JASC in San Fran!!

Delegates arrived in San Francisco on Wednesday August 6, where they were hosted by The University of California, Berkeley!

The delegation hosted a Diversity Symposium, where they heard a lecture about immigration trends, both historically and currently, in the U.S. and Japan from Berkeley professor Keiko Yamanaka. Dr. Yamanaka is a sociologist and a continuing lecturer in the Departments of Ethic Studies and International & Area Studies at Berkeley Her lecture was followed by a panel discussion featuring Britton Watkins (JASC 40 & 41), Madeline Adkins (JASC 40 & 41), and Josh Feldman who spoke about their experiences being openly gay living and working both in Japan and the U.S. Mr. Watkins has been living as an out gay man since his early 20s in both the U.S. and Japan. He is an independent consultutant in market strategy research and communication strategies for companies like Adobe, Fujitsu and Sony. Ms. Adkins has held positions in many different fields throughout her career including in the corporate world with companies like Sony, Intel and Safeway, and in academia, teaching at CU Boulder and Berkeley City College. Mr. Feldman is a creative director focusing on user experience strategic design. He has been legally married to Mr. Watkins (also on the panel) for six year. Each panelist shared their personal stories, which were inspiring, and led to a meaningful question and answer session with  the delegates.  Shortly following the Diversity Symposium, the delegates had their annual talent show, where Amedeles and Japadeles worked together to show off their talents!

JASC 66 had a monumentally successful homestay weekend from August 8-10. Delegates stayed with alumni and their friends throughout the Bay Area, experiencing the culture, sights, and food of Northern California.

With the help of JASC alumnus Jon-Michael Durkin, JASC 66 also had the opportunity to tour Google’s Mountain View campus and participated in a creative-thinking workshop.  The delegates loved seeing Google’s Android Garden, and experiencing the unique work environment at Google.

JASC alumnus Allen Miner hosted JASCers at Harkone Gardens, the oldest Japanese estate in the Western Hemisphere, for a Japanese culture night. The delegates enjoyed a variety of Japanese culture including Nagashi-Somen (catching floated noodles in cut bamboo shoots with chopsticks), Shodo (Japanese calligraphy), and Senkou Hanapi (summer sparkler tradition).

To wrap up their stay in San Francisco, JASC 66 spent a day taking RT Field Trips. Each RT had a unique experience and was able to explore a different aspect of their RT.

Please visit JASC’s Facebook and Flikr pages to see photos from all of these great events, and more!

Japadeles Welcomed to Iowa and JASC Opening Ceremony

After a successful American Orientation, the Japanese delegation (or Japadeles) arrived in Iowa on August 2! They landed in Des Moines after a long, but pleasant, flight from Tokyo, and immediately boarded a charted bus that brought them to Grinnell College. The Japadeles were ushered into a large meeting room where the Amedeles were waiting, seemingly disinterested in their arrival. Suddenly, music started, and the entire American delegation broke out in a Harlem Shake, surprising the Japadeles! They held up a “Welcome” sign, and shouted welcome to JASC, and the Japadeles were thrilled. They mingled, hugged, exchanged gifts, and did self-introductions.

On August 3, the 66th JASC delegation held their first joint RT meetings. Everyone was excited to work and discuss together, finally in person after months of communicating over the internet. The delegation then prepared for JASC’s Opening Ceremony, changing into business formal attire (the first of many times during the Conference).

After a brief welcome from ISC Assistant Director Chelsea Irvin, the delegation was officially welcomed to Grinnell, IA by Mayor Gordon Canfield. Mayor Canfield gave the delegation a deeper look into small-town American life, and the history of trade and friendship between Japan and Iowa. Sharon Lu, American Executive Committee member, then read a statement from Iowa Sister States. The statement covered the long friendship between Iowa and Yamanashi Prefecture, which was formed and survived on mutual respect, trust, and genuine understanding.  Next, the delegation heard from Doug Lewis, a native Iowan whose professional work and volunteer service has been focused on bringing Iowa to the world, and the world to Iowa.  He spoke about his personal connection with Japan, and commended the delegates on their commitment to the important relationship between the U.S. and Japan. Finally, Dr. Sachiko Murphy, a high-school Japanese language teacher in the Des Moines public school system, spoke to the delegation about her personal experiences teaching in both Japan and the United States, and the differences that exist in the two systems.

JASCers next heard a lecture  about Indigenous Agriculture and foodways in the U.S. from Dr Christina Gish HIll, who is a Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at Iowa State University. She spoke in depth to the delegation about Native American agriculture, specifically their tradition of farming corn, squash, and beans. Her lecture prepared the delegates for their visit to a local Native American settlement the following day.

The Amedeles and Japadels wrapped up their first day of programming by performing skits for one another in the evening. The skits were both humorous and informative about each distinct culture.

You can see photos from the entire Des Moines site on JASC’s Flikr and Facebook pages!

JASC 66 AO Filled with Spirit of Learning and Friendship

American Orientation for the 66th JASC began on Wednesday, July 30th as delegates flew, drove, and even walked to Des Moines, IA! The diverse delegation coming from across the U.S. took over the Des Moines International Airport for several hours on Wednesday. There, delegates began bonding and learning each other’s names.  After travelling to host university Grinnell College, the delegates’ first day together was filled with introductions, ice breakers, and learning the history of JASC.

On Thursday, American delegates had their first Roundtable (RT) meeting in person, and heard their first lecture from David Yepsen. Mr. Yepssen is currently the director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, after a 34-year career as a political journalist with the Des Moines Register. He is an expert on the presidential caucus campaigns, having covered the Iowa caucus for 9-cycles. He spoke to the American delegation about the caucus system, his personal experience, and the future of the American presidency. He was extremely gracious, taking over 45-minutes to answer questions from the delegation.

