JASC logo JASC 2021

The 73rd American Executive Committee

From its origin, JASC has been organized by university students who are interested in global and bilateral issues facing the U.S. and Japan. This tradition of student leadership has endured more than 86 years and is maintained through Executive Committees.

Each year, JASC's Executive Committee is comprised of unto eight students representing the U.S. and up to eight students representing Japan. Elected by fellow delegates, Committee members work jointly across the Pacific to create and implement the next JASC.

Throughout the year, members of the American Executive Committee are supported by International Student Conferences in Washington, D.C. Similarly, members of the Japanese Executive Committee are supported by International Education Center in Tokyo.


73rd JASC American Executive Committee


Nanase Hayami

Chair
Bowdoin College


Faby Alvarez

Hamilton College


Victoria Liu

University of California, Berkeley


Katsura Pennington

New York University


Christine Heaton

Vice Chair
University of Arizona


Anna Li

Wellesley College


Maddie Moon

Wellesley College


Keisuke Wada

University of California, Berkeley

Introductions

Nanase Hayami
Email:jasc73.nhayami@gmail.com

Hello everyone! My name is Nanase (Nana) Hayami (she/her/hers) and I have the pleasure of serving as the Chair of the American Executive Committee for JASC 73. I am currently a junior at Bowdoin College, majoring in International Relations and Digital & Computational Studies and minoring in French. I am originally from Tokyo, Japan and this is my seventh year studying in the US (I went to a boarding school in upper state NY). Outside of classwork, I play the flute in orchestra and I also work at Bowdoin College’s Admissions Office as a campus tour guide. Other than participating in JASC 72 this past summer, I also interned at an AI startup based in Tokyo and Paris and I was also an intern at US-Japan Research Institute. In my free time, I enjoy playing the piano and the ukulele!

Some of you might know that JASC 72 was held online due to Covid-19. Though I was nervous at first about participating in an online conference, my JASC 72 experience blew me away. Even online, I was able to create wonderful friendships and connections. It taught me how special the JASC community is and how strong the bond is among JASCers. JASC 72 provided me the opportunity to reflect on myself and to believe in myself. From participating on a panel discussion about social justice to having one-on-one zoom calls with my fellow delegates from all around Japan and the US, I was able to gain a broader global awareness and grow both academically and personally. I am looking forward to serving on the 73rd American Executive Committee and creating a conference where our delegates can be themselves and learn and grow. If you would like to have an unforgettable experience in Japan next summer, please consider applying to JASC and I cannot wait to meet our next year’s JASC 73 delegates!
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Christine Heaton
Email:jasc73.cheaton@gmail.com

Hi there! I’m Christine Heaton (she/her/hers) and I’m the vice chair for the JASC 73 American Executive Committee. I currently study Japanese language & Information Science, Tech, and Arts (I.T. equivalent) at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. I was actually raised here in Tucson for most of my life, and I’m currently in my fourth (and hopefully final) year of my undergraduate career. After I graduate, my dream is to move to Japan for work in the technology & data science industry. On top of continuing on coordinating JASC 73, I am a TA for a statistics course using the computer language R, I’m learning more about programming for data science applications & informatics, and I work at a coffee shop. When I’m not working part-time or studying, I love to play video games, do art such as painting or drawing, cooking for my friends, or playing with my cat, who often makes a guest appearance in all my online meetings.

In JASC 72, I can honestly say I became the best projection of myself that I could be. Though I came into the conference with mediocre knowledge of US-Japan relations today, our discussions evoked personal empathy and understanding of how we, as two countries, are taught our history, can understand communities that we individually may not belong to, and how we personally are capable of promoting cultural understanding and empathy in others. We carry out difficult but important conversations in a safe environment, and truly I can say that I have come out of the summer portion of JASC 72 as more of an active voice of reason and empathy for others around me than I ever was before. I’m so lucky to be able to surround myself with the JASC 72 delegates and be able to work with my fellow committee members over the next year. I know we will create a wonderful conference and unforgettable experience for the future delegates of JASC 73!
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Fabiola Alvarez
Email:jasc73.falvarez@gmail.com

