On Thursday, June 20th, Asia Society hosted an extraordinary event titled, “An Asian American Triumph: From Internment Camps to Reparations.” As one of the event’s outreach partners, International Student Conferences was invited to attend. Yuuki Shinomiya, Executive Director of ISC was joined by Jenny Kai, KASC 3 (2010), and Rachel Horton, JASC 63 & 64 (2011 & 2012), in representing both conferences and engaging in discussion afterwards. A few other JASCers were also in attendance, most notably, Ambassador and Consul-General of Japan in New York, Shigeki Hiroki, JASC 28 & 29 (1976 & 1977), and Consul Kengo Yoshihara, JASC 41 (1989).
The event was both informative as well as inspiring. Ambassador Hiroki and Nicholas Platt, Asia Society President Emeritus, introduced the speakers and significance of the event. Fred Katayama, the moderator of the event, told his father’s story of internment in the United States during World War II. After he spoke, he welcomed Grant Ujifusa, Redress Strategy Chair of the Japanese American Citizens League, and then Tom Kean, former Governor of New Jersey, to share their personal stories of President Ronald Reagan reversing his opposition to the Japanese American redress bill and eventually signing the HR 442 on August 10, 1988. The event continued with questions and answers that added even more to the history surrounding the redress and how we can use what happened in the past as a way to pave a future of less suffering and segregation. By signing the HR 442, President Ronald Reagan showed the United States that justice being served and the reparations paid to those interned were more important than the fiscal budget.
Although the history of Japanese Americans interned during WWII is not taught in all schools across the United States, it is a shameful part of the nation’s history and a lesson that should be imparted so as to never be repeated. JASC has always made efforts to educate young leaders from the US and Japan about Japanese American community’s history and contributions to the American society.
For further reading:
Kyung-ri Park (KASC 2&3) with 3rd Executive Committees.
Thank you Kyung-ri!
Kyung-ri Park (KASC 2 & 3) has been currently promoting KASC through her blog since 2010. Kyung-ri participated in 2nd KASC as a student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies majoring in Business, Economics, and Management and 3rd KASC as Korean executive committee. From her blog, she is inspiring many Korean students to apply for KASC and let them know about KASC, Round Table Topics, Executive Committees, International Student Conferences, and so on.
For more information about KASC and her blog visit here
In this interview, Kathy Hill (3rd KASC, member of the American Executive Committee) talks about her achievement in KASC and shares her thoughts on leadership. She is currently a volunteer at the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas where she finds courage and inspiration for her own life. Check out her interview and learn more about Kathy!
Kathy Hill (KASC 2 & 3) graduated from University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology on May 5. Now she’s getting ready to head back to South Korea as an English teaching assistant through the Fulbright program on July 4.
Kyle Routen (KASC 3 & 4) recently started a new job in Seattle, Washington, as an international legal assistant at AMPACC Law Group (http://www.ampacc.com/eng/). It stands for America Pacific, and it is Korean owned. It focuses on Intellectual Property, mainly patent law. A large part of the business – 80 to 85% –comes from Korean companies who want to patent their inventions in the U.S. The two biggest clients are ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute) from Daejeon and HYNIX Semiconductor Inc. out of Icheon-si. Most of the patents focus on technology-based inventions, and therefore, other clients of the firm include several science-based research departments from big Korean Universities. The rest of the patent work comes from Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Germany, France, and Australia. They also have a few American clients based in the U.S. who already have their inventions patented here and work with the firm to get them legalized in those foreign countries.
Jeff Heerdink (KASC 2 & 3) represented Indiana University as a delegate to 2nd KASC in 2009 and was elected as a member of the Executive Committee for the 3th KASC in 2010. He also studied in Nanzan Univeristy in Nagoya, Japan for the fall semester in 2009.
Now he just finished the first year of an M.A. program in West European Studies at Indiana University. This summer, he’ll be studying comparative public policy for a month in Speyer, Germany. Additionally, he will be spending two months in Ankara, Turkey, studying the Turkish language through a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. State Department. In the fall, he will be participating in a six-month graduate exchange fellowship with the Free University of Berlin. If any KASCers are in Europe over the next year or so, they should message him to meet up!
KASC Alumnus Sung Woong Park (KASC 2 & 3) shares his story of how the KASC program helped him achieve his career goals at Samsung.
Two months ago, I was in my final interview for a job at Samsung Engineering. There were five executives sitting in front of me, and they started asking questions. One of the questions they asked me was, “What do you think of ‘fairness’ in Korean society, and do you have an example to illustrate your opinion?” The few moments I spent trying to find a good answer from my knowledge and experiences felt like an hour to me; then, a memory I had from KASC suddenly hit my brain. I answered the question by elaborating on my experience trying to fundraise the participation fee for the 2nd KASC after being designated as a Korean delegate. I remembered that several Korean delegates had a difficult time getting funds from schools or companies, while American delegates received funds relatively easily by comparison. I believe this situation exemplified how the business and civic cultures in different countries vary in their perceptions of the value of giving donations and lending support to students. I told my interviewers that, to make a “fair society,” people must foster younger generations by sharing their resources and experiences – not only by giving financial support, but also constructive feedback and encouraging messages. I told them how I could not even get a reply from some companies from which I had requested financial support. The interviewers seemed to respond with an awareness of what I was talking about.
Eventually, I was offered a position with Samsung Engineering, one of the leading engineering firms in the world. Without my privileged experience of participating in both the 2nd KASC as a delegate and the 3rd KASC as a member of Executive Committee, I would not have been able to formulate this answer, which informed the interviewers’ decision to hire me.
It’s been a year since I became an alumnus of KASC. Despite the fact that the 2nd KASC and 3rd KASC are over, my memory from KASC is still affecting me. When I attended a kick-off meeting for a project with clients and their engineers from Bahrain, my cross-cultural communication skills I learned during the roundtable sessions and Six-party Talks simulation helped me to alleviate the very tense atmosphere of the meeting. When I studied the issue of the gas pipeline around the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan as part of a new marketing strategy, all of my dear KASCers with deep knowledge regarding that issue were right behind me to help with my research.
For the long future ahead of me, by building on my good memories and experiences from KASC, I want to realize my dream to work for international organizations like the International Development Association, which is an arm of the World Bank that I visited as part of the 3rd KASC. Then, I would be able to support the poor in the world as an electrical engineer. I would like to end this essay by quoting Steve Jobs during his commencement speech: “Small dots from our past become connected as time passes and brings us to achievement.” And I hope that the small dots drawn by KASCers will continue to connect and strengthen not only KASC itself, but also the participants.
American University featured student Christal Louison (KASC 2 & 3). In 2009, Christal represented American University as a delegate to the 2nd KASC in 2009–and was elected as an executive committee member for the 3rd KASC in 2010.
This article illuminates Christal’s work as an executive committee member and her vision and goals for the program.