Bridging Scholarships Fall 2017 Recipients

August 15, 2017 – Eighty-eight 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 2017 and academic year 2017-2018. Since 1999, 1,756 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 for the 2017-2018 academic year scholarships include Aflac Japan, AIG Holdings KK, Ronald and Maria Anderson, Bridging Scholars Alumni Scholarship Fund, Paul Clawson, Estee Lauder K.K., Exxon Mobil G.K., the Freeman Foundation, Yoshiaki Fujiki, Robert Grondine Memorial Scholarship Fund, Ellen Hammond and Yasuo Ohdera, Chris Herbert, Harry and Yumiko Hill, Ichigo Asset Management, the Japan Foundation, Stephanie Klapper, Lockheed Martin Global, Inc., Patricia Maclachlan and Zoltan Barany, Deanna Marcum, E’Narda McCalister, Mission Value Partners, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Morgan Stanley Japan, Anne Nishimura Morse, Robert and Janette Noddin, Oak Lawn Marketing, ORIX USA Corporation, T.J. Pempel, Susan Pharr and Robert Mitchell, Thierry Porté and Yasko Tashiro Porté, Bradley Ramos, the Roche Family Foundation, Leonard Schoppa, Megan Schufreider, David Sneider, Kevin Sollomich, Lance Sweatt, George and Brad Takei, Temple University-Japan Campus, Toyota Motor North America, the U.S.-Japan Council TOMODACHI Initiative, and the Ira Wolf Memorial Scholarship Fund (Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky and Edward B. Cohen, Amy Berger and Glen Nager, Lawrence Bruser, Paula and Pablo Collins, Wendy Cutler, Mary Davidson and Matthew J. Seiden, William Farrell, Matthew Goodman, Carl Green, Larry Greenwood, Amy Jackson, Charles D. and Seiko Lake II, Edward Lincoln, Elliot Maxwell, Vice President Walter Mondale, Robert (Skipp) Orr, Christopher Padilla, Amy Porges, Barbara Pryor, Andy Saidel, Richard and Debra Samuels, Jacob Schlesinger, Marjorie Searing, Ambassador Ira and Nancy Shapiro, Laurie Sherman, Jim Southwick, Bruce Stokes, Brian Toohey, Chairman Irving Williamson, Patrick Windham and Arati Prabhakar, Adam Wolf; Jeanne, Eloise, Evan, Lyla, and Lacy Wolf).

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 2017

Nicole ABBONDANZA   / University of North Carolina, Charlotte / Nagoya University of Foreign Studies
    / Japanese Studies [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Farzana AHMED   / Knox College (IL) / Nanzan University (IES) / Economics; International Studies
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]

Alex ALDERMAN   / University of Illinois, Chicago / Temple University Japan Campus / Finance
    [Temple University – Japan Campus Bridging Scholar]
Megan ASHER   / Illinois State University / Kansai Gaidai / International Business
Dana BENELLI  / University of Oregon / Waseda University / Comparative Literature; Japanese  
Kevin BERNING  / Miami University of Ohio / Kwansei Gakuin / Strategic Communications; International
    Studies [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Grace BOLOGNA  / University of Chicago / Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies / Political Science /
Indiana BROWN   / University at Albany, SUNY / Kansai Gaidai / Women’s Studies; Japanese Studies
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Molly BRUEGER  / Kalamazoo College (MI) / Doshisha University / East Asian Studies /
Zoe BUNTON / University of Kansas / Kansai Gaidai / Women’s & Gender Studies
Tyler BURTON  / George Washington University (DC) / Waseda University / Asian Studies; Japanese
Jessica CAMARILLO  / Humboldt State University (CA) / Waseda University / Business Administration
Tobin CARLSON  / Lawrence University (WI) / Waseda University / International Relations [Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar]

Caroline CARROLL  / Ohio State University / Hokkaido University / World Economy & Business [AIG
    Bridging Scholar]

