The traditional welcoming ceremony was part of a two-week orientation that exposes new students to the unique cross-cultural environment of the EWC and instills an appreciation for the host Hawaiian culture through many hands-on learning activities and field trips. The program concluded with the annual welcome picnic hosted by the EWC Alumni - Hawai'i Chapter at Kapi’olani Park, which connected the students with the local community and previous generations of Center participants.
Bringing together 382 new and returning students representing nearly 50 countries, the East-West Center continues to expand its dynamic and diverse learning community. Though the majority of students come from countries throughout Asia, the Pacific, and the United States, this year the reach of the Center extends to students from Ireland to Palestine, Armenia to Brazil, and Peru to Tunisia, among others. The new arrivals include participants in leadership development activities through the EWC’s Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) as well as degree students ranging from undergraduate to the doctoral level.
This year a new fellowship program was initiated with the National Science Foundation, the EWC-NSF Doctoral Fellowship, which was awarded to two fellows from Vietnam and one from the United States. These students will collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of specialists from the East-West Center, University of Hawai’i, and Hanoi University of Agriculture to investigate the impact of urbanization on avian flu transmission.
“Growing up in the U.S. as a Vietnamese-American, I didn’t get much exposure to Vietnam,” said EWC-NSF fellowship recipient Charles Phan Nguyen. “I’m hoping through this project to establish a connection with researchers at Hanoi University, which would enable me to continue my research in Vietnam in the future.” Noting his unique team members, he added: “With two Vietnamese nationals and a Vietnamese-American, there are a lot of opportunities for exchange just amongst the three of us working together. It’s a great opportunity!”
Posted September 16, 2010