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


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!

Islamabad Chapter Uses Art to Raise Awareness of Climate Change Issues

A group of 16 artists led by the curator of Gallery6 and EWCA Islamabad Chapter Leader, Dr. Arjumand Faisel, attended a retreat in Naran to produce artworks that would help create awareness on climate change issues. The purpose of the retreat was to development visual art work that can subsequently be used to create awareness about factors leading to climate change and its resultant negative impacts. The retreat was jointly sponsored by PTDC, Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change, Snow Leopard Foundation, Gallery6 and East West Center Association, Islamabad Chapter.

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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


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.


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


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!


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


L-R: Ann Hartman, Clara Hur, and Layla Kilolu

Summer Travel Grant 2018 Recipient
Layla Kilolu
Graduate Degree Fellow
Master of Urban and Regional Planning

Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend the EWCA Conference in Seoul this year. It was a rewarding experience academically, professionally, and personally. I had the opportunity to present my resilience research and other activities that I’ve been involved with through the “Global Changemakers” panel, along with Ann Hartman and Clara Hur. My research in resilience is taking best practices from other international cities in the Asia-Pacific region, with the hopes that these best practices might be implemented in Hawaii to make our communities more resilient. My research has included case studies in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Melbourne, and San Francisco. In addition, I’ve been producing a music album that focuses on the refugee experience, with original songs written by fellow East-West Center fellows, in order to raise awareness on this global issue. This project has truly been a collaborative international effort and is reflective of the EWC’s mission to foster understanding among the Asia-Pacific. It was a wonderful experience sharing the diverse activities that I’ve been involved with, all thanks to the East-West Center. The conference also allowed me to meet many EWC alumni from all over the world, and I was delighted to see the camaraderie between and within the many generations present.