David CENTENO  / Hunter College, CUNY / Meiji Gakuin / Japanese [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Kristina CHAMBERS   / SUNY Stony Brook / Tokyo University of Foreign Studies / Linguistics
    [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Brittany CLARKE  / University of North Texas / Kansai Gaidai / Biology [Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar]
Chandler COLLINS  / University of Virginia / Hitotsubashi University / Gobal Development Studies  
Emily DELMONICO  / Northern Arizona University / Kyushu University / Microbiology; Comparative
    Cultural Studies [Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar]
Emma DUNCAN  / Wellesley College (MA) / International Christian University / Japanese
Carly DUNN  / University of Memphis (TN) / Nagoya Gakuin / Japanese; English  [Freeman Foundation
    Bridging Scholar]

Aaron EASTWOOD  / Calvin College (MI) / Japan Center for Michigan Universities / Japanese
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Marissa ELLIS  / Northern Kentucky University / Gifu University / Communication Studies [Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar]

Julia EMORY  / Coastal Carolina University (SC) / Osaka Gakuin / History; Intelligence & National
    Security [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Ihechiluru EZURUONYE  / Kalamazoo College (MI) / Doshisha University / International & Area Studies
    [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Alistair FAGHANI  / University of Maryland, College Park / Keio University / Finance & Marketing
    [Amway Japan Bridging Scholar]
Chloe FINLEY  / Clemson University (SC) / Sophia University / International Trade; Japanese
    [AIG Bridging Scholar]
Sarah FLANAGAN  / Ohio State University / International Christian University / Computer Science &
    Engineering; Japanese  [Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar]
George FOURMAUX  / Loyola University New Orleans (LA) / Sophia University / Finance; Economics
     [AIG Bridging Scholar]
Colin GALLAWAY  / Boston College (MA) / Waseda University / Computer Science [Lockheed Martin
    Bridging Scholar]

Augustino GIAMBRONE  / Northern Kentucky University / Gifu University / Media Informatics
    [Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar]
Megan GILL  / Western Carolina University / Osaka Kyoiku University / Language Studies  [Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar]

Jordan GOODWIN  / University of Alaska, Anchorage / Hokkaido University of Education / Japanese  
    [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Alexandra GRIFFIN  / Nazareth College (NY) / Kansai Gaidai / English Literature [Freeman Foundation
    Bridging Scholar]

Katrina HAMMON  / Juniata College (PA) / Hokusei Gakuen / Wildlife Conservation [TOMODACHI
    Bridging Scholar]

Ezekiel HELING  / University of Minnesota / Hitotsubashi University / Journalism [Oak Lawn Marketing
    Bridging Scholar]

Kylie HILL  / University of Nevada, Reno / Kanazawa University / Public Health [Lockheed Martin
    Bridging Scholar]

Anna HIRSCHLER  / Lake Forest College (IL) / Tokyo International University (ISEP) / Asian Studies  
Kendall HOUCK  / St. Cloud State University (MN) / Akita International University / English Studies  
    [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Erica HOWIE  / University of Alabama / Meiji University / Advertising; Digital Art; Japanese  [Oak Lawn
    Marketing Bridging Scholar]

Meghan HURLEY  / University of Massachusetts, Amherst / Kansai Gaidai / Anthropology [Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar]

Alex HUTCHINS  / Cornell University / Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies / Religious Studies
Charlie JAMES  / University of California, Berkeley / Tsuru University / Business Administration  
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Kelly KAMRATH  / Nebraska Wesleyan University / Kwansei Gakuin / English; Japanese [Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar]

Grace KIM / Rutgers University (NJ) / International Christian University / East Asian Languages &
    Cultures  [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Benjamin KLEHR  / Honolulu Community College (HI) / JF Oberlin University / Asian Studies
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Victor LANE  / Earlham College (IN) / Waseda University / Japanese [Oak Lawn Marketing Bridging

Celia LANGFORD  / Whitman College (WA) / Doshisha University (AKP) / Asian & Middle Eastern
    Studies   [AIG Bridging Scholar]
Madison LAWRIE   / Portland State University (OR) / Kansai Gaidai / Psychology; Japanese 
Sharada LE  / Wichita State University (KS) / Kansai Gaidai /International Business
Gerlin LEU  / Bowdoin College (ME) / Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies  / Asian religions
Jeremy LUNA / SUNY New Paltz / Kanazawa University / Industrial Relations [Amway Japan
    Bridging Scholar]

