Quarterly Reports from EWCA Alumni Chapters (3rd Quarter 2018)

East-West Center Association
Chapter Development Committee, Quarterly Reports
2018 3rd Quarter Chapter Reports (July to September)
Compiled by Dr. Jessica A. Sheetz-Nguyen
Vice President for Chapter Development


Thank you to the 16 Chapters who submitted their third-quarter reports for 2018. Chapter submissions help us and others to know about your activities and your continued patronage for EWCA/EWC outreach. The following Chapters and representatives responded this quarter. These include:

1) ASDP (Dona M. Cady); 2) Brisbane, Australia (Iraphne Childs); 3) Chennai, India (Dr. S. Rajamani); 4) Colombo, Sri Lanka (Asanga Tilakaratne); 5) Dhaka, Bangladesh (Abu Ekramul Ahsan); 6) Hawaii, USA (Carl Hefner); 7) Hong Kong (Mark Sheldon); 8) Islamabad, Pakistan (Arjumand Faisel); 9) Kansai, Japan (Fumiteru Nitta); 10) Mumbai, India (Sarosh Bana); 11) Northern California (Barbara Bornet Stumph); 12) Okinawa, Japan (Kiyoshi Nakachi); 13) Seoul, Republic of Korea (Eunyoung Cho); 14) Singapore (Alice Seok Hoon Seng); 15) Southern California, USA (Claire Langham); 16) Tokyo, Japan (Yasuo Hoshino)

Chapter Leader: Dona M. Cady

ASDP is very pleased that alumna Dr. Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen was recognized at the EWCA’s International Conference in Seoul, South Korea as Outstanding Volunteer Award. This award recognizes outstanding alumni volunteers who have provided significant contributions to the programs and activities of the East-West Center Association. The awardees lead by example, demonstrating the qualities that bring out the best in others.
From left to right: Vasanthi Ranganathan, Amanda Ellis, Richard Vuylsteke, Richard Turbin, Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen

Jessica is a professor of history at the University of Central Oklahoma, served as leader of the Asian Studies Development Program alumni chapter from 2011-2016, including organizing two ASDP national conferences during her term of office. As past president, she co-chaired the 2018 conference in Washington, DC. Since July 2015 she has served as Vice-President for Chapter Development on the EWC Association Executive Board.

Cheers, Jessica!

2018 EWC/EWCA ASDP Participation – ASDP alumni came out in strong numbers (10!) for the August EWCA’s 2018 International Conference in Seoul, South Korea, including presentations on multiple panels.
On the panel Cooperation and Promotion of Cultural Peace:

  • Bob Eng, Professor of History, University of Redlands: When Heaven Burns: The Dreams and Grievances of Hong Kongers

On the panel Explorations in Ethics:

  • Joseph Harroff, Lecturer, Temple University: Ritual Communities of Interpretation in Confucian Role Ethics

On the panel Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities for Women and Children:

  • Dona Cady, Professor of Humanities and ASDP Alumni President: Gender and Relational Self-Cultivation
  • Linda Lindsey, Senior Lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis: Globalization and Gender Equity Patterns for Women of Asia
  • Roslyn Schoen, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University: Garments Come to the Village: Geographies of Gender and Regulatory Performativity in a Bangladeshi Garment Factory
  • Jessica, Sheetz-Nguyen, Professor of History, ASDP Past President, and EWCA Executive Board VP for Chapter Development: Flight to Safety Among Myanmar’s Ethnic Minority, the Rohingya
  • Peter Hershock, Director of ASDP: Panel Moderator

From left to right: Linda Lindsey, Willie Melton, Gloria Melton, Roslyn Schoen, Dona Cady, Bob Eng, Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen, Nancy Greenwood, and Beth Anderson.

Planning has begun for the Asian Studies Development Program’s 25th Annual Conference that will be held March 7-9, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee and hosted by Regional Center Belmont University. The conference theme, Wellbeing in Asian Traditions of Thought and Practice is intended to stimulate interdisciplinary conversations about the meanings-of and means-to wellbeing, expanding the field of wellbeing research beyond the disciplines of psychology, sociology and health sciences to include philosophical, political, economic, religious, artistic, literary and historical engagements with wellbeing.


