Sasakawa Fellowship Students Orientation, 2014
On 26 September, the Gathering Orientation for the Sasakawa Fellowship Students was held at WMU. The event was hosted by the Ocean Policy Research Foundation (OPRF), the organization that administers the fellowships that are funded by The Nippon Foundation. OPRF was represented by Eisuke Kudo, Special Advisor to OPRF, and Shinichi Ichikawa, Section Chief of the Maritime Affairs Division of the Maritime Technology Department.
A key component of the Sasakawa Fellows Program is creating connections between individuals to promote global cooperation. To that end, the Gathering Orientation takes places annually to enable senior and junior Sasakawa-sponsored students to recognize each other as Sasakawa colleagues to build a foundation for future interactions. The Class of 2014 and the Class of 2015 each have 22 Sasakawa Fellowship Students, all of whom took full advantage of the Orientation to start building those connections.
The event began with a presentation in C P Srivastava Hall that included opening remarks by Mr. Kudo who emphasized the importance of making connections with other Sasakawa Fellows to advance the network. Mr. Ichikawa then presented how the program was founded by The Nippon Foundation, how it has evolved over time and become administered by OPRF, and how the funds available to The Nippon Foundation are generated from Japanese motor boat racing.
Dr. Michael Manuel, Head of the Maritime Education and Training specialization, and one of the three Professorial Chairs funded by The Nippon Foundation, also addressed the students remarking on the importance of taking advantage of their time and education at WMU, and sharing those experiences as Sasakawa Fellowship Students. The final part of the formal orientation included presentations by senior students at WMU to provide perspective on the specializations as well as the experience of studying at WMU. The evening concluded with a mingling reception where each student had the opportunity to introduce themself, and the group had time to connect informally with each other as well as their distinguished hosts from OPRF.
Last year marked a milestone in the Sasakawa Fellows Program when the number of Sasakawa Fellows topped 500. At the annual Sasakawa Fellows Reception on 1 November, the Class of 2014 will officially join the global network of WMU Sasakawa Fellows that will be 543 strong representing 64 countries.