2019 Summer Travel Grant Series: Presenting at the 43rd Annual Pacific Circle Consortium in Guam

Summer Travel Grant 2019 Recipient
Ger Thao
Graduate Degree Fellow
PhD in Education

Hafa Adai / Aloha / Hello:

On July 8th-12th, I attended the 43rd Annual Pacific Circle Consortium conference on the beautiful island of Guam. This is a milestone year for Guam as it commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Battle of Guam, which dramatically changed the lives of the indigenous people of Guam, the Chamorro. The theme of the conference, “Connecting Past & Present: Educating Across Generations”, embraced the importance for all of us to never forget our past. The conference brought together educators, school administrators, historians, students, and traditional scholars to share, discuss and collaborate on innovative practices in educating children of the Pacific. My four days at the conference, being surrounded by attendees, speakers, and panel members, has inspired me to continue to do my part to help strengthen and build the capacity of our Pacific educational systems and communities.

Continue reading

2019 Summer Travel Grant Series: Peace Corp Volunteer Training Sites on the Island of Hawai‘i

Summer Travel Grant 2019 Recipient
Stephanie Sang
Graduate Degree Fellow
MA in Anthropology

In pursuit of the MA in Anthropology, I traveled to my field site of Hawai‘i Island for a week to conduct preliminary research and to forge contacts with research participants. This trip was crucial in gaining access to archival material at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UH-Hilo) as well as meeting and building rapport with informants. The most important contact made was with Hilo resident Bill Sakovich, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Indonesia & Thailand) who trained in Waipi‘o Valley in the 1960s and organizer of the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps in Hawai‘i. He provided me with DVDs on Peace Corps training in the 60s. He was also gracious enough to offer me a map of Peace Corps training sites and took me on a driving tour to document them in photographs. During our meeting, I was invited back by Bill to conduct interviews with him and other informants willing to participate in my study. He helped me to obtain a list of 17 contacts who would be rich resources for my study.

Continue reading

2018 Summer Travel Grant Series: Attending Intensive Mongolian Language Program in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

HarrisonTanya03

Summer Travel Grant 2018 Recipient
Tanya Harrison
Graduate Degree Fellow
MS in Natural Resources & Environmental Management

I spent much of my summer attending an intensive Mongolian language program for intermediate learners at the American Center for Mongolian Studies in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. There were four other students — three PhD students from the US, England, and France, and an American working in Taiwan. The language classes were coupled with field trips and cultural experiences. My purpose for attending was to further my understanding of Mongolian language and culture, difficult to do in Hawaii since there are no formal Mongolian language classes. In addition to my home of Hawaii, I am also looking for opportunities in Mongolia after graduation. I am truly thankful to the scholarship donors for helping me participate in this challenging and rewarding experience, certainly a dream come true!

2018 Summer Travel Grant Series: Field Work at the Ryushi Memorial Museum in Tokyo, Japan

Summer Travel Grant 2018 Recipient
Michael DeAngelis
Student Affiliate
MA in Art History

My name is Michael DeAngelis and I am a third-year candidate for my Masters in Art History, with a focus on modern Japanese painting. I am in the process of writing my thesis on Kawabata Ryūshi (1885-1966), a Japanese painter, and his activities during World War II. To support my research, I received the EWCA Summer Travel Grant. This allowed me to travel to the Ryūshi Memorial Museum in Ota, Tokyo, Japan and view Kawabata’s artwork firsthand. This provided an especially valuable opportunity because of the nature of Kawabata’s paintings. Kawabata worked in a style known as nihonga (日本画), or neo-traditional Japanese painting, but innovated within the style by producing large-scale artworks with intense colors meant for the exhibition hall, called kaijō geijutsu (会場芸術). Because of the size of his paintings, details are not easily captured in photographs. With my firsthand observation, I was able to make important analysis of these otherwise unnoticed details. Without this opportunity afforded by the EWCA Summer Travel Grant, my thesis would not have been as thorough.

