Study Abroad in Japan: Bridging Scholarships Fall 2015 Recipients

June 15, 2015 – Seventy-five 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 - $4,000 to assist with their living expenses while they study in Japan during the Fall 2015 semester or the 2015-2016 academic year. Since 1999, 1,540 scholarships have been awarded by the US-Japan Bridging Foundation to students studying abroad in Japan.

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 US-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, a professional organization for teachers of Japanese language, literature, and culture.

Contributors to the Fall 2015 scholarships include The Freeman Foundation (lead donor); Aflac Japan, AIG Holdings KK, Ronald and Maria Anderson, Laurence Bates, Matthew Belisle, Estee Lauder K.K., Exxon Mobil G.K., Eric Feigenbaum, Robert Feldman, Richard Folsom, Anthony Gilmore, Kenji Govaers, the Robert Grondine Memorial Scholarship Fund, Gudni and Eiko Gudnason, Ellen Hammond and Yasuo Ohdera, Chris Herbert, Harry Hill, Barry Hirschfeld, Deborah Ann Howard, Ichigo Asset Management, the Japan Foundation, the Japan-US Friendship Commission, JP Morgan Securities Japan, Lockheed Martin Global, Inc., Jon Malamud, Roger McDonald, Arthur Mitchell, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Morgan Stanley Japan, Maneesh Kalra, Robert and Janette Noddin, Oak Lawn Marketing, ORIX USA, Susan Pharr and Robert Mitchell, Jay Ponazecki, Tom Pederson, Thierry and Yasko Porte, Jay Sapsford, Hayashi Sasaki, John Sasaki, Taisuke and Catherine Sasanuma, Elliott Segal, Dennis Sheehan, Allan Smith, David Sneider, George and Brad Takei, Temple University-Japan Campus, Gary Thomas, Katsuhiko Tokita, Toyota Motor North America, and 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 English literature, 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 tiny consortium programs in rural Japan. A list of the recipients, their schools, their destination programs, and their majors can be found below.

AATJ will accept applications until October 2015 for the next group of Bridging Scholarships, for study in Japan beginning in Spring 2016. For more information on the scholarships or to receive application forms, visit

