Bridging Scholarships Fall 2016 Recipients

JULY 15, 2016 – Seventy-nine undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the United States have been named recipients of Bridging Scholarships for Study Abroad in Japan. The winners will receive awards of $2,500 to assist with their expenses while they study in Japan in Fall 2016 and academic year 2016-2017. Since 1999, 1,645 scholarships have been awarded by the US-Japan Bridging Foundation.

The Japan-US Friendship Commission, an independent federal agency promoting mutual understanding between the United States and Japan, initiated the Bridging Project scholarship program and established a 501(c)(3) private foundation, the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation (, to accept contributions. The goal of the Bridging Project is to promote study abroad in Japan by larger numbers of American undergraduate students. The scholarship program is administered by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese, which promotes education in Japanese language, literature, and culture.

Contributors to date for the 2016-2017 academic year scholarships include The Freeman Foundation; Aflac Japan, AIG Holdings KK, Estee Lauder K.K., Exxon Mobil G.K., the Robert Grondine Memorial Scholarship Fund, Ichigo Asset Management, the Japan Foundation, Lockheed Martin Global, Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Morgan Stanley Japan, Robert and Janette Noddin, Oak Lawn Marketing, ORIX USA Corporation, Susan Pharr and Robert Mitchell, Thierry and Yasko Porté, Robert Roche, Temple University-Japan Campus, and the U.S.-Japan Council-TOMODACHI Initiative.

Bridging Scholars hail from a variety of schools–public and private, large universities and small colleges–in 32 states. Their majors range from neurobiology to fine arts, but they share a common interest in Japan, its society, and its language and culture. Their destinations also vary, from giant campuses in Tokyo to small colleges in rural Japan. A list of the recipients, their schools, their destination programs, and their majors can be found below. Applications will be accepted in October 2016 for the next group of Bridging Scholarships, for study in Japan beginning in Spring 2017. For information on the scholarships and to access application form, visit the Bridging Project online at

For information on the Bridging Foundation, visit

Recipients of Bridging Scholarships for Study Abroad in Japan
Fall 2016

Jenifer ALBA   / University of Nevada, Las Vegas / Kwansei Gakuin (USAC) / Art / (TOMODACHI     Bridging Scholar)
Ahmad ALJAWAD   / University of California San Diego / Waseda University / Literature / (Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar)

Rosebert ALTIANAS   / University of Minnesota / Kanda University of International Studies (IES) /
    Product Design & Japanese 
Mei BRUNSON   / University of Washington / Waseda University / Japanese Linguistics & History of
    Ideas  / (AIG Bridging Scholar) 
Briana BRYSON  / Texas A & M University / Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies (USAC) / Animal
Alexandra BURNESS  / Southern Connecticut State University / Toyo University (ISEP) / Business
    Management & Japanese / (Oak Lawn Marketing Bridging Scholar)
Hunter CARPENTER  / University of Miami / Sophia University / Marketing; History; Japanese / (Oak     Lawn Marketing Bridging Scholar)
Blythe CARVAJAL   / Grand Valley State University (MI) / International Christian University /
    International Business  / (Grondine Bridging Scholar)
Vincent CHEN  / Dartmouth College / Keio University / Neuroscience / (TOMODACHI Bridging     Scholar)
Selah CHUNG / Hawaii Pacific University / Aoyama Gakuin / integrated multimedia
Rebecca CLIPPARD  / Middle Tennessee State University / Kansai Gaidai / Japanese & Spanish /
    (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Kylie CUMMINGS  / Hawaii Pacific University / JF Oberlin University / English & Asian Studies /
     (AIG Bridging Scholar)
Olivia CUNDIFF  / Berea College (KY) / Akita International University / Asian Studies
Clara DORFI  / University of Cincinnati / Tama Art University / Industrial Design / (Freeman     Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Jeremiah DRAKE  / New Mexico State University / Seinan Gakuin / History 
Joseph DRAKE  / SUNY New Paltz / Kanazawa University / International Relations & Asian
    Studies / (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Cassidy DRISCOLL  / Tufts University / Osaka Gakuin / Applied Physics & Japanese /
    (Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar)
Matthew DU  / University of Maryland / Tohoku University / Computer Engineering  
Dymond ELLIOTT  / University of Maryland Baltimore County / JF Oberlin University / Psychology /     (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Lindsay ERJAVIC  / Arizona State University / Waseda University ) / Political Science / (Oak Lawn
    Marketing Bridging Scholar)

Emily GARCZYNSKI  / University of Wisconsin Whitewater / Kansai Gaidai / Computer Science /
    (Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar)
Korinne GIACOMAN  / Portland State University / Kansai Gaidai / Japanese / (Freeman Foundation
    Bridging Scholar)

Chanelle GONTARZ  / Old Dominion University (VA) / Kansai Gaidai / Communication & Asian
Kavya GOPALAKRISHNAN  / Ohio State University / International Christian University / Japanese /
    (Oak Lawn Marketing Bridging Scholar)
Bryan GUZMAN / SUNY New Paltz / Meiji University / Biology / (Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar)
Kevin HAN  / University of Findlay (OH) / Kyushu University of Health & Welfare / Pharmacy /
    (Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar)
Chris HART  / Appalachian State University (NC) / Okayama University / Global Studies /
    (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Kira-Ann HAYASHI  / Willamette University (OH) / Tokyo International University / Japanese Studies 
     (Amway Japan Bridging Scholar)
Kimberly HINCHEY  / New Mexico State University / Nagoya University of Foreign Studies / Fashion
    Merchandising / (Oak Lawn Marketing Bridging Scholar)
Erika HIROMITSU  / Colorado College / Waseda University / Sociology / (Freeman Foundation
    Bridging Scholar)

