Passing the Torch: A Sign-off from the 66th AEC Chair

Anna Zeng, 66th AEC Chair

It is hard to believe that the 66th Japan-America Student Conference ended almost two months ago! I used to think that life after being a JASC EC would be a breeze, but—as most alumni would agree with me—that is never quite the case. In a way, JASC trains you to be driven; it ignites an engine just keeps on going, wherever life leads you next.

I find myself in such a spot.

JASC gave me a chance to dedicate myself to one activity for a year. When it ended, there was a sigh of relief, a hint of bitterness, and a lot of tears. A year ago, I had never imagined what planning JASC could entail. A year later, I say with confidence that this process has taught me more about myself, more about the world, and more about life than any other activity I have done thus far.

Still, it is difficult to articulate exactly what has changed in my life post-JASC. Perhaps, it is that I am more aware of my own weaknesses and strengths. Or perhaps, it is that I am more inclined to work in a team. While filing all of the different ways I have benefited from JASC, I have come to see JASC as wine—the longer you taste it, the better it gets.

When JASC suddenly ended on August 24th, I found myself in disbelief and excitement. My mind could not grasp the scope of what had happened. I only knew that I would miss my fellow ECs so much! Since then, many people have asked me how I felt about the conference. I have given answers like, “It was hard, but it was good”; “I am so grateful that my ECs and I have become like a family!”; “I wish I had talked to the delegates more”; “Overall it was successful!” But I knew that no matter how much I tried to convey my feelings for the 66th JASC, it would never come out quite right. There is something about this past year that is beyond verbal expression.

Two months later, I am still lingering in the aftertaste of JASC.

These days, when I walk in the cold breeze of Baltimore, I always think of the blazing Tokyo sun and the murmurs of cicadas. That is my memory of the 65th JASC—it has almost become like a physical reaction. I cannot recall any of the lectures I listened to or any of the speakers I met (except a few of course). All I remember is this warm feeling of being surrounded by 71 other college students, who were just as curious, just as eager, just as excited, and just as tired as I was, for an entire month traveling to places whose names I could not even pronounce. There were surely tears, jokes, laughter, conflicts, and growing pains. But recently they have all become a blur in my head. My experiences in both 65th and 66th have somehow blurred together into an impressionist painting. I have to zoom out just to get a glimpse of what it all means.

The moment Yohei, my co-chair, and I announced the 67th chairs, I was sure that something inside of me was being built—it was a defense mechanism to hold me together. A year worth of anticipation, excitement, anxiety, growth, and battles is now moving past me to the next JASC ECs. My time in JASC is over. Our time in JASC is over.

I am sure that was when it all became a blur. The hour-by-hour schedule became a blur. The meal menus became a blur. The ECs’ struggles became a blur. My regrets for the conference became a blur. But maybe this blurry picture is not that bad. It is perhaps a blessing to view JASC that way. Details are not the most important anymore. The 66th ECs and I can now sit back and look at the whole picture.

We can now enjoy the aftertaste.

In the meantime, JASC moves on! Even with ambivalent feelings for my own JASC experience, I am proud to voice my faith in the 67th ECs. They are a strong, hardworking team. October is a difficult month for them because that is when the initial excitement ebbs and the flood of responsibility rushes forth. There will come a time when every detail is important, every activity needs a back-up plan, and every dollar/yen needs to count. Clarity now belongs to the 67th ECs. For them, this will be a year full of challenges and growth. But this journey is worth it.

I cannot wait for the day when they can join the 66th ECs in viewing this impressionist art and tasting this wine that is JASC!

A New Generation: Greetings from the 67th AEC Chair

Hannah Jun, 67th AEC Chair

My name is Hannah Jun. I’m a junior at Smith College, and I am currently studying abroad at the London School of Economics. My majors are Government and Economics. Before participating in the 66th JASC, I was initially unsure about the type of experience I would have. However after a month of intense discussions with students from all around the world, intellectually stimulating lectures from successful individuals from different backgrounds, and amazing fieldtrips across the United States, I can say that I am supremely grateful for JASC. JASC gave me the space for personal and academic self-reflection and growth. I made life-long friendships with people I never would have met otherwise and was challenged in my beliefs and perspectives. Because of this rewarding experience, I am very honored to have been elected to the Executive Committee of JASC 67th as the American Executive Chair.

