nicole Seah was at the 2012 media conference in Seoul, so we have a start with her. Susan received extensive feedback and ideas regarding the conference.


On March 27, 2017, alumnus Siva, who is currently studying in New Zealand, dropped by in Singapore to collect data for his doctoral program. We managed to discuss plans of how the chapter can support a worthy environmental education program by Cicada Tree Eco Place, a nonprofit organization that promotes the natural and cultural heritage of Singapore through environmental education and eco living. The lunch meeting was held with the founder of the organization, Dr. Vilma D’Rozario. (see photo)

Contact the Singapore Chapter


The EWCA Southern California Chapter conducted a campaign to raise funds for the EWCA Alumni Endowment Fund. An appeal was made to members – “This is graduation time, so let’s reflect on the benefits we received at the East-West Center and make a small gesture of goodwill to pay back.” Over $1,000 was raised.

Contact the Southern California Chapter


On June 16, 2017, EWC President Richard Vuylsteke visited Taiwan. Chapter members were delighted to organize a get-together on the evening of June 16th in his honor. President Frank Hung and Executive Director Gary Lin of EWC Taiwan Chapter will propose at the next board meeting that active fundraising from alumni and non-government organizations should be targeted so that EWC student programs can be rejuvenated and the number of degree participants can be increased in the future.

As a follow up, Frank Hung invited seven alumni to a nearby restaurant for lunch to discuss this fundraising effort. They all responded by making a contribution to support the student program.


Contact the Taiwan Chapter