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JCMU Receives High Honors, and Forms New Partnership

Published: Wednesday, 31 Mar 2010
Author: Katie Walquist
Department: Japan Center for Michigan Universities

EAST LANSING, Mich. --The Japan Center for Michigan Universities, administered by Michigan State University since 1989, has been recognized for its original program design with an International Award for Innovation in Higher Education.

One of four awards given by the University Design Consortium at Arizona State University, the title honors JCMU for its distinct professionally-focused programs in environmental science, health care and hospitality business.

JCMU is a consortium of 15 public universities in Michigan seeking to create a more sustainable and successful study abroad experience for Michigan students in Japan. Working with Michigan's sister-state, Shiga Prefecture, the universities created a facility in Hikone, building instructional capacity to effectively educate undergraduate and graduate students in Japanese language and studies, including history, religion, politics, geography, environmental studies and cultural studies. In 20 years, JCMU has grown to offer programs throughout the year, including year and semester-long programs, summer semesters, short programs in May and culture/career hybrid programs.

Since the launch of JCMU with its language and culture core, the programming has been strengthened and expanded to include an array of professional elective courses ranging from comparative health care to environmental science and hospitality business, interfaced with unique internship opportunities in Japan," said Dawn Pysarchik, MSU associate dean for International Studies and Programs.

The award was accepted by Rene Stewart O'Neal of MSU Office of Provost on March 8 at the American Council on Education's 92nd Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.

With a new agreement in the works, JCMU's programs will continue to expand opportunities for students after they graduate. A new scholarship agreement was recently established with Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). Each year MIIS will award two two-year scholarships of $12,000 per year to JCMU alumni to attend MIIS in preparation for graduate work in international business, professional translation, international policy, language teaching or Foreign Service.

We are continually impressed with the number of JCMU students who have subsequently gone on to work in American companies doing business in Japan as well as Japanese companies," Pysarchik said. Over 2,500 students have engaged in JCMU programs in the past, with alumni working in positions in the White House, Japanese Consulate and other multinational companies or high profile positions.

For photographs from the event, visit the ASU University Design Consortium website, or for more information visit JCMU.