Student and faculty delegation to visit Japan



Interdisciplinary group of students and faculty invited to meet with officials, industry leaders

KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb 27, 2017) — A delegation of Kennesaw State University graduate students and faculty members representing programs in three academic colleges will tour some of Japan’s historic sites and meet with government officials and business leaders during a visit paid by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They will depart March 4 and return March 12.

The delegation of 21 students and four faculty members from Kennesaw State’s Coles College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and University College will join counterparts from 19 other U.S. universities who have been invited by the Japan International Cooperation Center to participate in the Kakehashi Project. The grant to Kennesaw State is valued at $125,000.

“The invitation from the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta for Kennesaw State to participate in this project is a great honor and a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Heeman Kim, Asian Studies coordinator and associate professor of communication. “It comes as a result of the great reputation Kennesaw State has earned through the growth of the Symposium on Asian-USA Partnership Opportunities (SAUPO), the Southeast’s largest Asia business conference.”

Through interdisciplinary collaboration among the three university colleges, graduate students in five programs —Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Information Systems, Master of Public Administration, Master of Integrated Global Communication, and Ph.D. in International Conflict Management — will travel with 50 MBA students from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

“This is an exemplary effort of interdisciplinary, cross-college collaboration at KSU,” said Kim, who also praised the support of the three school deans, the head of the University’s Division of Global Affairs and the coordinator of SAUPO. “Thanks to their support, our students will have this exceptional experience, as well as a chance to network with peers from two outstanding institutions that also share a commitment to leadership in global education.”

Members of the delegation will meet with officials of the ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, as well as local officials in Tokyo, Kanazana and Kaga. They will observe regional industries through visits to several manufacturing companies in the three regions, to a sake brewery, a miso and fermented foods maker and with companies like Toyota and Socick Co. Ltd, makers of 3-D printing machines. In addition, they will experience Japanese culture through visits to the revered Kenko-ji Temple, observation of snow monkeys in their natural habitat, and a stay at a traditional Japanese-style ryokan (inn).

Along with Kim, faculty participants are Michael Maloni, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship; Shelbee NguyenVogas, assistant professor of education; Jeff Chastine, interim associate dean of Kennesaw State’s Graduate College.

The following students are members of the delegation to Japan:

  • D. INCM - Dlorah Jenkins; Shea Holland and Jia Min;
  • MAIGC - Jared Winston; Marlaina Williams, Meghan de St.Aubin, Chauntrell Brewer and Brianna Gainey;
  • MPA - Harrison Milne;
  • MBA and MSIS - Ali Bibonge, Anna Shakhnovsky, Chukwuma P. Obiekwe, Crystal Chipman, Daniel John Hesketh, Holly McCormick, JoEtta LeSueur, Kam Ping Yung, Kenneth Jason Duarte, Lisa Little, Raccine Young, Sylidia Italiano.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit