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APIC-MCT Exchange Students

Bertha REYUW
Bertha REYUW
Major: Global Environmental Studies (M.A.)
Entered in 2017 - Graduated in 2019
Introduction

 In 2017, we welcomed our first pair of graduate students. We are pleased to introduce Ms. Bertha Reyuw from the island of Yap, FSM. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, her hobbies include caring for her small-scale home garden. She says it’s always fascinating to plant something and see it bear healthy fruits which you can feed your family at no cost. Sharing with friends and neighbors brings joy as well.
 Bertha’s favorite part about life in Japan was experiencing the Japanese culture and enjoying the variety of fresh food delicacies. Bertha lived in Japan for two memorable years, that nurtured her to be independent since living alone in Japan is quite different from her home island. Bertha always had the passion for working with the local communities in Micronesia’s natural resource management. She realized receiving higher education would enable her to build her capacity and give more to the people that she is passionate to serve for. Thus, she decided to apply for Sophia University’s Global Environmental Studies Program. Bertha says, “coming from a poor family, I have to take up full scholarships to get higher education to make a positive turn in my future.” The new opportunity with Micronesia Conservation Trust, who is a partner organization of her former employer advised her to apply for the APIC Scholarship to obtain her dream, the master’s degree.
 Bertha focused her research topic at Sophia University on women’s roles in conservation in the Federated States of Micronesia. She wanted to see how gender can be mainstream into policies in the light of natural resource management. Her time studying at Sophia University was a way for her to build her capacity to return home and take up the job she is currently doing. This includes recruiting Micronesian students to this same scholarship opportunity.
 As a message to other’s in Micronesia would like to pass on these words. “Mogethin. APIC-BRMC Scholarship has given me the opportunity to broaden my learning network with other peers I met through Sophia University program that I attended. It enabled me to sharpen my skills and knowledge to return to my home country and assist my fellow communities in conservation and resource management. If you’re interested to learn more about the APIC-BRMC scholarship opportunity, please contact me at capacity@ourmicronesia.org.”


Bradford MORI
Bradford MORI
Major: Global Environmental Studies (M.A.)
Entered in 2017 - Graduated in 2019
Introduction

 In 2017, APIC welcomed out first pair of students as part of the APIC-MCT International Student Scholarship Program. Mr. Brad Mori from the island of Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia was one of the two participants. Brad describes himself as having a multi-faceted personality, including determination and drive but with patience and kindness. He encourages striving for the best with an open mind and heart to succeed in today’s society. Also, he is a local boy at heart, that likes to fish and play sports. Brad’s favorite part of life in Japan was being able to experience all of Tokyo’s wonderful places to see. For example, taking strolls in the evening (part jogging, part sight-seeing) was the most enjoyable for him. Given a blend of tradition and modern living, he felt his life being manageable at most times but certainly ‘overwhelming’ considering the fast paced and futuristic lifestyle. It took some time for Brad to adjust and adapt to the new environment, but soon it became natural for him.
 Brad had always wanted to go to a school in Japan. So, when the opportunity presented itself through this scholarship, he decided to take it. This program had offered relevant courses that he was interested in. Brad says he is grateful to have learned a wealth of knowledge from a group of dedicated professors. Brad’s dissertation was titled Exploring Adaptation Potentials and Limitations in the Low-Lying Atolls: A Case Study in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. Basically, his thesis was formulated on the foundation of four key questions, and guided by the actions and decisions of communities from the Chuuk States Low-Lying Islands. He feels his research experiences were well worth it.
 Brad’s education obtained at Sophia University was indeed an honor and privilege. It was an opportunity to deepen his knowledge, especially from a prestigious university. As a message to his fellow Micronesian community members, Brad would like to say, “to all Micronesians who share the same desire of seeking wisdom – of wanting to grow and learn more, both humanly and spiritually – the opportunity is always there.”


Tamae WAGUK
Tamae WAGUK
Major: Global Environmental Studies (M.A.)
Entered in 2018 - Graduated in 2020
Introduction

 In the Fall of 2018, Ms. Tamae Waguk entered Sophia University from the island of Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia. During her free time, we can find Tamae in her room reading her favorite romance novels and watching Philippine or Korean Dramas. She also loves getting fresh air and taking strolls in the park.
 Tamae was interested in traveling to Japan and studying at Sophia University when the Bill Raynor-APIC Scholarship opportunity was brought to her attention. At Sophia University, she is majoring in the Global Environmental Studies program. In her studies, Tamae is able to learn the complexity of human relationship with the environment. At the same time, she has learned skills and different learning approaches in the environmental sector. Every day in class, she enjoys learning new things and attending guest speaker lectures, by learning straight from the experts. Her consulting professor offered her numerous advices that enhanced her learning. Tamae also noted that she had made great friends in this program.
 Along with her hard work in her studies, Tamae has also made sure to create valuable memories in cooking, eating, and shopping with others in the student dorm. From these experiences, Tamae has learned developing as a Bill Raynor Scholar, she plans on returning to her home country and sharing the skills that she has learned. Lastly, as a message to the Micronesian community, Tamae says “We need more than ever to increase efforts to protect our environment and conserve our natural resources that we, as Islanders highly depend on for living. Let us work together and share proficiency to protect our land from ridge to the reef for a better tomorrow.”


