EWC Student Wins Award in Malay Language Speech Championship


Honolulu (October 12, 2015) – Wyatt Gordon, a current EWC degree fellow in in urban and regional planning, recently returned from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he competed in Pidato Antarabangsa Bahasa Melayu , or International Malay Language Speech Championship. The first American to ever to reach the final round of this competition since it was started nearly a decade ago, he took third place overall and won a prize of $3,000 after delivering a speech in Malay on how he found his heritage through language.  The speech contest was broadcast live in front of a studio audience of several thousand people, including the Prime Minister, and was viewed by a television audience of several million viewers across Southeast Asia.

A master’s degree student at UH, Wyatt received his bachelor’s degree in international economics from The American University.  During his undergraduate studies he received a Critical Language Scholarship to study in Malang, Indonesia, and a National Security Education Program Boren Scholarship to study Southeast Asian politics, sustainable development and forestry management at Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

His thesis project was on microenterprise development with Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang.  He has written and oral fluency in Indonesian and is certified as an official German translator. During his baccalaureate studies, he worked as a program assistant at the U.S.-Indonesia Society and a program analyst at the U.S. Department of State. After graduation he was an International Parliamentary Scholar in the German Bundestag where he worked in the office of Omid Nouripour MdB, the Green Party’s foreign policy speaker. During his master’s studies he is focusing on land use, transportation and infrastructure planning as well as environmental planning and natural resource management.  After his time at the EWC, Wyatt plans to travel again to Yogyakarta, where he intends to conduct research on participatory budgeting in Central Java.

Photo: Wyatt Gordon (EWC Degree Fellow) receives an award at the International Malay Language Speech Championship.

Wyatt is an active member of the local community in Honolulu, where he serves as a member of the Mānoa Neighborhood Board, a local government body for which Wyatt’s involvement includes capital improvement projects, zoning adjustments, informational forums and promoting civic engagement through social media and in-person outreach.  Living at the EWC residence hall, Hale Mānoa, Wyatt relishes the opportunity to live with “people from places you’ve likely never even heard of, who are eager to share their stories and lives with you, and who are equally excited to learn about you and your culture.”  He also volunteers his time in planning and outreach for Bikeshare Hawaii, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization aiming to launch and maintain bike share systems throughout the state, currently supported by Ulupono Initiative, Hawaii Pacific University, the State of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu.

At the EWC, Wyatt has received the Graduate Degree Fellowship, the Ann Dunham Soetoro Scholarship, the Eleanor and Hermann Haus Fellowship and the Jean E. Rolles Fellowship.