Young JASCers Step up to the Plate for Fundraiser

Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, JASC 28 & 29 (1976 & 1977) speaks with recent JASC alumni

JASC alumni are on their way to meeting ISC’s goal of raising $20,000 from alumni in the JASC 2013 NYC and NYC vs. the World campaigns (more information at and young alumni are doing their part. 26% of donations have come from alumni of JASC 55-64 and many of the donations have exceeded the suggested minimum of $50.

One of the young alumni who has stepped up to the plate is Jon-Michael Durkin, JASC 60 & 61 (2008 & 2009).  When Jon-Michael was hired by Google, Inc. earlier in the year, he gave back to JASC with a $200 gift. The impact of his gift was doubled by Google’s matching gift program. Google has another giving program that he’s using to make a contribution to the NYC vs. the World campaign.

With young JASCers like Jon-Michael giving back to JASC in a big way, we hope others in a position to support will consider giving as well. We are counting on our alumni to help meet our fundraising goals this summer. Any gift, large or small, will have a positive impact on this summer’s conference.

Visit the NYC and NYC vs. the World campaign page for more information.


Why Small Donations Matter

We all know that big donations, whether to a charity or a non-profit, are very visible.  These donations are extremely important, but, the truth of the matter is that small donations are the heart of any organization.  With JASC’s ongoing fundraising efforts the New York Campaign and New York vs The World Campaign, small donations can make a huge impact.

A large number of small donations can fund big portions of the conference, and JASC’s vast alumni network makes this possible. It is our goal while tracking donations to have at least 50 alumni from JASC 60-65 donate, regardless of the amount they give. To this end, John Shook, JASC 29, is matching first time donations up to $5,000! This is an excellent opportunity for first time donors, who may only have a small donation to give, to get involved and give back to JASC.

Giving to JASC will not only greatly impact the 65th conference this summer, but will also impact you! Contributing to future generations should make you feel good.  Regardless of the size of your donation, your money is going to a cause that will change the world: your money is making a difference.

JASC is student driven: student run, and ultimately, student funded. You, as a part of JASC’s prestigious alumni network, can ensure the success of another conference! Donate today!!


John Shook’s (JASC 29) Challenge to JASC Alumni

ISC Board Member, Mr. John Shook, JASC 29 (1977) with Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, JASC 28 & 29 (1976 & 1977).

Not many people can say they were once the only non-Japanese person working for Toyota in Toyota City, Japan. Mr. John Shook, JASC 29 (1977), can. He has embodied the essence of JASC throughout his career. Currently the Chairman and CEO of Lean Enterprise Institute, John spent a significant part of his career working for Toyota. While working at Toyota’s headquarters in Japan, he became the company’s first American kacho (manager). John’s career trajectory did not always have Japan as a focus: it was the life-changing experience of JASC that sent him on a path to a career associated with Japan. (Catch up with John’s current activities, blogs and books at

John Shook and Makimi Kato during the 28th JASC in 1976.

As a college student in Tennessee, JASC 28 happened to visit his hometown where his family hosted a JASCer , which led to his application for and attending of JASC 29 and later joining the executive committee to plan JASC 30. Through his JASC experience, John’s eyes were opened to the culture of Japan, and he developed lifelong friendships as well as a lifelong interest in Japan. His continued involvement in JASC, through serving on the ISC Board, attendance at JASC events, and financial contributions to ISC, has been extremely significant.

Most recently, John attended a JASC reception in New York where he rekindled his friendship with the host, Ambassador Hiroki, whom he used to call simply, Shige. There he spoke about the influence JASC had on both his personal life and his career, his continued and lifelong friendship with Ambassador Hiroki, and how important he believes the long-term values of JASC, mutual understanding, friend and trust, are to a peaceful and prosperous world.

John is challenging first time donors to get involved with JASC: in conjunction with the JASC Fundraising event on May, 8 2013, in New York City, John has agreed to match first time donations up to $5,000! Your donation can be made here. If you’re in the New York area, or if you will be on May 8, and would like to attend the fundraising event (with keynote speaker Glen S. Fukushima!), please RSVP to Chelsea Irvin at

More information at


May 8th JASC Fundraiser in New York City

On May 8, 2013 JASCers will gather for a fundraising event in New York City. The event will be hosted by a committee of dedicated JASC alumni who have tasked themselves with raising $10,000 to go towards this summer’s conference.

If you would like to attend the New York event in person, please RSVP. We will accept checks at the event. If you cannot attend but would like to give to the New York City Campaign, donate online or send a check to International Student Conferences (1150 18th Street. N.W. Suite LL2 Washington, D.C. 20036). For suggested giving levels see the suggested gifts page.

New York City vs. the World Campaign

Supporters of JASC are not only in New York, but all around the world. We are challenging our supporters to match the goal set by our New York alumni and raise $10,000 to go towards this summer’s conference.

More Info available at:


Thank you, Steve!