2018 Conference Attendees left to right: Bonnie Ames, Jon Greenberg, Roger Ames, Connie Rosemont, Sebastian Rosemont, Amelia Greenberg, and JoAnn Rosemont.

ASDP is currently inviting proposals for individual papers, panels, poster sessions, or round-table sessions with a 12 November 2018 submission deadline.

With alumni membership of over 1,500, ASDP alumni and other interested college and university faculty members welcome this opportunity to share research related to Asian cultures and societies, as well as strategies for infusing Asian content into undergraduate humanities, social science, business, and science curricula. Known for its multi-disciplinary approach and convivial dynamics, the ASDP National Conference also offers an opportunity to extend professional networks and explore new possibilities for both personal and institutional collaboration. Join us in Nashville – Music City, USA!

Contact the Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP) Chapter

Chapter Leader: Iraphne Childs

EWCA Board: Karen Nunan continues as a member of the East West Center Alumni Board.

Brisbane03Alumni conference in Seoul, August 2018 – 5 Brisbane Chapter members attended the EWCA 2018 International Conference in Seoul: Karen Nunan, Bhishna Bajracharya, Edilyn Bajracharya, Janani Ganapathi and John Beruldsen. All agreed that the meeting organizers did a superb job.

The Brisbane Chapter was pleased to see Richard Vuylsteke endorsed as President. He has much enthusiasm and relevant experience for the issues facing the Center. It was good to see four ambassadors to Korea – US, Australian, Singapore, and Japan – attending the conference and also many EWCA alumni and associates from around Asia and the Pacific, including many prominent public figures in Korean business and government (who were former EWC alumni).

Chapter Leaders Workshop on 22 August – Brisbane Chapter member Bhishna Bajracharya (Treasurer, EWCA Brisbane/Virtual Australia Chapter) represented our Chapter, and Chapter member Karen Nunan also attended the workshop as a member of the EWCA Board. The workshop culminated in a reception hosted by the US Ambassador to Korea at the Ambassador’s residence.

Papers presented: Three Brisbane chapter members gave presentations during the panel sessions:

  • Bhishna Bajracharya (Associate Professor of Urban Planning, Bond University) and Edilyn Bajracharya (Senior Policy Advisor, Queensland Government) analysed the nexus between gender/culture and well-being in urban places in a presentation responding to the question, “Can Happy Women Make Happier Cities?”
  • Janani Ganapathi, Postdoctoral Researcher, Queensland University of Technology, discussed “Open Educational Resources for Mother Tongue Literacy Acquisition,” using a case study of a literacy education provider who used these resources to improve the literacy skills of indigenous children.

New initiatives at the EWCA Conference: this year included the launching of the current cohort of APLP at the conference and the University of Hawaii Night where EWC and UH students/alumni gathered at a reception with both the UH and EWC presidents (who were also both EWC alumni).

The conference was an excellent opportunity to network and connect informally with many others attending including:

  • Members of the Ganapathi family from New York and Switzerland
  • ‘Ofeina Manuel-Barbarich, a Cook Islander in the NZ Dept of Internal Affairs
  • Amanda Ellis, the new Alumni Association President.


  • Upcoming chapter meeting: we are planning to have a chapter meeting sometime in October.
  • Australian Red Cross, Queensland – two Chapter members, Karen and Iraphne, continue as emergency volunteers based in Brisbane, ready to be deployed anywhere in Queensland if needed for disaster recovery assistance to local communities.
  • Interstate Affiliate members live outside of Brisbane in Australia and are asked to let us know when they are in town so we can try to offer some hospitality, and are kept informed of our activities so they can join in if they wish.
  • Support the Center with financial contributions. Chapter members are encouraged to make contributions to the Center individually.

Contact the Brisbane Chapter

Chapter Leader: Sonna Belliappa Pemanda
Report submitted by Dr. S. Rajamani

EWCA Chennai Chapter actively participated in many major programs during the period from March to September 2018 in co-operation with many other organizations.

