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EWC Honors Outgoing 'Pandemic Cohort' of Students EWC Honors Outgoing 'Pandemic Cohort' of Students

OFFICE/DEPARTMENT

HONOLULU (May 7, 2022) – The East-West Center honored more than 50 student participants completing their EWC programs May 5 at the Center’s first in-person spring completion ceremony since 2019. (View a photo album.)

The honorees at the Ho‘opuka (“passing through”) Ceremony came from 22 countries and represented 35 different fields of study at the University of Hawai‘i, ranging from Asian international affairs and Hawaiian studies to plant pathology and law. They dubbed themselves the “pandemic cohort” — for many, who had begun their graduate studies in the fall of 2020, it was the first time they had been inside the Center’s recently reopened conference center.

“Yours has been an experience like no other,” EWC Dean of Education Ann Hartman told the group. “You dealt with all of the fear and uncertainty when so little was known, and you were far from your loved ones. You adjusted to new and constantly changing rules and lockdowns. So many plans were dashed. Thank you for trusting us to provide you with a safe place to land, and a community to rely on when that became the thing we all needed most. Thank you for your tenacity in pushing through all of the challenges, for taking that leap of faith and joining us for this journey.”

“The East West Center has completed my journey in graduate school through knowledge, inspiring work and stories, support, network, diversity, and friendship,” said one of the event’s student speakers, Khairunnisa, a graduating doctoral student in linguistics from the Sasak community of Lombok, Indonesia. “I am so proud to be part of this beloved of East-West Center community, and this incredible experience inspired me to return home to give meaningful contributions to my community in Indonesia."

HONOLULU (May 7, 2022) – The East-West Center honored more than 50 student participants completing their EWC programs May 5 at the Center’s first in-person spring completion ceremony since 2019. (View a photo album.)

The honorees at the Ho‘opuka (“passing through”) Ceremony came from 22 countries and represented 35 different fields of study at the University of Hawai‘i, ranging from Asian international affairs and Hawaiian studies to plant pathology and law. They dubbed themselves the “pandemic cohort” — for many, who had begun their graduate studies in the fall of 2020, it was the first time they had been inside the Center’s recently reopened conference center.

“Yours has been an experience like no other,” EWC Dean of Education Ann Hartman told the group. “You dealt with all of the fear and uncertainty when so little was known, and you were far from your loved ones. You adjusted to new and constantly changing rules and lockdowns. So many plans were dashed. Thank you for trusting us to provide you with a safe place to land, and a community to rely on when that became the thing we all needed most. Thank you for your tenacity in pushing through all of the challenges, for taking that leap of faith and joining us for this journey.”

“The East West Center has completed my journey in graduate school through knowledge, inspiring work and stories, support, network, diversity, and friendship,” said one of the event’s student speakers, Khairunnisa, a graduating doctoral student in linguistics from the Sasak community of Lombok, Indonesia. “I am so proud to be part of this beloved of East-West Center community, and this incredible experience inspired me to return home to give meaningful contributions to my community in Indonesia."