Steve Moss, JASC 31 (1979), has stepped down as chairman of the International Student Conferences (ISC) board of directors after serving two full terms in the position.

ISC would like to thank Steve for his service to the organization. He has been instrumental in the success of JASC since 1979, when, he participated in the conference as a student delegate, and also played a key role in the founding of JASC Inc. which ensured the stability of the program. He remained involved as a supporter of JASC and board member. During his tenure on the board of directors JASC Inc. changed its name to ISC and added the Korea-America Student Conference (KASC) to its programming. Under Steve’s leadership, both JASC and KASC have not only been able to survive, but have thrived and maintained their position as the premier student-run exchanges between the U.S. and Japan and the U.S. and Korea.

We thank Steve for his tremendous contributions to ISC, which we continue to feel everyday as we work to support JASC and KASC, and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

More pictures of Steve throughout the years and messages from those he worked with are available here.


Remembering Donald Richie

Donald Richie JASC 8 & 9 (1947 &1948)

Donald Richie, JASC 8 & 9 (1947 & 1948), passed away on February 19th in Tokyo. Donald joined the 8th JASC while living in Japan and went on to participate in the 9th conference in the U.S. After JASC, he became an influential critic and writer and helped introduce much of the English-speaking world to the golden age of Japanese cinema.

More information is available on Donald’s life in this NY Times Article.


JASCers Gather in New York City at Consulate-General’s Residence

On February 21, 2013 JASC alumni gathered at Ambassador and Consul-General of Japan in New York Shigeyuki Hiroki’s residence in Manhattan for a reception. Ambassador Hiroki was a delegate to JASC 28 (1976) and the chair of JASC 29 (1977). He went on to become a Japanese diplomat whose most recent post was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Afghanistan.

The reception brought together alumni from several conferences. The program included speeches by Ambassador Hiroki, JASC 28 & 29 (1976 & 1977); ISC Board Member John Shook, JASC 29 (1977); current JASC AEC Chair Paul Yarabe, JASC 64 & 65 (2012 & 2013); ISC Board Member Elizabeth Poon, JASC 44 (1992). All in attendance were then asked to introduce themselves and share the impact JASC had on their life. The evening closed with a meal and reception.

Host, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, JASC 28 & 29 (1976 &1977), with ISC Board Member, Mr. John Shook, JASC 29 (1977). Ambassador Hiroki was chair of the 29th JASC, Mr. Shook’s first exposure to Japan. Mr. Shook went on to become Toyota’s first foreign-born employee and later helped bring Toyota’s manufacturing techniques to the U.S. The pair has remained in touch throughout the years.

Ambassador Hiroki speaks with recent JASC alumni

More pictures are available on the JASC Flickr Page.

More events are planned for 2013 and beyond in New York City and other areas of the U.S. Follow the JASC Blog and Facebook Page to stay updated. Also, email if you’d like to be involved.


Announcing the Lou Cagnina 2013 JASC Scholarship

ISC would like to announce that an individual donor has established a scholarship in the amount of $3500 to go towards one student’s participation fee to attend the 65th JASC. The “Lou Cagnina 2013 JASC Scholarship” will be given in honor of the late Lou Cagnina, a participant in the 48th JASC(1996). The scholarship has been formed in Lou’s memory to provide funding for a student to enjoy the JASC experience as Lou once did.

The scholarship will be open to those applying to the 65th JASC and the deadline to apply is the same as the deadline to submit the online application (March 1, 2013). For more information about the scholarship, including how to apply, please see this PDF.

To start your application for the 65th JASC visit


JASCers Head to Japan as Bridging Scholars

Alexander Evans (left), Kimberly Julien (middle) and Rachel Horton (right), Villanova students at JASC 63 American Orientation at Carleton College in Northfield, MN

Two JASCers will study in Japan this Spring as Bridging Scholars. Kimberly Julien, JASC 63 & 64 (2011 & 2012) and Alexander Evans, JASC 63 (2011), both of Villanova University, join 18 other students around the country in receiving the prestigious scholarship.

List of Spring 2013 Bridging Scholarship Recipients  

The US-Japan Bridging Foundation awards scholarships to U.S. undergraduate students to study for one semester or academic year in Japan.  The Foundation aims to expand the opportunities for study abroad in Japan to help prepare America’s young people to assume future global leadership roles. Since 1999, 1275 scholarships have been awarded by the US-Japan Bridging Foundation to students studying abroad in Japan.

Applications will be accepted in April 2013 for the next group of Bridging Scholarships, for study in Japan beginning in Fall 2013. For information on the scholarships and to access the application form, visit the Bridging Project online at For information on the Bridging Foundation, visit


JASC Matters-JASC featured on “Japan Matters for America” Site

The East-West Center of Washington, a nonprofit organization which promotes understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific recently featured JASC on their “Asia Matters for America” Blog.  The article describes the JASC experience in detail and shares JASC’s storied history. Kunihiro Shimoji (JASC 62, 63) was interviewed for the piece.