A teacher training program in cooperation with Rotary Club of Chennai was organized for about 100 teachers working in different schools in and around in Chennai. EWCA Chennai Chapter Secretary – Dr. S. Rajamani and Project Co-ordinator – Dr. Vasanthi Ranganathan, Education Expert made a presentation and interacted with the participants. The awareness Project ENRICH program to get Full Bright Scholarship was well attended and they have requested to organize many programs in cooperation with EWCA Chennai Chapter.

Ms. Lauren Lovelace PAS, Chennai US Consulate invited 50 students, teachers and EWC Alumni for a program called Wings to Fly US for participation of students in various programs organized under Indo-US co-operation. It was jointly organized by US consulate office and EWC Alumni Chapter Chennai on 7th June 2018.

Dr. Rajamani, Secretary EWCA Chennai chapter introduced the EWC programs and the Chennai alumni chapter. Vasanthi Ranganathan Program Coordinator, Chennai Chapter talked about touch and feel of the books and what the library has to offer, the opportunity to enter the library at a young age means a great foundation for each individual student’s future. Students going to NASA also shared their experience.


Participation of EWCA Chennai Chapter Members in Seoul Conference 2018
The EWCA Chennai Chapter members Dr. S. Rajamani – Secretary, Dr. Vasanthi Ranganathan – Program Co-ordinator, Mrs. Rathinam Rajamani, Mr. Siva Sakthiraj and Ms. Radha Manickam attended the Seoul Conference as delegates and participated in many programs including Chapter Leaders Meeting, panel discussions, cultural and social programs.

EWCA Chennai Chapter members presentations in the EWC Seoul Conference – It is regarded that maximum number of panel presentations (3) have been made by the Chennai Chapter members Dr. S. Rajamani, Dr. Vasanthi Ranganathan & Ms. Radha Manickam in the panels on Sustainable Practices, Glimpses of Asia & New Approaches to Education. A novel method of training the parents along with the hearing impaired children, improves their speech skills faster, where the children are able to join mainstream schools after 3-4 years of training as opposed to conventional methods which take 8 -10 years. This approach has been developed by Kasturba Gandhi Oral School for the Hearing Impaired (KOSHI). Ms. Radha Manickam, EWCA Chennai Chapter made presentation during the panel discussion on novel method of training hearing impaired children by involving the parents.

Contact the Chennai Chapter

Chapter Leader: Asanga Tilakaratne

No activity to be reported in this period.

Contact the Colombo Chapter

Chapter Leader: Abu Ekramul Ahsan

Participation in the 2018 EWC/EWCA International Conference
A three member team of the EWCA Bangladesh Chapter participated in the 2018 EWC/EWCA International Conference in Seoul, Korea during 23-25 August 2018. The participants are (1) Dr. Abu Ekramul Ahsan, Chapter Leader, (2) Prof. Najma Haque, Member, Chapter Executive Committee and (3) Ms. Moushumi Das Purkayastha, Member, Chapter Executive Committee. They have actively taken part in the activities during the conference including field visits.

Chapter Leaders Workshop, 2018
Dr. Abu Ekramul Ahsan also attended the Chapter Leaders daylong Workshop held in Seoul on 22nd August 2018. The Bangladesh chapter leader spoke on “Community Services” through power point presentation and also actively participated in the group discussion sessions under Group 2) and in particular presented a list of recommendations on the assigned topic namely, how chapters develop better leadership and governance in particular reference to the following.

  • Refine nomination/volunteer process
  • What are the “core” leadership positions needed for success
  • Substantial committee participation
  • Are leadership term limits an issue or not

Outstanding Chapter Award 2018
The Bangladesh Chapter was honored with the “Outstanding Chapter Award 2018” recognizing the Association’s community development services for working with a rural school. The award was presented formally at the Award Ceremony during the 2018 International Conference and received by the Chapter Leader and the other two Bangladeshi participants of the international conference, 2018.

Chapter Meetings
The Bangladesh Chapter plans to hold the next chapter meeting in the first week of October 2018 to review the chapter activities and plan for annual activities.

Contact the Dhaka Chapter

Chapter Leader: Carl Hefner

Update from Second Quarter – On April 22, 2018, the Hawaii Chapter held its Annual Dinner and Fundraiser at the Pacific Club. A much-anticipated event, the evening was attended by over 160 alumni and friends. We honored Pat Masters as the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award. The dinner was a great success and is a wonderful way for old and new friends to socialize and help the chapter raise money for the EWC student travel awards.