For information on the US-Japan Bridging Foundation, visit

Recipients of Bridging Scholarships for Study Abroad in Japan, Fall 2015

Jessica ALFORD   / Murray State University / Tenri University / Psychology; Japanese
Anthony ALLEGREZZA   / University of North Carolina, Charlotte / Sophia University / Japanese
Thomas BAHUN   / University of Southern Maine / Kanda University of Foreign Studies / History;
     Political Science
Chelsea BAILEY   / University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee / Seijo University / Public Relations
    (Oak Lawn Marketing Bridging Scholar
Sienna BATES / Brown University / Keio University / East Asian Studies
Grant BECKETT /University of Washington / Kyoto University / Business Administration; Japanese
Andrew BIESEMEYER / Northern Arizona University / Fukuoka University of Education /
Christopher BOYLE / Temple University / Temple University Japan / Advertising Research
    (Temple University Japan Campus Bridging Scholar)
Iliana BURGOS / University of Delaware / Akita International University / Comparative Literature
Vivian CHEN / Case Western Reserve University / Temple University Japan / International Studies
    (Temple University Japan Campus Bridging Scholar)
Jacqueline COLLIER / University of South Florida / Toyo University (ISEP) / International Studies
Courtney COLVIN / University of West Florida / Kansai Gaidai / International Studies
Dean DIXON / SUNY Buffalo / International Christian University / Computer Science
    (Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar)
Chantel FURBERT / University of Pittsburgh / Konan University / Japanese; Linguistics
Denpota FURUGAKI / Illinois College / Ritsumeikan University / International Studies
Isaac GOLDSTEIN / Lewis & Clark College / Osaka Gakuin (CET) / Mathematics
Jeffery GROSSO / University of Florida / Aoyama Gakuin / Computer Engineering; Japanese Studies
    (Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar)
Keita HARASAKI / Rutgers University / International Christian University / environmental policy
    (TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar)
Alexandra HARMEL / Maryland Institute College of Art / Osaka University of the Arts/ Printmaking;
    Art Education
Cheyanne HARRIS / University of the Pacific / Sophia University (CIEE) / Civil Engineering
Sarah HERENDEEN / Beloit College / Kansai Gaidai / Japanese
Matthew HIRANO / Whitman College / Doshisha University (AKP) / Biophysics; Biochemistry;
    Molecular Biology
Carrie HUBENY / University of Memphis / JF Oberlin University / Biomedical Engineering;
Jovon HUTCHINS / California State University, Monterey Bay / Toyo University / Japanese
Hannah JAMES / Ohio State University / Tenri University / Economics; Japanese
Mackenzie JENKINS / University of Alaska, Fairbanks / Tohoku University / chemistry
Sean JONES / Ohio State University / Waseda University / Japanese Studies
    (Oak Lawn Marketing Bridging Scholar)
Babatunji KAYODE / California State University, East Bay / Toyo University / Business
    Administration (Grondine Memorial Fund Bridging Scholar)
Justin KNIGHT / University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point / Dokkyo University / Computer Information
Matthew KOCH / University of Illinois / Konan University / East Asian Studies
/ Michigan State University / University of the Ryukyus / Biosystems
    Engineering; Japanese (Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar)
Michelle KRULEWITCH / Indiana University / Nanzan University / East Asian studies
Kelsey KUHL / Oakland University / Nanzan University / Environmental Science; Japanese
Meghan LEDBETTER / Western Michigan University / Keio University / Japanese
Daniel LEE / University of California, San Diego / Keio University / Computer Science
    (Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar)
Olivia LIAO / Ohio State University / University of Tsukuba / Logistics Management; Japanese
    (Oak Lawn Marketing Bridging Scholar)
Alexander LIU / University of Maryland / Keio University / Physics; Japanese
    (Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar)
Dustin LUU / University of Massachusetts, Amherst / Sophia University / Computer Science
Gabrielle MARGOCS /Austin College / IES Tokyo / Media Studies
Syed MATIN / Johns Hopkins University / Waseda University / International Studies; Political Science
    (TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar)
Hana McHALE / University of California, Davis / Waseda University / Linguistics; Japanese
Dayana MENDOZA / Hobart & William Smith / Japan Center for Michigan Universities / International
     Relations; Asian Studies
Nolan MILLER / Marshall University / Chukyo University / Japanese
Tara MORRISON / University of North Carolina, Charlotte / Nagoya University of Foreign Studies /
     Japanese Studies
Alyssa ORTON/ University of Oklahoma / Yamagata University / Linguistics
Micah PARSONS / Marshall University / Chukyo University / Sociology
Laura PENALVER / University of Arizona / Konan University / English; Global Studies
Briggs PIERCE / Rhode Island School of Design / Kyoto Seika University / Industrial Design
Adam REYNOLDS / Birmingham-Southern College / Kansai Gaidai / English; Asian Studies
Megan ROBINSON / Gonzaga University / Akita International University / Entrepreneurship; English
James ROCHEFORT / University of New Hampshire / Saitama University / Civil Engineering
    (Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar)
Martha RODAS-MUNOZ / Middle Tennessee State University / Kansai Gaidai / International Studies
Melanie RUHL / University of Florida / Aoyama Gakuin / Telecommunications; Japanese
    (TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar)
Gabriela SALGADO / Whittier College / JF Oberlin University / Asian and Latino Studies
    (TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar)
James SHERPA / University of Washington / Waseda University / Biochemistry
    (Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar)
Attiyya SKEETE / University of Georgia / Kyushu University / Biology; Japanese
    (Exxon Mobil Bridging Scholar)
Tiffany SPEARMAN / Eastern Michigan University / Japan Center for Michigan Universities /
Cherish SULLIVAN / University of Nevada, Reno / Kwansei Gakuin (USAC) / International Affairs
Lance SWEATT / Clemson University / Tohoku University / Engineering
    (Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar)
Olivia TASSINARI / Univ. of Redlands / Ryukoku University (Antioch Buddhist Studies) / Philosophy
Maly THAO / College of St. Benedict / Bunkyo Gakuin / Communication
Mindy TIEU / Olin College of Engineering / Sophia University (CIEE) / Mechanical Engineering
Rochisha TOGARE / University of Washington / University of Tokyo / Economics
    (Morgan Stanley Bridging Scholar)
Kim TRAN / University of Missouri, Columbia / Kwansei Gakuin / International Studies
Phuong TRAN / Ohio State University / Rikkyo University / Accounting; Japanese
Alexander UZZELL / Appalachian State University / Ritsumeikan University / Global Studies
Beth VANG / College of St. Benedict / Bunkyo Gakuin / Communication
Lily WATNIK / Rutgers University / International Christian University / Art History; East
    Asian Languages (TOMODACHI Bridging Scholar)
Blair WHALEN / Austin College / Nanzan University (IES Nagoya) / Psychology; East Asian
Joshua WHITE / Western Michigan University / Keio University / Computer Engineering; Applied
    Math; Japanese (Lockheed Martin Bridging Scholar)
Gabriel WILKINSON / University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee / KCP International / English; Japanese
Janet YING / University of California, Berkeley / Keio University / Political Economy
    (Oak Lawn Marketing Bridging Scholar)
Bruce ZHENG / Texas A & M University / Osaka University / Applied math; Computer Science
    (Morgan Stanley Bridging Scholar)