Thursday, September 03, 2015

UTSA and Japan's Kumamoto University sign agreement of cooperation

Kumamoto University signing
Kumamoto University

Top photo: At the UTSA-Kumamoto University signing ceremony are (from left) Julius Gribou, UTSA executive vice provost and senior international officer; Kumamoto University President Isao Taniguchi; Naoko Shirane, senior adviser to the State of Texas for Japan; UTSA President Ricardo Romo; and Consul General Tsutomu Osawa. (Photo by Mark McClendon)
Bottom photo: UTSA architecture students and Kumamoto University students at Kumamoto Castle in summer 2009
>> Watch a news video on the Kumamoto University agreement (KSAT-TV, 9/3/2010).

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(Sept. 7, 2010)--The University of Texas at San Antonio and Kumamoto University have entered into an agreement of cooperation to establish a program of exchange and collaboration. UTSA President Ricardo Romo and Kumamoto University President Isao Taniguchi signed the agreement in a Sept. 3 ceremony at UTSA. The agreement is the result of UTSA's efforts to expand its global network in support of the university's strategic plan, UTSA 2016.

Mitsuo Morozumi, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Kumamoto University, and Toshihiro Oyamo, assistant manager of the university's International Affairs Office, also traveled from Japan for the event.

The agreement enhances a longstanding relationship between San Antonio and Kumamoto City, which signed a sister-city agreement in 1987. The Kumamoto En Japanese Garden at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, for example, was constructed in 1989 as a gift from San Antonio's sister city in Japan. There have been numerous visits involving city officials, citizens and youth groups between the two cities over the years. In 2009, 10 UTSA architecture students visited Kumamoto during a two-week summer trip to Japan led by Taeg Nishimoto of the UTSA College of Architecture.

"Kumamoto is a beautiful city and a great place for exchange because it's comparable in size to San Antonio and visitors can get a real Japanese experience there," said John Frederick, UTSA provost and vice president for academic affairs. Frederick traveled to Kumamoto in October 2009 to participate in an international college presidential forum hosted by Taniguchi and also to promote collaboration between the two universities.

"Kumamoto University is, in many ways, an ideal partner for us," Frederick continued. "It's a fabulous university with strengths in areas that are relevant to UTSA's own academic strengths and interests."

While in San Antonio, the delegation from Kumamoto University visited with representatives from UTSA's colleges of Architecture, Education and Human Development, Engineering and Public Policy.

In addition to several UTSA administrators, also in attendance at the signing ceremony were Consul General Tsutomu Osawa of the Consulate of Japan in Houston; Beth Costello, international affairs director for the City of San Antonio; and Naoko Shirane, senior adviser to the State of Texas for Japan. Shirane was instrumental in developing the sister-city program in 1987, and her efforts to promote cultural and economic ties with Japan also laid the groundwork for Toyota's decision in 2003 to open an assembly plant in San Antonio.

Kumamoto University has more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, including 345 international students from 44 countries.

At UTSA, the establishment of the East Asia Institute in 2008 has helped promote Japan, its language and culture in San Antonio. More than 250 UTSA students study the Japanese language every year, and 29 UTSA students have participated in study-abroad programs in Japan since 2007. Currently, approximately 40 students from Japan are studying at UTSA.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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