Third Quarter News – On Saturday, Sept 8, 2018, our EWCA-Hawaii Chapter hosted over 110 incoming East-West Center students, as well as 25-30 Pacific Island leaders who are part of our Pacific Island Leaders Program, and Hawaii alumni at our annual picnic in Kapi‘olani 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 Kapi‘olani 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.


The EWCA-Hawaii Chapter supported 6 EWC students with travel stipends to attend professional conferences and conduct field work, with money raised from our annual dinner fundraising. Read about their experiences on the EWCA blog.

We are continuing to work with the EWCA Professional Linkage Program (ProLink), providing EWC participants, an opportunity to “shadow” relevant Center alumni to get a 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.”

We also continue to hold regular monthly meetings in 2018 in the President’s Conference Room in Burn’s Hall, and will be looking forward to helping to host the EWC/EWCA International Conference to be held in Honolulu in 2020.

Contact the Hawaii Chapter

Chapter Leader: Mark Sheldon

No activity to be reported in this period.

Contact the Hong Kong Chapter

Chapter Leader: Dr. Arjumand Faisel

Election of New Committee (July 2018)
A members’ meeting was held at Syed Abu Ahmad Akif’s office. Mr. Akif was then Federal Secretary Cabinet Division, Government of Pakistan. The Islamabad Chapter elected a new EWCA-IC executive committee.


From left to right: Tayyaba Gul (General Secretary), Syed Abu Ahmad Akif (Vice President), Dr. Arjumand Faisel (President), Riaz Burki (Media Coordinator) and Asad Ghufran, Ph.D. (Finance Secretary).

Family Lunch + Cleaning of a Mountain in Ayubia and Visit to the Historical Lawrence College (July 2018) – Lunch for members and their families was organized in July 2018 at PTDC Motel Ayubia mountain resort. After the lunch, all participants cleaned one of the mountains of Ayubia by picking up the garbage left by visitors. Tourists and locals were also invited to participate in the activity. Later, the participants visited the historical Lawrence College.


Partners in retreat “Art for Climate Change” (Aug 2018) – Pakistan is among the top-ten most vulnerable countries concerning climate change. The cross cutting, multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral nature of climate change issue necessitates a response that is integrated not just for effective scientific and technological planning, implementation and monitoring, but also communicated to a wider and more general audience through every means possible. Hence, the situation requires actions in multiple spheres to mitigate the effects.

“Art for social change” is a movement that is increasingly being used for addressing challenging social issues. Socially engaged art can provide a platform for reflection, creating demands for change and collaboration. It can reach out to a broad audience.

Five different organizations joined hands and organized an “Art for Climate Change” retreat in Northern Areas of Pakistan. They were Gallery 6 Islamabad, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Civil Society Consortium for Climate Change (CSCCC), Snow Leopard Foundation and East-West Center Association-Islamabad Chapter (EWCA-IC). Sixteen individuals participated (painters, sculptors, photographers, film makers, and a journalist) in the 7-day retreat under the guidance of President EWCA-IC, who is also curator of Gallery 6 Islamabad.

The purpose of the retreat was to bring together a group of creative individuals to observe places, people and cultures to appreciate biodiversity and also see the adverse effects of climate change on these. Participants were given the challenge to capture nature and create artworks that would attract media, groups, and individuals and sound a warning about the climate crisis destroying the environment.

The artworks produced will be exhibited in an exhibition, and we are confident that these artworks would mobilize individuals, media and organizations, both nationally and internationally, to act for saving our planet by mitigating factors that are causing climate change.

Cleaning of Lakes (Aug 2018) – During the “Art for Climate Change” retreat, EWCA-IC carried out a special activity of cleaning two beautiful lakes of Pakistan with the participation of artists of the retreat and visiting tourist. The key aim was to use this exercise for spreading the message through social media advocating and urging visitors not to litter and also to pick up the mess spread by others. The idea was to inculcate spirit for taking up the responsibility by visiting families, youth groups and individuals for keeping the beautiful tourist places clean.

