President Fell to travel to Japan in March
University of Findlay President Katherine Fell, Ph.D., will travel to Japan in early March to host an alumni reception and visit with leaders from Japanese partner universities.
“The University is proud to have established positive relationships with a number of higher education institutions in Japan,” Fell said. “I’m looking forward to seeing many long-time friends, hearing about the success stories of our alumni in Japan, and meeting with leaders in government and education.”
Her trip will include stops in Okayama, Saitama, and Tokyo, meeting with faculty, administrators, and students from Junsei Educational Institution, Kake Educational Institution, and Daito Bunka University.
On March 4, in Tokyo, the president will host UF’s first alumni gathering in Japan, welcoming more than 50 guests and speaking on University accomplishments and future plans. American and Japanese guests will come from all over Japan and include those who studied at UF.
This will be President Fell’s seventh trip to Japan. She will be accompanied by her husband, Roger Fell, and Hiroaki “Hiro” Kawamura, Ph.D., who is an associate professor of Japanese and director of modern languages.
They also will meet with Governor Motohiro Ono and other leaders of Saitama prefecture (state).
Findlay is the only university in Ohio that annually awards the Ohio-Saitama University Scholarship. Kawamura and Greg Mott, UF director of the intensive English language program, coordinate the Ohio Saitama Global Speakers online program to help people from Saitama develop discussion and presentation skills.
“This visit is just one of the many ongoing bonds between Findlay and Japan, enhancing the richness of diversity on campus, thus expanding the global understanding of students – U.S., Japanese, and all the international students we host here,” Kawamura noted, adding that this trip will be “unique and important” since it features the first alumni gathering in Japan.
For decades, UF students have participated in study abroad and internship programs in Japan. This year, four UF students are studying at Japanese universities, and 17 Japanese students from partner schools are enrolled at the Findlay campus.
“Whether we are presenting films and concerts, or sharing food and cultural activities, these are all opportunities for people to learn and grow in their relationships with others. We are bringing people together and developing global citizens,” said Kawamura, who has been with UF since 1998 and is the University’s international relations liaison.
UF offers a bachelor’s degree in Japanese, a bachelor’s degree in multi-age Japanese (grades K-12) with a teaching license, and a Japanese minor. The two goals of the programs are to help students develop communication skills and pursue careers in any field with Japanese as a second language and to integrate Japan into all campus programs regardless of major.
The University offers a summer study tour to Japan for pharmacy, animal science, education, and physician assistant/nursing students as well as a faculty exchange program in environmental safety and occupational health, in addition to a study tour open to all full-time students, faculty, and staff.
UF has partnerships for faculty and student exchanges with Rakuno Gakuen University, Daito Bunka University, Fukui Prefectural University, University of Fukui, Shizuoka University of Arts and Culture, Okayama University of Science, Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts, Chiba Institute of Science, Kibi International University, and Kyushu University of Health and Welfare.
The University and its educational resources also have been a cornerstone in supporting economic development efforts in northwest Ohio to attract and retain Japanese businesses.
In 2020, UF started the Findlay Japan Business Seminar online for Japanese business people as a free service. Kawamura serves as special assistant to the director of Findlay/Hancock County Economic Development as well as a Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Grassroots outreach advisor for Ohio.