In early spring 2018, the JICUF Grants Committee reviewed proposals submitted by ICU faculty and students. After a rigorous selection process, the committee approved nine projects: three from faculty, six from students. Congratulations to all recipients! Below are summaries of this year’s selected projects.
Marguerite Duras: A Critique of Reason
Recipient: Professor Olivier Ammour-Mayeur
Grant Amount: ¥750,000
Date: November 23-24, 2018
This conference will focus on the work of Marguerite Duras, a contemporary French writer and thinker. Discussions will revolve around topics such as “Duras and Contemporary Thought” as well as “Duras and Politics After World War II.” Through dialogue and comprehensive analyses of Duras’s work in its philosophical sense, participants hope to develop new perspectives on the writer’s thoughts, philosophy, religion and politics. Participants also hope to shed new light on the importance of feminist and gender issues in Duras’ thought. JICUF funds will support accommodation, honoraria, meals and refreshments and local transportation for invited speakers, support for undergraduate student assistants, and consecutive translation during Q&A sessions.
Integration of Pedagogical, Andragogical, and Heutagogical Approaches in Learner Support in MOOCs: An Action Research
Recipient: Jennifer Christine Fajardo (PhD Student)
Grant Amount: ¥320,000
Date: August 2018 (Philippines) and Fall 2018 (Australia)
This grant supports Ms. Fajardo’s PhD research on whether the pedagogical, andragogical, and heutagogical (PAH) continuum approaches can enhance learner support in massive open online courses (MOOCs). One purpose of the research is to actively collaborate with MOOC providers by designing, developing, and integrating learning strategies and approaches involving PAH in the MOOC. It also aims to find out whether these approaches are effective for MOOC learners in terms of support. To be able to compare between various cultural background contexts, collaboration with MOOC providers from the Philippines and Australia will be investigated. JICUF funds will be used for airfare, domestic travel, survey materials, accommodation, and small tokens for project collaborators.
Workshop on Sustainable University Development and Energy Efficiency (SUDee2018)
Recipient: Professor Eckhard Hitzer
Grant Amount: ¥832,000
Tentative Date: Fall 2018
This project is a one-day workshop on Sustainable University Development and Energy Efficiency (SUDee2018). With participation from colleagues at ICU and other universities in Japan, as well as selected domestic and overseas guest speakers, this workshop will present ways in which faculty, students, staff and local citizens can collaborate to achieve the goal of becoming sustainable, zero-carbon universities. Using examples from some of the world’s leading public and private institutions and sustainable building experts, participants will learn how schools and universities in the scale of 1,000-10,000 people can implement energy efficiency to substantially increase indoor environment comfort, while rationalizing energy use and thus advance their sustainability, including the concrete steps needed in planning, design, technology, infrastructure, education, investment, management and accounting.
ICU Students’ Services in Tohoku with Team Asunaro
Recipient: Professor Etsuko Kato
Grant Amount: ¥279,610
This project provides both domestic and international students at ICU with opportunities to visit Tohoku to serve people in the areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, by joining Team Asunaro, a volunteer group led by Shimpei Suga. Throughout past years Team Asunaro has let ICU students join its monthly weekend trips to disaster-affected areas in Tohoku. In the 2018 academic year, students are encouraged to interact/collaborate with high school students and recent graduates in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.
Intercultural Night (Hosted by ICU Hub)
Recipient: Ayane Maruichi (Undergraduate Student)
Grant Amount: ¥30,000
Tentative Date: Fall 2018
The event “Intercultural Night” will be hosted by ICU Hub with the five students who participated in “Japan Tour 2018 by ICU hub” at the end of March. The purpose of this event is to bring together ICU students of different the nationalities so that they can meet new people on campus and understand each other’s cultures. This event is composed of 3 parts: 1) Workshop on how to make Japanese food and food from other countries, 2) Buffet-style potluck dinner, and 3) debriefing by “Japan Tour 2018” participants. The event will be free and open to all ICU students.