Keelyn McCABE  / University of Virginia / Hitotsubashi University / Public Policy; Global Studies  
Gwenafaye McCORMICK  / University of Mississippi / Waseda University / Biology; International
    Studies [Ira Wolf Memorial Fund Bridging Scholar]
Anthony MILLER  / Nebraska Wesleyan University / Kwansei Gakuin / Modern Languages  [Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar]

Natasha MILLIGAN  / Willamette University (OR) / Tokyo International University / Theatre   [Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar]

Francis MIYATA  / Knox College (IL) / Waseda University / Philosophy  [Robert Grondine Memorial Fund
    Bridging Scholar]

Eric OSBORNE  / University of Idaho / KCP International Language School / Music  [Oak Lawn
    Marketing Bridging Scholar]

Chance OVERBERG  / Miami University of Ohio / Sophia University + Ritsumeikan University /
    International Studies; East Asian Languages  [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Rachel PELLEGRINO  / University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign / Konan University / Creative Writing
Miranda PELONOIO  / San Francisco State University / JF Oberlin University / Hospitality Management;
    Japanese [Oak Lawn Marketing Bridging Scholar]
Mai PHAM  / Rice University (TX) / Kanda University of International Studies (IES) / Economics
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]

Matthew PRIEDE  / Northern Kentucky University / Musashi University / International Studies 
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Lisa QI  / Northwestern University (IL) / Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies / Psychology 
Blake RADCLIFFE  / Bellevue College (WA) / KCP International Language School / Japanese
    [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Natasha RIEGLE  / Saginaw Valley State University (MI) / Kansai Gaidai / Criminal Justice
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Hannah ROZEI  / Georgia State University / Soka University / Political Science
Heather RUCKER   / Wittenberg University (OH) / Nanzan University (ISEP) / Japanese [Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar]

Nicholas SARANDOS  / Ursinus College (PA) / Akita International University / East Asian Studies  
    [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Jared SELETSKY  / Temple University (PA) / Temple University Japan Campus / Ceramics
Jenny SHAO  / University of Miami (FL) / Sophia University / Psychology; International Studies [Exxon
    Mobil Bridging Scholar]

Paul SHERGILL   / California State University, Sacramento / Waseda University / Mechanical
    Engineering; International Business  [Morgan Stanley Bridging Scholar]
Marshall SHERRELL  / University of Washington / Keio University / Japanese; English Creative Writing
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Kristen SHIPLEY  / North Carolina A & T State University / Musashi University / Journalism
    [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]
Julianna SMITH  Michigan State University / Waseda University / Japanese 
Sarah SPEIKER   / University of Toledo / Aichi University / Asian Studies  [Freeman Foundation Bridging

Aki STEPHENS  / University of Maryland, College Park / Waseda University / Information Science
    [Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar]
Jennifer TA  / University of Colorado, Denver / Kwansei Gakuin (USAC) / Biology [Exxon Mobil Bridging

Nicole Sean TAYLOR  / Mira Costa College (CA) / Temple University Japan Campus / Japanese  
    [Temple University- Japan Campus Bridging Scholar]
Cao-Minh TRAN  / University of Hawaii, Hilo / Doshisha University / Japanese Studies
Graciela TRIMBLE-QUIZ  / University of Texas, Austin / Sophia University / Linguistics [Freeman
    Foundation Bridging Scholar]

Ellie TSUCHIYA  / Georgia Institute of Technology / Waseda University / Economics  [Morgan Stanley
    Bridging Scholar]

Robert VAN AARTSEN  / Western Michigan University / Ritsumeikan University / Creative Writing;  
    [Freeman Foundation Bridging Scholar]
Pengxue VANG  / University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee / Seijo University / Computer Science; Japanese
    [Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar]

Sean WALSH  / Georgia State University / Soka University / Asian Studies [Freeman Foundation
    Bridging Scholar]

Cheyenne WING-LAWRENCE  / Western Washington University / Toyo University / Japanese  
     [TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar]

Veronica WINTERS  / Washington University in St. Louis / Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies /
    International Affairs; Japanese Studies
Emily YEH  / University of California, San Diego / Keio University / Political Science [AIG Bridging