After the lecture from Mr. Yepsen, two delegates were awarded for their outstanding essays in the annual RT paper essay contest! The delegation then worked together to prepare their skit for the Japanese delegation, which will be presented upon their arrival to the U.S.

The last day of AO, Friday, August 1st, began with RT discussion time, followed by a presentation on networking  by the American Executive Committee. The delegates learned key differences between networking in Japan and the U.S., tips for being confident while networking, and guidance on how to take networking to the next level by building and maintaining the relationship over time. They were then given time to practice with one another. After some free time in downtown Grinnell, the American delegation reflected upon their time in Iowa so far, and prepared for the arrival of the Japanese delegation on Saturday.

You can see all the photos from AO on JASC’s facebook and flikr page! Please check them out and “like” them!!

American Orientation for the 66th JASC begins TOMORROW!

Another JASC is about to begin, and the American Executive Committee is already in Grinnell, IA (outside of Iowa’s capital Des Moines) preparing for the American delegates to arrive!

The AEC is has spent the last two days finalizing Conference logistics and planning. They took a tour of Grinnell College’s campus, appreciating the architecture and environmentally friendly buildings. Grinnell College, a private liberal arts school, has many notable alumni including legendary jazz artist Herbie Hancock, Nobel Prize winner Thomas Cech, principal architect of the President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Harry Hopkins, and many more.

Please visit JASC’s Facebook and Flickr pages to check out pictures!!



JASC Summer 2014 Newsletter

The Summer 2014 edition of the JASC Journal is now available online. You can view the journal by clicking here. This edition includes latest updates about JASC 66, Alice and Sharon, JASC 65 Alumnas who are launching the 1st Taiwan-America Student Conference, greetings from the JASC Alumni Association, a message from the executive director, and your JASCer notes.

Please enjoy the Summer 2014 edition of the JASC Journal!


JASC Hosts Alumni & Supporter Reception with Glen S. Fukushima in Los Angeles

On July 22, Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) hosted a reception to celebrate the 80th anniversary with alumni, friends and supporters in Los Angeles area.  ISC Vice Chairman of the Board, Glen S. Fukushima (JASC 1970 & 71) shared his experiences at JASC, his distinguished government and business career in the U.S. and Japan. Also attended was Phil Wolfstein (JASC 1972), Will Knox (JASC  1973), Ron Ohata (JASC 1974), Shelene Atanacio (JASC 1996), and Jetting Chen (JASC 2004). The reception was also attended by several leaders from the local US-Japan community,  including California State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and Mr. Masahiro Suga, Acting Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles. The event was co-hosted by Japan-America Society of Southern California.


Want to reconnect with JASC and meet the current students? Attend the 80th Anniversary Weekend in San Francisco! More information and RSVP at www.regonline.com/jasc80th.

Or contact Yuuki Shinomiya at yshinomiya@iscdc.org.

Chan Young Shin

Chan Young Shin, one of the 7th KASC Korean delegates, was featured by his school press, Sogang News Weekly. He is the first delegate to participate in KASC from Sogang University and he wanted to let other Sogang students know about this great program so that they too could be future KASCers. In the article, he briefly introduces KASC and why he decided to join the 7th Conference. Influenced by his father who has been working in the ministry of foreign affairs, his interest in international relations encouraged him to join the conference. As he is majoring in business administration, he is participating in the business and society roundtable discussion to combine his interests in both fields. As a proud KASCer and Sogang student, he hopes to become a CEO to promote international exchange and create an archive to share with alumni. The full article in Korean is available at http://sfc.sogang.ac.kr/ by searching KASC.


Reflecting on the Leadership Workshop from the 2nd Youth Career Forum

“Dream high, but be realistic; you can always change your direction,” said Ms. Inhye Kim, who opened the “Leadership in Different Stages” workshop at the 2nd KASC Youth Career Forum. Ms. Kim, along with Mr. Joon Ko and Mr. Kiwook Kim from leadership consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates, presented a workshop that explored the skill sets needed as one moves up the career ladder in an increasingly global environment.

Mr. Ko followed Ms. Kim by giving a brief discussion of Russell Reynolds Associates, discussing the four levels of one’s career—workforce (from now to 5 years of experience), manager (6 to 10 years), director (12 to 16 years), and executive (20+ years)—and how the missions and key success factors change as one gains more working experience.

As the audience was comprised primarily of undergraduate students, the panelists knew how to give practical advice. “When you choose your first career, you must consider several factors: will I gain valuable experience? Will I be given opportunities to improve my skill set and confidence? Will I be challenged?”

Mr. Ko followed with his take on leadership components, with a particular focus on leadership competency: result orientation, collaboration and influence, people management, commercial acumen, and strategic perspective. Having the perspective of a headhunter and someone who has had years of interviewing experience was very valuable. “I believe this workshop was useful,” said KASC American Delegate Tiffany Xiong. “The panelists were realistic and honest. They kept reminding us that we had time to develop our own skills because we are young and still have a lot to learn.”

The workshop flowed into the final portion—the Q&A—as I asked the panelists how and where one learns to manage people. Other audience members had additional questions as well regarding recruitment, job interviews, personalities of great leaders, and women in leadership.

Overall, although I have attended many leadership workshops prior to the Youth Career Forum, I found “Leadership in Different Stages” to be very informative and refreshing. It was an honest and experienced perspective on skills needed to succeed in one’s career and I enjoyed every moment of the workshop.

Special thanks to Executive Committee members, Justin Simon and Jeong-bin Lee; KASC Program Manager Minjun Chen; and sponsors, Gale International and Conexia, for a great and successful 2nd KASC Youth Career Forum.

- By Christina Bui, the 7th KASC American Delegation