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2012 Reischauer scholars honored at Stanford University


Brooke Nowakowski
Honoree Brooke Nowakowski (San Antonio, TX) presenting her final research paper.

The Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) honored three top students of the 2012 Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP)—Brooke Nowakowski (San Antonio, TX), Seunghwa Madeleine Han (San Ramon, CA), and Emily Waltman (Tenafly, NJ)—at the RSP Japan Day event at Stanford University on August 10, 2012. The RSP, an online course on Japan and U.S.–Japan relations that is offered to high school students across the United States, recognized the students based on their coursework and exceptional research essays.

Daniel OkimotoThe program was highlighted by presentations by student honorees Nowakowski, Han, and Waltman, who wrote research essays on the modern consequences of cultural change in Okinawa, the rise of feminism in Japanese politics, and the role of propaganda in fueling racism and public support for Japanese-American internment, respectively. Many individuals and organizations from the San Francisco Bay Area’s Japan and U.S.–Japan community and Stanford University were in attendance. Funahashi noted the following about her three student honorees: “The poise and intellect of these young scholars is truly impressive. It is an honor to work with such bright, inquisitive, and engaging students who share a genuine interest in learning about Japan and fostering U.S.–Japan relations.”The event featured remarks by Consul General Hiroshi Inomata, Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco; Renay Loper, Associate Program Officer, Center for Global Partnership (CGP), Japan Foundation, New York; Naomi Funahashi, RSP Manager and Instructor; and Gary Mukai, SPICE Director. Professor Emeritus Daniel I. Okimoto, Stanford University, gave a compelling talk on Japan’s energy options since the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan. SPICE also presented a plaque to Consul Midori Yamamitsu, Director of the Japan Information Center, Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, in honor of her longtime support of the RSP.

Entering its tenth year in 2013, the RSP presents a creative and innovative approach to teaching high school students about Japan and U.S–Japan relations. The program provides American students with unique opportunities to interact with top scholars and diplomats, and introduces both American and Japanese perspectives on many historical and contemporary issues. 

Emily Waltman

The RSP will begin accepting applications for the 2013 program in September 2012. For more information about the RSP, visit or contact Naomi Funahashi, RSP Manager and Instructor, at  

Named in honor of former Ambassador to Japan Edwin O. Reischauer, a leading educator and noted scholar of Japanese history and culture, the RSP annually selects 25–30 exceptional high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from throughout the United States. Since 2003, the RSP has cultivated a model for reaching a diverse population of students by utilizing technology to share high-quality course material across large distances. Using online lectures and discussions, the program provides students with a broad overview of Japanese history, literature, religion, art, politics, economics, education, and contemporary society, with a focus on the U.S.–Japan relationship. Prominent scholars affiliated with Stanford University, the University of Tokyo, the University of Hawaii, and other institutions provide lectures and engage students in onlinedialogue. The RSP received initial funding for the program (2004–2006) from the United States–Japan Foundation. The program is currently funded by a generous grant from CGP, Japan Foundation, and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.