Lajkit RUFUS
Lajkit RUFUS
Major: Global Environmental Studies (M.A.)
Entered in 2018 - Graduated in 2021

Elchung HIDEYOS
Elchung HIDEYOS
Major: Global Environmental Studies (M.A.)
Entered in 2019 - Graduated in 2021
Introduction

 Ms. Elchung Hideyos, also known as El, joined us during the fall of 2019. El is from the Republic of Palau. Her research interests are in marine conservation and natural resource management. El loves being outdoors in the nature.
She enjoys hiking, swimming, and scuba diving. She also enjoys visiting historical sites and learning about the history of places. El plays ping-pong (table tennis), volleyball, and basketball too. El values taking care of, and spending time with family and friends. She is the eldest of four siblings, and wants to make sure she can always support them.
 When the scholarship opportunity arose, El was interested in studying at Sophia especially since she had always wanted to come to Japan. Her background and undergraduate studies are in environmental studies, and chose this scholarship program because it was specifically for the Global Environmental Studies major. This program seemed perfect for what she wanted to pursue.
 In regard to her life in Japan, she enjoys Japanese food very much, and finds the culture interesting. Since her home country, Palau, was colonized by the Japanese during World War II, its culture has been influenced by the Japanese culture. So, El does notice some similarities in culture and food, and it is intriguing to see those similarities and differences. She is also enjoying learning Japanese.
 El’s education at Sophia means that she has a great opportunity to develop her education at a very prestigious school, and to be able to contribute in conservation and natural resource management. She plans to bring back the knowledge attained from Sophia to help supporting Palau in conservation, natural resource management, and island sustainability development. El wants to positively influence people in her country to be more aware of their actions towards nature and become stewards.
 She also wants to help the local Palauan to realize how lucky they are to live and come from a beautiful island country, that gives them a great connection to nature based on their culture. Keeping her culture and traditions alive by teaching environmental studies is important to her. As a message to the Micronesian community, El says, “Micronesians students, it is to take any opportunity that comes your way, especially if it’s in a field that you are very interested in. Do not be afraid to leave home; it will always be there for you when you get back. Higher education is very important. The journey can be hard but believe in yourself and push yourself. Remember who you are doing this for and why you are doing this (priorities). And then when you do get that degree of higher education, you can go back home and help your country. Our small island countries need our support!”


Annette LUDWIG
Annette LUDWIG
Major: Global Environmental Studies (M.A.)
Entered in 2019 - Graduated in 2022
Introduction

 In the Fall of 2019, we welcomed Ms. Annette Ludwig! Annette is half Pohnpeian-Filipino and has lived in Guam for the past seven years. When she has an open time, she really enjoys being in the nature. Annette likes hiking, jogging, swimming/snorkeling, and venturing to new places. She loves traveling, experiencing different cultures, trying unique cuisine, and meeting people of various backgrounds. She believes that there is so much in the world to discover and learn from.
 The major thing that drew her to Sophia was its academics. The graduate school curriculum is interdisciplinary which offers courses in other areas such as social studies and policy, just to name a few. Offering graduate school courses in English made it easily accessible and possible to study in Japan. There is also a relatively large number of international students attending in Sophia University.
 Annette is a graduate student majoring in Global Environmental Studies. As an undergraduate, she realized that climate change was not just affecting her home country but every single community across the globe. Aside from voicing the concerns of her island nation, she found it fundamental to learn the perspectives of other countries to collectively generate wholistic and inclusive solutions for this global problem.
 Her favorite parts of life in Japan include its people and culture. Living in Tokyo has made her deeply appreciate the politeness, kindness, and honesty of the people of Japan. Even though she has only been in Japan for a few months, she really likes Tokyo because of its efficient transportation system, cleanliness, and sheer beauty.
 For Annette, her education at Sophia University is an absolute honor and privilege to be educated at such a prestigious university. She is profoundly grateful for this incredible opportunity to broaden her horizons, network and learn in an international environment. After she graduates, Annette plans to return to Micronesia where she wants to contribute to the environmental sector. She also hopes to engage with the next generation, ushering them to relentlessly pursue their aspirations. As a message for students and other people in Micronesia, Annette would like to leave you with a quote from Roy T. Bennett.
“Don’t just learn, experience. Don’t just read, absorb. Don’t just change, transform. Don’t just relate, advocate. Don’t just promise, prove. Don’t just criticize, encourage. Don’t just think, ponder. Don’t just take, give. Don’t just see, feel. Don’t just dream, do. Don’t just hear, listen. Don’t just talk, act. Don’t just tell, show. Don’t just exist, live.”


Darla YATILMAN
Darla YATILMAN
Major: Global Environmental Studies (M.A.)
Entered in 2020

Natasha GORONG
Natasha GORONG
Major: Global Environmental Studies (M.A.)
Entered in 2021

Tara ARNOLD
Tara ARNOLD
Major: Global Environmental Studies (M.A.)
Entered in 2021

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