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JSPS-US Alumni Association Launch

On 25 September, a meeting was convened of the preparatory committee's executive board to formally establish the US JSPS Fellows Alumni Association.

On 13 March, 34 former JSPS fellows had met to set up the preparatory committee for establishing an alumni association in the United States. At that meeting, they divided the US into five regions and elected a representative from each. These five people formed the executive board of the preparatory committee. From among them were elected the board's chair and vice-chair.

This time, a quorum of four board members met at JSPS's Washington Office. At the meeting, opening remarks were delivered by the chair Dr. Blanca Chattin-Kacouris and a welcome message was given by newly appointed Washington Office director Prof. Akira Masaike. A discussion followed on the formulation of the alumni group's new articles of association.

The Washington Office had prepared a draft of the articles of association and previously circulated it to the board members, who in turn forwarded the draft and an inquiry to former fellows in their respective regions. The members, then, brought the results of those inquiries with them to the September preparatory meeting. At the meeting, they engaged in a lively exchange of views on the content and wording of each article. Through this earnest discussion, which ended up extending the scheduled meeting time, a consensus was ultimately reached. The articles of association established the name of the association, its objects, its nation-wide organization, membership eligibility, and executive committee composition. It also mandated that the executive board of the preparatory committee would, without alteration, be the executive committee of the association upon its inauguration.

As the new executive committee, the members then turned their attention to organizing a symposium to kick off the new association's menu of activities. It was decided to get started with preparations for holding the symposium within the year and to invite a guest speaker from Japan to address it.

Finally, a ceremony, held in the presence of Prof. Masaike, formally established the US JSPS Fellows Alumni Association through the signing by the executive committee members of its just-agreed-upon articles of association.

This meeting, held from beginning to end in a spirited yet amicable atmosphere, was also attended by the staffs of JSPS's Washington and San Francisco Offices

The members of the association's executive committee are as follows:

  • Dr. Blanca Chattin-Kacouris (Chair, Midwest)
  • Dr. Wael Zatar, West Virginia University Institute of Technology (Vice-chair, Southeast)
  • Dr. Rezwanul Wahid, University of Maryland, Baltimore (Northeast)
  • Dr. Daniel Weeks, Los Alamos National Laboratory (Southwest)
  • Dr. Roger M. Jones, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (West)