The first activity was held at Lulusar Lake on 02 Aug. The EWCA-IC members and participants of the retreat spread on various banks of the lake, carrying biodegradable bags. They picked up non-degradable garbage scattered by the tourists including plastic bottles, wrappers of chips and other snacks, plastic shoppers, pampers, etc. The group gave this activity a slogan “Hamara Pakistan – Saaf Pakistan”, which appealed not only to the visitors but also locals of the area. Families and groups picnicking on the spot and locals joined the effort and started collecting the garbage. Many visitors made their pictures for uploading on social media to spread the message. Some even made videos and interviewed the group members to upload on their pages or blogs.

The second activity was held at Lake Saiful Muluk on 04 August, where a large crowd was present. Here too, many people came forward to take biodegradable bags from the group and cleaned the banks of the lake.

Tree Plantation at HOL School (August) – On 14 August 2018 to celebrate the 71st Independence Day of Pakistan, EWCA Islamabad Chapter planted 200 trees with students, staff, and Trustees of House of Light School. Participants planted 100 trees around the school, and 100 were distributed to senior students for the growth and development of plantations at their homes. Trees included local varieties called cheer, kachnar, and sukh chain. Students also presented speeches, national songs and performed rhythmic dances to celebrate the Independence Day.

Tree Plantation on Call of the Government (September) – On the call of the newly elected Government “PLANT4PAKISTAN” campaign was held on 02 September 2018. People from different walks of life planted more than 2.4 million trees across the country. Members of EWCA-IC also participated in this national project in Islamabad.

Contact the Islamabad Chapter

Chapter Leader: Fumiteru Nitta

The Kansai Chapter engaged in the following activities between July 1, 2018, and September 30, 2018.

The Kansai Chapter’s board of members decided to hold the first board meeting at Osaka University on December 24, 2018. The agenda includes the following:

  1. To discuss the annual meeting in Okayama to be held in spring 2019.
  2. To plan an event or a seminar in Okayama sponsored by the Kansai Chapter.
  3. To discuss the methods of collecting Chapter membership dues.
  4. Other.

Other topics will include:

  1. Report on the 2018 EWC/EWCA International Conference in Seoul.
  2. Other

Contact the Kansai Chapter

Chapter Leader: Sarosh Bana

No activity to be reported in this period.

Contact the Mumbai Chapter

Chapter President: Barbara Bornet Stumph

I regret that I have been unable to attend the Seoul, Korea EWCA International Conference this year, as well as to coordinate a meeting in San Francisco this past year for my Chapter with the Asia Society, the Commonwealth Club, and the World Affairs Council. I do plan to attend in the future at the next EWCA Meeting in 2020. I loved the reports coming from Noreen on the Seoul Conference with photos and reports, as well as the invitation for journalists to apply to the Center’s newest program. I have passed the latter along to professionals in the area but have not had good luck in finding a nominee.

One great aspect of my report is that I have heard from new members to N CA who plan to attend EWCA functions in the future. Thank you to Noreen for forwarding their names to me. Thanks to LinkedIn for putting me in touch with a Chinese translator from my 1986 trip to Changchun, as well. I would not be on LinkedIn if it were not for the Chapter Leader Training we leaders have had in Bali, Hanoi, Beijing, and Honolulu in recent years which emphasized the EWCA need for a social media presence.

This quarter, I have also enjoyed meeting with Vinod Varma (twice) and Om Sehgal, EWC grantees from 1965-66, both of whom befriended me during my Chinese studies in the Junior Year Program. (This quarter Vinod has hosted old friends ie, Om, Bulba, Lois Sherwood, and several others when they have come to our area. Vinod is a loyal and devoted friend who embodies the best qualities of an EWC grantee.

Both Om (from Delhi) and Vinod (from Northern India, now living in N CA) have been like brothers to me, as well as my roommate, Laxmi Gurung, (Nepal) who became a sister to me. Allow me to explain: I was one of the very youngest members of the EWC family in 1965. Gordon Ring told me, “We thought you Juniors were too young to have an Asian roommate!” when I asked him to assign me an Asian roommate, as the EWC brochure had promised. Gordon Ring did give me an Asian roommate from Nepal. The night I met Laxmi, she sat on the bed opposite mine acting shy and nervous. I asked her, “Have you been a Girl Guide; a Girl Scout is what we call them in the US. “Yes! When I lived in India.” Guess what! We sang five or six Girl Scout songs together as if we had been camping together for years. “Make new friends, but keep the old, One is silver and the other gold!” We became inseparable. We were strangers an hour ago. (Sadly, I have lost track of Laxmi in my later adult life even though I have asked the US Ambassador to Nepal as well as our EWC leader from Nepal to try to find her many times over the years.) The point is that the EWC has the potential to help students develop life-long friendships, as you well know.

