Excerpts of Reports by FUTI’s Scholarship Recipients in 2014

As reported in Newsletter Nos.10 & 11, thirteen UTokyo students and eight U.S. university students received the 2014 FUTI Global Leadership Award (FUTI-GLA).
Three out of the 13 UTokyo students attended English language courses at Yale University or the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), two participated in the GSP at UC Berkeley, and the remaining six enrolled in various summer courses at such U.S. universities as Harvard, Ohio State, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Western Michigan, and Yale.
Four out of the eight U.S. awardees conducted research as summer interns at UTokyo’s laboratories under the University of Tokyo Research Internship Program (UTRIP) program which is hosted by professors in the School of Sciences at UTokyo. They were selected from 74 U.S. undergraduate students who applied to FUTI’s summer scholarship program. One student from UC Berkeley participated in UTokyo Innovation Summer Program 2014 (TISP2014). In addition to these internship students, two Yale students were selected to participate in the Global Summer Program (GSP) courses offered by UTokyo. FUTI also awarded a travel grant to a student (Stuyvesant High School) who started the Program in English at Komaba (PEAK) in Fall 2014.
The roster of 2014 award recipients and their reports are posted in the News section and on the blog page of FUTI’s website, respectively. For full reports, please click here.

     Highlights from UTokyo Students’ Reports     

The thirteen UTokyo students who spent the summer in the U.S. unanimously state, “We learned a great deal inside and outside classroom. The summer experience helped us tremendously expand our intellectual horizon regarding both the world and Japan, and gave us opportunities to rethink our career plans.” Professor Hisashi Kobayashi, FUTI President , observes, “Many of the UTokyo student who have spent the summer in the U.S. now seem to be thinking seriously about opportunities to pursue their graduate study or post-doctoral research in the U.S.” The following are excerpts from some students’ reports.

Haruka Udagawa, Liberal Arts II, Sophomore: Harvard summer school course “Strategies and Conflict”
The course “Strategies and Conflict” made my mind set for my major and future goal. Before attending this course, I was interested in both international relations and economics. However, this course made me realize that economic trade could actually prevent a war. Therefore, learning economics can empower me with a peaceful skill so that I can take a bigger part for Japan to have a better relationship with other countries in the future.

Izumi Hayashi , Mechano-Informatics, Junior : Yale University Language Institute
The experience at Yale made me grow. After six weeks, I began to speak up confidently in classes and communicate in English more easily. I strongly recommend this summer program at Yale to other UTokyo students. It was one of the most precious experiences in my life.

Shigeru Chiba, Sciences III, Sophomore: UC Berkeley Summer Language Studies
I have a dream of becoming a leading doctor in the world who works for a lot of patients beyond national borders. This year I attended Summer English Language Courses at Berkeley… This was the first step forward to realize my dream…. In fact, I was excited to hear students from all over the world talking about the future, how the world will change, what kind of profession they plan to enter and how we can contribute to change the world. I’m really looking forward to meeting them again and talking together about our journey.

Mahmoud Khalil , Environmental Systems, PhD Program 3rd: Western Michigan University, “Hydrogeology Field Program”
I participated in an intensive summer training program, Hydrogeology Field Course (HFC) from July 7th to August 16th, 2014. This intensive course is designed to give the student a working knowledge of the methods and concepts of field hydrogeology, and to provide an opportunity to understand and analyze field data. This knowledge and experience are what I have been really looking for in my Ph.D. study at the University of Tokyo, as I am concerned with groundwater environmental problems.

     Highlights from U.S. Students’ Reports     

 The 11 students from U.S. universities invariably report that they gained valuable research skills and experience at UTokyo, and came back with a very positive impression of UTokyo and its programs as well as the Japanese culture and society.

Pramodh Ganapathy, Duke University, Evolutionary Anthropology (1st major), and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (2nd major), Senior: UTRIP, Prof. Hisayoshi Nozaki’s Lab
The project at Prof. Nozaki’s Lab was definitely challenging and even frustrating at times. I would sometimes have to arrive quite early in the morning and would not be able to go home until the last train. However, everyone in the lab was right there beside me and supported me through all the challenges…Ultimately, I cannot think of any better way I could have spent my summer. It was definitely challenging and came with a lot of hardships, but I also had a lot of fun, and I think all of my experiences came together in the end to create an unforgettable time of growth and reflection.