2018 Summer Travel Grant Series: Presenting at the 2018 EWC/EWCA International Conference in Seoul, Republic of Korea

PengYenZhi01

Summer Travel Grant 2018 Recipient
Yen-Zhi Peng
Student Affiliate
MA in Asian Studies

The conference provided a great opportunity to meet experts focusing on Asia-Pacific issues. I met professors and professionals from different disciplines during the network activities. The activities included a half-day tour. We visited MBC (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation). Since K-wave and Korean Soft Power is part of my research, the tour helped me gain much new information for my studies. My presentation was on the last day of the conference. The other panelists are all prominent professors on cultural studies of Asia, so there was a large audience. After my presentation, I got a few questions. However, some other participants told me there were some incidents similar to my research contents that happened in their countries. The best part of this occasion was to build networks with so many scholars from different fields and different countries. I also got the chance to talk to the Korean undergraduate students. Even though we were just chatting, it did let me gain some information for my studies, since what I do is cultural studies. It was a great trip which benefits my research and expands my views. My thanks to EWCA for supporting my trip and giving me the chance to present at the conference.

PengYenZhi02

2018 Summer Travel Grant Series: Presenting at the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science (International Political Science Association) in Brisbane, Australia

Summer Travel Grant 2018 Recipient
Soksamphoas Im
Graduate Degree Fellow
PhD in Political Science

The EWCA generous award of five hundred dollars USD has enabled me to travel to Brisbane, Australia to attend and present my research paper on “NGOs and Civil Society’s Public Diplomacy in Contemporary Southeast Asia” at the International Political Science Association (IPSA) 25th World Congress. The knowledgeable audiences who attended my panel session provided me constructive feedback on my paper project and encouraged me to revise and get the paper published in the future, given my very pioneer topic of research within the study of international relations in Southeast Asia. I learned a lot and was very inspired by these significant scholars. The conference was a success as I had the opportunity to meet and network with friends and scholars of the same discipline from across the globe. I attended the whole five days of the conference, July 21st-25th, 2018. Besides presenting my paper, I also had a window to attend other scholars’ presentations as well. Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Brisbane attending IPSA 25th World Congress. I will continue to strive for more learning opportunities like this, which is a wonderful way that I believe helps enrich both my knowledge and skill.

2018 Summer Travel Grant Series: Presenting at the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania 5th Congress in Wellington, New Zealand

YadavShreya01

Summer Travel Grant 2018 Recipient
Shreya Yadav
Graduate Degree Fellow
PhD in Marine Biology

This summer, I was lucky to be able to attend the Society for Conservation Biology’s 5th Oceania Congress, held in Wellington, New Zealand between 3-5th July. The conference was held at the spectacular national museum Te Papa, right on the waterfront. Apart from being able to wander the museum between presentations, on the second day we were all treated to the sight of a southern right whale frolicking inside the Wellington harbor — very distracting for a room full of conservationists!

On the final day of the conference, I presented my work on the ecological history of the tuna fishery in the Maldives, Indian Ocean. This is something I have been working on as a side project to my doctoral research this past year, and I was excited to be able to present it to this audience of ecologists, social scientists, and managers. The tuna fishery of the Maldives is unique in that its 1000-year existence has ensured that reef fishing has stayed light in these waters – in contrast to many other islands around the world where reef fish are in decline because of climate change-related and anthropogenic stress. The Maldives presents an interesting counter case study where it is tuna that has high cultural value, and my work investigated some of the reasons why this fishery might have developed in these islands over time. The talk went well, and many people were curious to know more, which made me happy. Even though the conference had a Pacific focus, I think many of the problems or issues in conservation are common across borders. I am currently working on writing this up as a research article for publication.

I am very grateful for the EWCA Summer Travel Grant for supporting my trip to New Zealand; it was a fantastic experience and I am really happy I was able to go!

YadavShreya02