NoCalAnother case in point is the two EWCA men, Vinod and Om, now in their eighties, with whom I have met repeatedly over the last thirty years. This week three of us had coffee at Starbucks to talk about how the Center is expanding the student programs again and to review old memories. (Today, these men are in Kauai staying with Lois Sherwood who was also a 1960’s Grantee.) How can people sustain friendships over a 50-year period when we were all from different cultures? You all know the answer to this question.

At lunch, Vinod, Om, and I laughed as we recalled that in 1965 when I had a problem, I would run to them because these students were eight years older than I. I respected their judgement. They treated me with respect. One was married. Both were mature, calm, and kind. For example, we recalled how upset I was about a Chinese teacher telling me, “You should not be talking to graduate boys after dinner because you should spend more time on Chinese homework.” My teacher was correct. However, I was not wasting time nor flirting. I was having the time of my life learning—learning about people and other cultures. My point of view was that my EWC experience was designed for me to broaden my horizons: to meet strangers; to interact; to share; to teach others as well as to learn about our commonalities and our differences.) What did Om say with a smile when I cried, “One of my Chinese language teachers is spying on me! “Forgive him, for he knows not what he says.” I found that so helpful that I remember his admonition to this day. Moreover, he was not Christian! Many nights, I recall teaching my mother and father’s English idioms to everyone at the table. (Later, my teaching career was to become an ESL teacher to immigrants for 25 years.)

I remember talking with Uni, a philosophy major, for example, about transcendentalism and reincarnation in Hindu thought. I remember talking with Tran from Vietnam about whether or not “a woman can travel to study Chinese and ever be happy to settle down to changing diapers and being a stay-at-home wife?” I talked with Juanita about abortion. Every day for me was an adventure beyond my wildest imagination. One night we went around the table and each of us “crowed like a rooster” to hear how it would sound to children in our own countries. It was hilarious! I was in cross-cultural paradise. The EWC changed the trajectory of my life, as I have always been involved with Chinese and Asians throughout my career and life as a Chinese ink painter. I will always be grateful for this unique opportunity.

Contact the Northern California Chapter

Chapter Leader: Kiyoshi Nakachi

East West Center president Dr. Richard R. Vuylsteke and dean of the Education Program Dr. Ann Hartman visited Okinawa on August 27 after the Seoul International Conference.

The Okinawa chapter hosted a dinner with the president and dean and exchanged views on how to develop our EWCA activities. Dr. Vuylsteke thanked the Okinawa chapter for its cooperation and asked us to continue our financial support for EWCA activities. The Okinawa members recounted their own experiences at EWC in Hawaii, and they also explained how they learned to become more internationally minded during their stay in Hawaii. Mr. Flavio Hidemi Minei, fellow of Asia Pacific Leadership Program 2018 (APLP) also participated in the dinner. He is of Brazilian and Okinawan descent.

Dr. Vuylsteke and the dean visited the Okinawa English Center and introduced the Obuchi Okinawa Education & Research program and encouraged many Okinawan fellows to apply for the prestigious Obuchi program.


Ann Hartman, Richard Vuylsteke, and Flavio Minei with the EWCA Okinawa Chapter

Mr. Chōkō Takayama, the former president and the current adviser for the Okinawa Chapter was awarded the Ryukyu Shimpo Prize for his long-time contribution to developing Okinawa society and education on September 25, 2018, at Naha, Okinawa. Since becoming an EWC grantee, his achievements have been significant, and for this reason, the Okinawa Chapter was pleased to attend the Ryuku Shimpo Prize ceremony honoring Mr. Takayama, where he was honored for his lifetime achievements and presented with congratulations and flowers.


