U.S. GRANT CONTINUES PACIFIC SCHOLARSHIP SUPPORT AT THE EAST-WEST CENTER

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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (August 12, 2002 – PIR)---Joining the East-West Center for advanced study this month will be the newest members of a select group of academically talented Pacific island students.

They are participants in the United States-South Pacific Islands Scholarship Program established in 1994 at the request of the U.S. Congress by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. With the 2002 grant of $500,000, the East-West Center has received a total of $4,400,000 from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to administer the program.

Terance W. Bigalke, EWC dean of academic programs, said: "Through supporting their pursuit of bachelor and master degrees at U.S. universities, and actively involving them in the East-West Center’s enrichment and leadership training activities, the United States-South Pacific Islands Scholarship Program helps prepare these students to assume future leadership positions in their home countries. It also provides the students with an opportunity to obtain first-hand knowledge of American society, institutions, values and diversity."

Priority fields of study are environmental sciences, public administration, public policy, business administration and journalism. The competitive, merit-based scholarships range from 24 to 48 months.

Eligible to compete are individuals seeking bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Students already must have completed a three-year baccalaureate program.

The four new students are: Donald Kiriau, Solomon Islands, who will pursue a B.A. in political science; Monalisa Palu, Tonga, B.A. in business administration; Jude Kohlhase, Samoa, M.A. in urban and regional planning; and, Ashwin Raj, Fiji, M.A. in public policy.

The program has provided a total of 41 scholarships since 1995. The students reside on the East-West Center campus for a significant portion of the award period, joining with EWC graduate students from throughout Asia and the United States in a broad range of cooperative research, study, training and academic enrichment activities.

The students also are associated with the East-West Center’s Pacific Islands Development Program.

They pursue studies at the neighboring University of Hawai‘i and numerous other institutions of higher educations on the continental United States.

Summer educational and enrichment activities have included internships in Washington, D.C. with U.S. federal agencies, international NGOs and private sector companies.

The students also design and carry out community service projects in their home countries.

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