May 30, 2018
On May 23, two first generation APU alumnae and the inaugural president of APU returned to inspire the next generation of student leaders enrolled in Introduction to Peer Leader Training. This class for recently matriculated first semester students introduces interpersonal and study skills useful to making the most of APU’s multicultural campus. These students will one day become the TA’s, RA’s, and other leaders that will guide future students.
The session began with inaugural APU President Kazuichi Sakamoto giving a brief talk on the foundation of APU and the university’s importance to the region and the world. APU alumna Maiko Doke (’04 APS, ’06 GSAM) followed with how APU led to her internship at the United Nations and current position at a leading educational firm in Japan. Phuong Miyajima (’04 APS, ’06 GSAM) discussed her time in the first cohort of APU students and role as a TA, as well as the experiencing of forming her own media production company.
After speaking separately, the three remarkable individuals came together for a short panel discussion. The two alumnae spoke about the difficulties of being away from their families, and in Miyajima’s case, her home country. The panel also discussed APU at the time of the university’s founding, and what it was like being at the new university.
In a Q&A session held later, it was mentioned that Japan had around 500 universities, and APU was founded with the idea of creating a completely different institution. Because APU was a new environment, the first group of students had a real sense of adventure that continues to the present day. APU gave students the chance to create themselves in a way never before imagined.
Introduction to Peer Leader Training is offered every semester to incoming students. It mixes both domestic and international students in an instruction and discussion based learning environment that gives students the skills needed not only to succeed, but to lead and inspire others in APU’s diverse student body.