Mr.Chōkō Takayama and his wife

The Ryukyu Shimpo Prize is a very prestigious award, which has been sponsored by the Ryukyu Shimpo Ltd., one of the two biggest newspaper companies in Okinawa. The tradition started in 1963. This year six persons received the award. The Okinawa EWC Chapter recipient, Mr. Takayama, is now the president of the Okinawa Hawaii Association. His interest in Hawaii flourished when he attended the University of Hawaii graduate school as an East-West Center Scholarship grantee in 1962. This crucial experience as part of his education marked his first official contact with Okinawa communities in Hawaii. He visited the old Okinawan immigrants and interviewed them, collecting their life histories. Since then he has devoted a part of his life to strengthening bridges of good friendship between Okinawa communities in Hawaii and Okinawans.

In 1999, Takayama originated talks with Dr. Charles E. Morrison with Mr. Robert T. Nakasone for a new scholarship program at EWC. As a result of the discussion, Japan and the United States agreed to cooperate in order to establish the Obuchi Okinawa Education & Research Program at the EWC in 2010. Mr. Takayama continues to encourage young people and scholars to apply for and attend university at the EWC and the University of Hawaii. He believes that in order to acquire an international mindset, one needs to make international friends.

Recently, as the president of Okinawa Hawaii Association, Mr. Takayama started a new fund-rising initiative to support the construction of the Okinawa Plaza Building (Hawaii Okinawa Center) in Honolulu. He and his staff at the Okinawa-Hawaii Association succeeded in collecting about one hundred million Japanese Yen (over $890,000).

Contact the Okinawa Chapter

Chapter Leader: Won Nyon Kim
Report submitted by Eunyoung Cho

The Seoul Chapter successfully hosted the 2018 EWC/EWCA International Conference at the beautiful Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul. It was a beautiful completion that everyone involved had been anxiously looking forward to for the past two years, and it finally happened.


Courtesy of the 2018 EWC/EWCA International Conference in Seoul, https://www.eastwestcenter.org/alumni/2018-seoul-conference

Many people supported the conference with time and money. Mr. Richard Vuylsteke, president of the East-West Center and other EWC/EWCA staff members, visited Seoul several times and did not hesitate to check everything from conference agenda to various details for the convenience of participants. Seoul Chapter would like to thank all of them. Of course, the driving force that made the Seoul International Conference a meaningful and memorable event was the East-West Center alumni, who were more than willing to spare their time for the Seoul Conference.

The Conference was an opportunity for the participants to affirm their absolute confidence and love for the goals of the East-West Center. Many expressed their deep appreciation for the opportunity given to them by the Center. Also, the meeting was an occasion to remind us of the need that the East-West Center continues to grow, affirming our faith that the East-West Center will continue to contribute to a better future for the world. This sentiment was best expressed by all attendees who witnessed the theme of the Conference “Intercultural Engagement in the Asia-Pacific Community” beautifully translated into reality in Seoul.


Cultural Workshops: Courtesy of the EWC/EWCA International Conference in Seoul

What’s ultimately most important was that the Conference was an excellent opportunity to reaffirm the affection of the alumni for the Center and each other. Participants did not forget Park Myung-Seok even in the excitement of the farewell party on the last day of the Conference. As a long-time supporter, he was unable to attend the Conference due to a health problem. All the participants prayed for his fast recovery. All the participants confirmed their deep love for the East-West Center and pledged to meet at the 60th Anniversary Conference in Honolulu two years later.

The Seoul Chapter has not forgotten that the 2018 EWC/EWCA International Conference could not have been concluded successfully without the devotion of so many people and that their devotion will always be remembered in the heart of us all. We are sending a big Mahalo from Seoul Chapter!

Contact the Seoul Chapter

Chapter Leader: Alice Seok-Hoon Seng

One major activity which took place during this period was the EWCA Conference in Seoul. It was very well attended, and five Singaporean alumni members participated in the gala event, including Steven and Rachel Yeo, Glenn van Zutphen, Pushpa Thambipillai,and Alice Seng. Glenn took part in a panel session Keeping Up with the News, chaired by Karen Knudsen.