It’s only been two months since the end of JASC 66, but the Executive Committee has been hard at work planning conference and recruiting for JASC 67. In Japan, my counterpart Jumpei Matsui is has been leading the Japanese Executive Committee which consists of Shawn Yajima (Arts and Science, University of Tokyo), Luis Michel Montano (Integrated Human Studies, Kyoto University), Shiori Okazaki (Law, Keio University), Ryosuke (Pepe) Suzuki (Commerce, Meiji University), Isshu Fujii (Law, Aoyama Gakuin), Marino Mori (Law/Political Science, Gakushuin), and Sae Murai  (Liberal Arts, International Christian University). On the American side, we have Takeshi Hidaka (Cinema & Media Studies, Carleton College), Isaac Min (Int’l Relations, University of Southern California), Takuo Koyama (Business, Whittier College), Harrison Bade (Communications, Villanova University), Lisa Kanai (Psychology, DePauw University), Ken Covey (Int’l Business/Finance, University of Hawaii at Manoa), and Sakura Takahashi (Psychology/Computer Science, Duke University).

JASC 67 will be hosted in Japan in four sites: Hiroshima, Shimane, Kyoto, and Tokyo. Since it is Japan year, the JEC are working hard on site coordination, fundraising, recruiting, and other important programming. On the American side, the AEC are hard at work recruiting the most competitive and diverse delegation possibility. With a multi-pronged recruitment strategy that includes a new social media strategy, we hope students all over the country find out about JASC and apply by December 31, 2014.

I am so excited about JASC 67 because of the amazing people in the Executive Committee and the vision we have come up with together. JASC 67 will facilitate intense discussions on war and peace in Hiroshima, regional revitalization and population change in Shimane, culture and history in Kyoto, and the economic center of Japan in Tokyo. Our roundtable topics will also produce much thoughtful debate with topics like Religion as a Means, Religion as Meaning; Security and Non-Traditional Threats; Society and Inequality; Media in the 21st Century; Educational Approaches Today and Tomorrow; Global Eco-Hazard and Resource Sustainability; and Power and Responsibility in the Business World.

With half of our AEC studying abroad this year, we have literally been communicating across the world to bring you the best JASC possible. JASC alums old and new have reached out to provide support and show us that JASC doesn’t end with the conference. The physical distance doesn’t matter, and any challenges that we come across can be overcome together. Through my JASC experience, I have learned the power of a community. When people come together with the same goal, anything is possible.

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 Winter 2014 Newsletter

 

You will be receiving your copy of the Winter 2014 JASC Journal in the mail shortly, but the online edition of the JASC Journal is now available online! You can view the journal by clicking here. This edition includes a profile of Florence Maher, a JASC 57 & KASC 1 alumna who is now working as a Foreign Service Officer, a letter from the American Executive Committee Chair of JASC 66, an invitation JASC’s 80th Anniversary Weekend in San Francisco, a short report on ISC’s recent Trilateral Symposium, and your JASCer notes.

Enjoy the Winter 2014 edition of the JASC Journal, and expect the Spring edition soon!

Manage subscription options from your profile.

JASC Fall 2013 Newsletter

The Fall 2013 edition of the JASC Journal is now available online. You can view the journal by clicking here. This addition includes a profile of Rachel Horton, a JASC 63 & 64 (2011 & 2012) alumna who is now working for Japan’s Permanent Mission to the UN, a recap of JASC 65, an invitation to ISC’s Washington, D.C. fundraiser, a call for applicants to JASC 66, and your JASCer notes.

Enjoy the Fall 2013 edition of the JASC Journal!


 

JASC Summer 2013 Newsletter

The Summer 2013 edition of the JASC Journal is now available online. You can view the journal by clicking here. A print version of the journal will soon be mailed. Please email jasc@iscdc.org to update your mailing address if you have a new address and still wish to receive the journal.

Enjoy the Summer 2013 edition of the JASC Journal!


 

JASC Journal Winter 2012

The Winter 2012 edition of the JASC Journal is now available online. You can view the journal by clicking here.

A print version of the newsletter will be printed and sent to all alumni whom we have an accurate mailing address. Please email jasc@iscdc.org to update your mailing address ASAP to ensure you receive the printed journal. If you’d like to be added to our mailing list please also email jasc@iscdc.org.

Enjoy the Winter 2012 edition of the JASC Journal!


 

JASC Journal Fall 2012

The new edition of the JASC Journal is now available! This edition can be viewed or downloaded from the ISC website by following this link to the Fall 2012 JASC Journal.

This Journal includes a recap of JASC 64, a preview of the 65th JASC, your JASCer Notes, and some ISC announcements.

If you have any questions or feedback about the quarterly newsletter, please contact jasc@iscdc.org.