Hi! My name is Fabiola Alvarez (she/her/hers) but everyone calls me Faby. I am a junior at Hamilton College in upstate NY. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I am a Dance and Movement Studies major, with a minor in Japanese. I am an American Executive Committee member as a Recruitment Coordinator and the Transportation Logistics Coordinator. Also, I plan to assist in the physical and mental health needs of the 73rd JASC participants. I really love exercising and doing makeup. I own a dance company called BreakThru Dance Company, where I help innovative dancers express their passion for movement. On campus, I participate in the climate justice organization Sunrise Movement Hamilton College as Treasurer, and I am part of the HEAT Dance Team.

Despite only experiencing the online portion of JASC 72, I felt that it challenged me to think outside the box and learn things I never knew about the U.S.-Japan relationship. The topics we discussed resonated with me a lot, and I always enjoy talking about modern issues with diverse individuals. I hope that JASC 73 is just as fulfilling and meaningful for me as this past JASC was. I hope to continue the legacy of fostering mutual understanding between cultures. If you are considering applying for JASC, I assure you it is a life-changing experience.
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Anna Li
Email: jasc73.ali@gmail.com

Hello! My name is Anna Li(she/her/hers) and I am a sophomore at Wellesley College majoring in Philosophy and Psychology. I grew up in Shanghai and I moved to the states during high school! I am an American Executive Committee member as the Recruitment Chair, Orientation Coordinator and Spring Camp Organizer. I took Japanese and French throughout high school, and decided to pursue my Japanese studies this year! At Wellesley, I am the treasurer in the Wellesley Japan Club and the lecture chair of the Economics Student Association. Currently, I spend most of my free time catching up with ballet. I also enjoy cross country and reading.

It was JASC that provided me the perfect platform for me to dive into current Japanese social issues. In particular, I get to discuss and raise more awareness on the condition of women in economics and the Joshi Kosei industry in my RT group. In hoping to tackle gender issues and promote feminism in Japan, a global micro-community like JASC helps me to facilitate cross-cultural conversations on the gender and racial gap for Economics in both Japan and U.S today. I appreciate that JASC embraces a comprehensive framework that calls upon cultural understanding and intersectionality.
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Victoria Liu
Email:jasc73.vliu@gmail.com

Hi! My name is Victoria Liu (she/her/hers) and I am a fourth year at University of California Berkeley in California and I am majoring in Earth and Environmental Science and minoring in Japanese language. I started taking Japanese in highschool and loved the language so much I decided to continue studying the language and literature in college. Besides Japanese, I can also speak mandarin fluently (I am Taiwanese American) and a tiny bit of Korean. My hometown is Portland, Oregon so I have been on the West coast my entire life and I have never been to the East coast before! I am an American Executive Committee member as the treasurer and a member of the application review committee. When I am not working on schoolwork, I spend most of my time practicing and training judo! Besides judo, I also love to weight train, collect and care for plants, play tennis, put together puzzles, read, and ice skate!

For the JASC 72 roundtable, I chose to join the Environment and Development roundtable as it is something I am familiar with because it is related to my studies. However, going into the JASC 72 conference, I was afraid of not being able to relate and bond with the other members since I did not know much about Japanese-American relations (all my Japanese classes were about the language and culture and not history and politics) and I also have never been to Japan before. However, after a few days of the online conference, my fear melted away and I found myself being allowed to share my opinions and experiences and also being accepted by all of the JASC members. JASC is a community where people will listen and challenge each other’s opinions respectfully and in turn, you learn about Japanese-American relationships through personal experiences, discussion and debates. It is definitely something you would not find in a classroom setting! I am very excited to work as an executive committee member for JASC 73 and I hope to meet and share this wonderful conference with you!
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Maddie Moon
Email: jasc73.mmooni@gmail.com

Hello! My name is Maddie Moon (she/her/hers) and I am a sophomore at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA, planning on majoring in Computer Science. After studying Japanese throughout high school (which I spent at a boarding school in New Hampshire), I was excited to continue studying Japanese at Wellesley. Quite surprising for me but in true “liberal arts” fashion, I plan on TA-ing a writing course this fall, which I never would have even considered before starting college! In my free time, I work as a barista and enjoy playing video games, not to mention spending time with my Jack Russell Poodle, Lucy.