Shela HO  / University of California Santa Barbara / Keio University / Economics & Accounting /
     (Amway Japan Bridging Scholar)
Eric JAMES  / Baylor University / Hosei University / Asian Studies  /(TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar)
Margaret JENNINGS  / Wellesley College / International Christian University (Middlebury College) /
     Computer Science & Japanese  
Ariel JOHNSON  / San Diego State University / Oita University / Japanese / (Freeman Foundation
     Bridging Scholar)

Miaya JOHNSON  / University of Memphis / JF Oberlin University / Graphic Design & Japanese  
Vincent JONES  / University of Illinois Chicago / Temple University, Japan Campus / Finance /
     (Temple University Japan Bridging Scholar)
Kirsten JORGENSEN  / Marshall University (WV) / Chukyo University / Japanese / (Freeman
     Foundation Bridging Scholar)

Tiffany KELLY  / Oklahoma State University / Kansai Gaidai / Political Science  
Kylie KINION  / Tulsa Community College (OK) / Kansai Gaidai / Education & World Languages  
Robert KOEGEL  / Webster University (MO) / JF Oberlin University / International Business  
    (Morgan Stanley Bridging Scholar)
Maria KOROLKOVA  / Lehman College, CUNY / Sugiyama Jogakuen / Environmental Science /
    (Exxon Mobile Bridging Scholar)
Diksha KUMAR  / University of North Carolina Charlotte / Tohoku University / Biology /
    (Exxon Mobile Bridging Scholar)
Flora LAM  / University of California San Diego / Tsuru University / Linguistics  
Ana LESTER-OWENS  / Smith College / Associated Kyoto Program (Doshisha University) / 
     East Asian Languages / (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Adam LEWANDOWICZ / University of Cincinnati / Chiba University / Industrial Design  
Erika LORE  / Randolph-Macon College (VA) / Kansai Gaidai / Computer Science & Asian Studies /     (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Brittany MABRY  / Marshall University (WV) / Chukyo University / International Business &  
    Japanese / (AIG Bridging Scholar)
Nolan McCORMICK  / Pennsylvania State University / Ibaraki University / Bio-Behavioral Health;
    Dance; Japanese / (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Khafra MILLS  / Valdosta State University (GA) / Tama University / Psychology  
Nelson MORENO  / University of California Santa Barbara / Tohoku University / Physics  / (Lockheed
    Martin Bridging Scholar)

Mark NAGY  /Ursinus College (PA) / Akita International University / Akita International
    University  / Neuroscience
Audrey NAKAOKA / University of California Irvine / Waseda University / International Studies /     (TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar
Sarah NIX  / Marshall University (WV) / Kansai Gaida / International Affairs & Japanese  /
     (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Kaylynn NORIEGA  / University of Findlay (OH) / University of Fukui / Japanese  /
    (AIG Bridging Scholar)
Nathan NOTAH  / Fort Lewis College (CO) / Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies / International
Sophia OSBORN  / University of California San Diego / Waseda University / History /
    (TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar)
Thomas PARK  / University of California Santa Cruz / International Christian University / Global
Sarah PASCHALL  / Union University (TN) / SIL Sapporo Nihongo Gakko / Applied Linguistics  
Benjamin PERCIVAL  / Brandeis University / Osaka Gakuin (CET) / Environmental & Global
Emily PHAM  / University of Arkansas / Shimane University / International Relations & Asian
    Studies / (TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar)
Lindsay PRINGLE  / Central Michigan University / Japan Center for Michigan Universities / Dietetics 
Rachael REDJOU  / Western Washington University / Kwansei Gakuin (USAC) / Sexuality & Gender
    Studies; Asian Studies / (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Allison SAFFEL  / Indiana University / Nanzan University / East Asian Languages & International
    Studies / (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Eunice SHEK  / Knox College (IL) / Nanzan University / Creative Writing & Asian Studies  
Elizabeth SMITH  / University of Chicago / Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies / Law, Letters &
    Society / (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Samantha SODETZ  / University of Florida / Kansai Gaidai / Japanese & Linguistics / (Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar)

Lee SOMMERFELDT  / Washington & Lee University (VA) / International Christian
    University / Business Administration & Japanese Studies / (Morgan Stanley Bridging Scholar)
Courtney STEELE  / University of Toledo (OH) / Aichi University / Communication / (Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar)

Brandon STITT  / Pennsylvania State University Behrend/Erie / Tohoku University / Electrical &
    Mechanical Engineering / (Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar)
Cassandra STRIEGLE  / Ball State University (OH) / Tokyo Gakugei University / Japanese /
     (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Caitlyn SULLIVAN  / Queens College (CUNY) / Nanzan University / Media Studies
Julian TASH  / University of Maryland Baltimore County / Nanzan University / History & Asian
    Studies (TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar)
Alyssa VANDERVELDE  / University of Nevada Reno / Hiroshima University / Anthropology
    (Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar)
Benjamin VILLAR  / Western Michigan University / Keio University / Japanese / (Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar)

Mikayla WEBSTER  / University of California San Diego / Tohoku University / Computer Science /
    (Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar)
Leashandra WIGGINS  / University of Memphis / Nagoya Gakuin / Communications & Japanese
    (Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar)
Rebecca WILEY  / Ohio State University / Waseda University / Japanese & Linguistics / (AIG Bridging

Sheng YANG  / College of St. Benedict (MN) / Bunkyo Gakuin / Political Science 
Daniel ZARATE  / Santa Monica College (CA) / Temple University – Japan Campus / International
    Business / (Temple University Japan Scholar)