From left to right: Lyn Flanigan, Alice Seok-Hoon Seng, Mike Anderson, and Yolanda Bacani

Alice received the EWCA 21st Century Outstanding Service Award on behalf of Siva Gopal Thaiyalan, who was unable to be present as he is currently finishing his doctoral program in New Zealand.

The Singapore chapter participants at the conference were delightfully surprised with the presence of two latest APLP participants, including Cynthia Chang and Chua Kim Loo Huang. We promised to meet again back in Singapore after they have finished their EWC research programs.

Contact the Singapore Chapter

Chapter President: Claire Langham

In August 2018, Chapter President Claire Langham attended the EWC/EWCA International Conference in Seoul, South Korea. She stayed in the Lotte Hotel and is pictured below with Conference attendees.


From left to right: Dona Cady, Vasanthi Ranganathan, Claire Langham, and Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen

Our East-West Center Association (EWCA) Southern California Chapter, is welcoming an opportunity to co-sponsor and get together with younger / newer EWC alumni who live in Southern California. Miloni Gandhi and Claire Langham discussed this potential at the Chapter Leaders Workshop while attending the EWC/EWCA International Conference in Seoul. Both Miloni and Claire see this outreach as mutually beneficial.

The Southern California chapter has been increasing in numbers at our social gatherings. This may be because the chapter’s EWC alumni and associate colleagues tend to be older, close to, or already retired, experienced, and potentially with more time and financial resources.

We admire younger alumni’s youth, enthusiasm, and new expertise. We wish to combine efforts to achieve EWC / EWCA goals through meeting together, even via Skype, and planning one or more coordinated worthwhile endeavors. This year, our chapter was recognized on the Wall of Honor with our donations to the EWC Foundation Scholarship Fund.

We appreciate that our EWC experiences and dedication unites us yet recognize that our generation span at the EWC from the 1960s to the present may make our socializing events differ. Nonetheless, we would like to create a legacy that continues for the EWCA in Southern California. We would like to achieve this goal together with you and your younger EWCA chapter participants.

Mahalo – Thank you

Contact the Southern California Chapter

Chapter Leader: Yasuo Hoshino

The EWCA Tokyo Chapter organized the Special Annual General Meeting on July 7, 2018, with 16 members and three non-members at 320 lecture room, Tokyo Campus of the University of Tsukuba.

The chapter abolished our rule that members lose status without paying the annual fee of 2000 yen over three consecutive years. Those who paid once in the past could get permanent status. New members will not need to pay annual dues for the time being. Those attending the meetings will pay only for the honorarium for the invited speaker (a non-member) and the meeting reception costs, etc. Those who paid in advance may request to have the fee returned, or they could donate the money to the Chapter.

Correspondence to our members will be maintained by e-mail without special request.

After the general meeting, Dr. Yoshinori Kato (EPA Associates, Ph.D. University of Hawaii in Chemistry) made a speech titled “A Pioneer of Hawaii Development: Katsu Goto.”

Mr. Goto migrated to the Hawaiian Islands as a member of the first immigrant group from Japan in 1885 at the age 23. He opened and ran a general store. He was loved as a leader of his fellow Japanese people. However, a tragedy occurred on the evening of October 28, 1889. He was killed by a lynch mob who hung him from an electric pole. The police arrested the criminals, white supremacists and rivals in trade, who hated Goto. It is said that this act was meant to serve as a warning to Japanese immigrants who threatened white communities and businesses. This action was similar to black lynching in the American South in those days.

Dr. Kato who is from the same town as Mr. Goto – Oiso, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan – was shocked when he learned about this tragedy. Haunted by the story, he set out to review the literature on the history of this event and to conduct a field study. He was joined by his wife, Taeko, a grantee of EWC. Dr. Kato presented this research achievement at several domestic and international conferences and published this account of the challenges faced by Japanese immigrants in Hawaii in the OISO Municipal Museum Report, Vol.36 p. 7, and Vol. 38, p. 7-8. Two coauthors supported him in his research.


After the lecture, the Chapter enjoyed networking with other attendees and EWC participants at a nearby Chinese restaurant.

In August, members of our Tokyo Chapter attended the EWCA International Conference. For photos of our participants, please see: http://yasuohoshino.com/2018EWC%20report.pdf

Contact the Tokyo Chapter