Bridging Scholarships Spring 2018 Recipients

December 15, 2017 – Twenty-six 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 Spring 2018. Since 1999, 1,782 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 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 17 states. Their majors range from biochemistry 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 April 2018 for the next group of Bridging Scholarships, for study in Japan beginning in Fall 2018. 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
Spring 2018

Andrew BERNESHAWI  / Emory University (GA) / Kansai Gaidai /     / Psychology; Computer Science
Angel BISTA   / Grand Valley State University (MI) / Ritsumeikan APU (IES) / International Relations
Austin BORN   / University of Illinois / Nagoya University / Computer Engineering
Dylan DONLON-MOYER   / George Mason University (VA) / Hosei University / Comunications
Chynna ESTRELLA  / SUNY New Paltz / Kansai Gaidai / Intercultural Relations; Asian Studies  
Lacey GERDES  / Northern Kentucky University / Nanzan University / International Studies; Japanese
Kaitlyn GOUDY  / University of California, Davis / Kyoto Seika University / Japanese
Mary Kate GREENING   / University of Maryland / Keiio University / Government & Politics; Japanese
Kim HA  / San Jose State University (CA) / Kyushu University / business
Meighan HANNON / University of Scranton (PA) / Sophia University / Counseling & Human Services
Emily ISAKARI  / UCLA / International Christian University / Asian American Studies; Global Health
Nnamdi JOGWE  / Brown University (MA) / Keio University / Ethnic Studies
Emily MERRICK  / George Mason University (VA) / Hosei University / English
David MOORE  / University of Cincinnati (OH) / Co-op Program Internship / Architectural Engineering
Tanya OLIVAS  / New Mexico State University / Nagoya University of Foreign Studies / Computer Science
Elizabeth PANG   / University of California, San Diego / International Christian University / International      Writing
Kevin PEREZ  / Georgetown University (DC) / Waseda University / Regional & Comparative Studies
Kim PHAN  / Augustana College (IL) / Kobe City University of Foreign Studies / Biochemistry; Pre-Medicine  
Caroline PHELAN  / Baylor University (TX) / Seinan Gakuin / International Studies
Shanice SHUMAN  / Arkansas Tech University / Komazawa University / Fine Arts
Hayley SNOWDEN  / College of William & Mary (VA) / Keio University / Marketing
Jacqueline SU  / University of California, Davis / Kyoto Seika University / Design
Sarah TRINH  / Suffolk University (MA) / Sophia University / Asian Studies
J'ayla VICKS  / University of Texas, San Antonio / Kyoto University of Foreign Studies / Psychology;      Japanese
Maria VALADEZ  / Creighton University (NE) / Sophia University / Anthropology; Sociology
Emily WU  / University of California, San Diego / Tohoku University / Computer Science