Kevin Hochstrasser , Yale University, Chemistry, Junior: UTRIP, Prof. Kumiko Ui-Tei’s Lab
My goal for the summer was to generate “knockouts” of three different miRNA genes in human embryonic kidney cells…Overall my experience in the lab was successful, educational and memorable…I did not expect Japanese culture to be so different from American and European cultures I have assimilated to in the past. The Japanese people are extremely polite, accommodating, and generous. ..Nothing has impressed me more than the respect the Japanese show to one another and to those new to their culture.

Kevin Zhou, Yale University, Biomedical Engineering, Junior : IARU GSP at UTokyo
I could go on about the experiences and insights I’ve gained from the formal parts of the program, but truly the most valuable experiences were the adventures outside of class, meeting new people and making friends with people from Japan and all around the world. I’ve made many amazing friends, with whom I explored Tokyo…In sum, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind – the month I spent in Japan through IARU GSP was the best experience I’ve ever had, and overall this was my best summer yet. It was a life changing program.

Jenny Yejin Byun, UC Berkeley, Political Science and Integrative Biology, Senior : TISP2014, Prof. Hideyuki Horii
I participated in one of the most transformative programs of my life. The theme of -TISP 2014- was “regional innovation,” or innovation tailored to addressing issues of a particular region. The goal – was to learn how to create these regional innovations in order to revitalize disaster-stricken areas. For two weeks, thirty students from abroad and thirty students from UTokyo collaborated in workshops and presentations… It felt highly liberating to work towards certain goals together without the typical boundaries of age, experience, and occupation, and the program’s diversity only enriched our capacity for creative solutions. Finally, TISP 2014 changed my mindset. The lessons I learned, I will keep with me far into my career. I am deeply grateful to the facilitators, Professor Horii, Tōno City (of Iwate Prefecture), and FUTI for giving me this eye-opening experience.

List of Scholarship Recipients

English Language Training Courses (3 UTokyo students)

  • Yosuke Tanigawa, Bioinformatics, Junior: UC Berkeley Summer Language Studies
  • Shigeru Chiba, Sciences III, Sophomore: UC Berkeley Summer Language Studies
  • Izumi Hayashi, Mechano-Informatics, Junior: Yale University Language Institute

Non-Language Training Courses (8 UTokyo Students)

  • Akane Inoue, North American Area Studies, Senior: UCLA Anderson School of management “Managing Enterprise in Media, Entertainment, Sports”
  • Daiki Iwata, Urban Planning, Master 2nd: UC Berkeley Summer Session
  • Haruka Udagawa, Liberal Arts II, Sophomore: Harvard University Summer School
  • Kiyono Fujinaga, Linguistics, Master 2nd: UC Berkeley Summer Session
  • Xiaoxue Zang , Science I, Sophomore: Yale University Summer School
  • Yuka Kakinuma, Economics, Marketing, Junior: UC Berkeley Summer Session
  • Sayaka Fujita, Education, Clinical psychology, Master 2nd : Ohio State University, Project Narrative Summer Institute
  • Mahmoud Khalil, Environmental Systems, PhD 3rd : Western Michigan University, Hydrogeology Field Program

IARU GSP Courses at UC Berkeley (2 UTokyo students)

  • Akiko Segawa, Chemical Engineering, Senior: “Environmental Leadership Program”
  • Tetsu Miyazawa, Law, Master 1st : “Media and Global Protest Movements”

UTRIP at UTokyo (4 U.S. students)

  • Taweewat Somboonpanyakul, University of Chicago, Physics, Junior: Prof. Motohide Tamura
  • Kevin Hochstrasser, Yale University, Chemistry, Junior: Prof. Kumiko Ui-Tei
  • Thong Nguyen, University of Texas, Dallas , Physics, Junior: Prof. Hiroaki Aihara
  • Pramodh Ganapathy, Duke University, Evolutionary Anthropology (1st major), and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (2ndmajor), Senior: Prof. Hisayoshi Nozaki

TISP2014 at UTokyo

  • Jenny Yejin Byun, UC Berkeley, Political Science and Integrative Biology, Senior

IARU GSP at UTokyo (2 Yale students)

  • Kevin Zhou, Yale University, Biomedical Engineering, Junior
  • Julie Chang, Yale University, Biomedical Engineering, Junior

PEAK at UTokyo

  • Chiwu Ishido Kim, graduated from Stuyvesant High School(New York City)

(Read this article in Japanese)

Articles in this newsletter:

The articles in this issue were contributed by Yasuyuki Izumi, Hisashi Kobayashi, Yuichiro Kuwama, Shigenori Matsushita, Masako Osako, Ko-Yung Tung, and Masaaki Yamada. Editorial assistance is by Prof. Brian L. Mark (Professor, George Mason University).