Teaching Japanese as a Foreign/Heritage Language in Canada: Ethnography and Interviews to Reconsider the Approaches
Recipient: Mikiko Saigo (Undergraduate Student)
Grant Amount: ¥188,000
Dates: July-September 2018
This research project investigates the current situation of Japanese-language education in Canada through class observations and interviews. Through this research, Ms. Saigo aims to highlight the issues in 1) teaching Japanese in a foreign country, and 2) teaching Japanese as a heritage language. The class observations will be done while working as a teaching assistant at two Japanese-language schools in Vancouver. As a teaching assistant, the grantee will be helping in the classes and with cultural activities from July to September 2018. Ms. Saigo will interview students and teachers from the two schools to discuss the challenges and issues they have while learning or teaching Japanese in Canada. To hear opinions from adult learners of Japanese, she will also visit the Japanese Network Association at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Addressing the issues that learners and teachers of Japanese face, she will suggest improvements to the present Japanese-language education in Canada. The findings will be shared with language education major students at ICU, as well as with ICU Hub members to help them establish learner-friendly Japanese lessons in and outside of Japan. JICUF funds will cover the airfare from Narita to Vancouver.
Organizing a Hackathon for Quantitative Analysis with Harvard PhD Students
Recipient: Professor Kaori Sato
Grant Amount: ¥300,000
Dates: May 28-June 1, 2018
This workshop, held in late May, aimed to inspire ICU students interested both in quantitative analysis and in developing their career abroad. PhD students studying bioinformatics at Harvard and Stanford were invited to talk about life as graduate students outside of Japan as well as offer tips on the application process. The speakers also hosted a workshop to teach and develop basic statistical/programming skills that are essential for analysis of scientific/social problems. After these workshops, the guests organized a hackathon using python/R programming languages. The event ended with a conference where students presented the results of their analyses from the hackathon. The entire project was conducted in English. JICUF funds covered the airfare for one of the Harvard PhD students, hackathon prizes for first and second place students, assistance for two teaching assistants, supplies, and snacks.
Latin Festival (Hosted by Spanish Speaking Society)
Recipient: Moyumi Takemura (Undergraduate Student)
Grant Amount: ¥94,000
Dates: May 28-30, 2018
Spanish Speaking Society’s Latin Festival, which was held from May 28th to 30th, provided an opportunity for ICU students and faculty to immerse themselves in Latin American culture. The event aimed to promote, celebrate, and cultivate an interest in Latin American culture.
Latin Festival consisted of three parts. The first part was a dance workshop. Since dance is heavily embedded within Latin culture, SSS provided a place for participants to learn about the traditional types of dances with the guidance of a dance instructor. The second part was a cooking workshop to make authentic Latin food. Lastly, guest speakers presented on Latin culture. JICUF funds covered transportation costs for the invited speakers, advertisement and publicity, ingredients, etc. The event was open to all ICU students with a small entrance fee for each day.
ICU × Taiwan × New York Dance Project, “Wǔ Fēnzhōng” (Hosted by Modern Dance Society)
Recipient: Mana Yamagata (Undergraduate Student)
Grant Amount: ¥474,500
Dates: September 14-23, 2018
Organized by ICU’s Modern Dance Society (MDS) this program is a collaborative dance project introducing MDS and ICU students to four guest dancers of Seed Dance Company (SDC) including the director Wen-jen Huang (from Tainan) and choreographer Kensaku Shinohara (from New York City). Wen-jen Huang teaches dance at Tainan University of Technology; together with her three dancers of SDC, she brings a detailed understanding of American modern dance and Chinese traditional dance. Mr. Shinohara, a former MDS member and 2008 alumnus of ICU, is an experimental dance artist working out of NYC since 2009 who focuses on developing a personal dance vocabulary.
This project will enrich the educational environment of the university by shining a new light on cross-cultural communication. SDC and Mr. Shinohara will work with the MDS members and ICU students who wish to participate to create a half-hour-long choreographic work. “Wǔ Fēnzhōng” (meaning “five minutes” in Mandarin) will be presented and performed by the MDS at ICU’s Diffendorfer Memorial Hall at the end of the 10-day workshop period. “Wǔ Fēnzhōng” will build upon MDS’s recent research exploring everyday-life movements shared by people across different cultures and countries, as well as new dance styles created by deconstructing simple usual movements. MDS has been looking for an international collaboration and this project provides such an opportunity. JICUF funds will support airfare and domestic transportation, accommodation, and meals for the invited performers.