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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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

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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.

2018 Summer Travel Grant Series: Field Work at the 13th Japan-Korea Student Future Forum in Nagasaki, Japan

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Summer Travel Grant 2018 Recipient
Eunsun Lee
Graduate Degree Fellow
MA in Second Language Studies

My travel during this past summer was made possible through the generosity of the EWCA Summer Travel Grant. From August 5th to 10th, I conducted fieldwork for my research in Nagasaki, Japan, where the 13th Japan-Korea Students Future Forum took place. The Forum was hosted by two partner student organizations called KJSFF and JKSFF. As a former member of KJSFF, I had the opportunity to sit in during the entire event to observe and record the participants’ interactional practices. 43 college and high school students from Korea and Japan got together to have group discussions and presentations on this year’s topic of “Collaboration in various fields.” I closely observed the entire programs, focusing on how the participants interacted with each other through the mediation of participant-translators. I also audio-recorded the participants’ conversations during discussions and presentations and took photos of them. In this Fall, I will analyze the data that I have collected during this field trip and hopefully develop it into a scholarly paper for my MA degree.

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