Although we have only experienced the virtual portion of our JASC 72 experience so far, JASC has already shown me its potential in bringing people together for life-changing conversations. I cannot wait to continue my journey with this delegation in Hawaii this upcoming January as well as sharing my experience with the delegates of JASC 73 next year! I hope to carry the lessons I’ve learned from JASC 72 forward and continue to challenge, listen, and learn alongside our future JASC delegates.
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Katsura Pennington
Email:jasc73.kpennington@gmail.com

Hi! My name is Katsura Pennington (she/her/hers) and I am a junior at New York University studying International Relations. I am half Japanese, half Latina and was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. Growing up in a bilingual environment (I never really learned Spanish but am working on it!), I have always been interested in the intersections between my identities and the real world, whether it be through US-Japan relations, Nikkei/Asian American history, or social justice. Outside of school, I work for my school’s immigration and visa resource center, tutor, and am an officer for my school’s Japanese Cultural Association. During quarantine I picked up a couple hobbies like gardening, watercoloring, going grocery shopping (a little sad, I know), and keeping up with my skincare routine!

Even though the JASC 72 experience was quite unconventional, as many experiences are during these times, I admire how impactful and well organized the conference was. As an American Executive Committee member, I want to give back to the JASC community and continue the tradition of inspiring and connecting students together. I’m super excited to be able to meet the delegates for JASC 73 and enjoy our journey together!
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Keisuke Wada
Email:jasc73.kwada@gmail.com

Hey y’all! I am Keisuke Wada (he/him/his) but many people call me Bob, so you can call me either Keisuke or Bob! Currently, I am a senior student at University of California, Berkeley, and majoring in Political Science. So GO BEARS! I will graduate next spring, and I am planning to pursue my academic interest at a grad school after I graduate from Berkeley. Although my nationality and genetics are 100% Japanese, I see my identity in so many places around the world since I have been to many places and countries in my 23-years life. I was born in Bangkok, Thailand as a son of a diplomat. I was raised in Tokyo, Japan, one of the most globalized cities in the world. My school in Tokyo was an international school, so I was exposed to a variety of identities from many different countries. When I was 16, I was in Nebraska for a year and half. I was only one “person of color” among another thousand students and I’ve learned what exactly “Midwestern-country” is. And now I am in Berkeley, California, which is the most liberal city on earth. From those experiences, I’ve seen so many cultures and people, and this experience made my identity so rich and complex.

Before I participated in JASC 72, I thought that the JASC is merely the extracurricular activity that can fill my resume because I did not know what exactly JASC is like. I also thought that other delegates applied to JASC for the same reason, so the conference will be sort of dull one. However, what I have experienced was completely different from what I expected. Both Japanese and American delegates were very passionate and desired yet still critical. Every delegate had their own opinion. Among delegates, very intense but thought-provoking discussions had established, and delegates continued the discussion even after the official conference time ended. I was completely fascinated by such an atmosphere. At that moment, I thought I finally found the place that I can feel I belong to. As I am American Executive Committee for JASC 73, I want to make JASC 73 even more passionate and critical. For JASC 73 delegates, I expect you guys to think how you can really contribute to the world by having great discussions with Japanese delegates. I don’t want you guys to think that JASC is merely a “practice” place, but rather, I want you guys to think that you can actually influence the world by participating in JASC 73. Again, I can say that JASC is the only place that you can have serious, passionate, and thoughtful conversations with selected very talented Japanese delegates. If you want to have such deep conversations with them, this is the place for you. Can’t wait to see you guys and to have a great conference with you!
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