Kapiʻolani Community College Director of Resource Development Brandon Marc Higa has been selected to participate as a fellow in the U.S.–ASEAN University Connections Initiative (UCI). The White House initiative will bring together 50 leaders from diverse colleges and universities in the United States and eight ASEAN member countries for a series of virtual and in-person training designed to foster sustainable international academic partnerships and the two-way exchange of students, scholars and researchers between U.S. and Southeast Asian higher education institutions.
“The UCI fellowship is a timely opportunity to align Kapiʻolani’s international partnerships in the ASEAN region with capacity building funding opportunities to prepare the next generation of global leaders,” Higa said. “World Learning is providing an extraordinary opportunity to directly contribute to U.S. President Joseph Biden’s White House Initiative launching the U.S.–ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership through people-to-people diplomacy supporting key priorities for the University of Hawaiʻi in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The U.S.–ASEAN University Connections Initiative is administered through the U.S. Department of State’s Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Program, which builds U.S. colleges and universities’ capacity to engage in global partnerships and study abroad programming aligned with U.S. foreign policy goals.
“Brandon Marc’s participation in the UCI Fellowship raises the profile of the University of Hawaiʻi as a destination for study abroad partnerships with higher education institutions based in the ASEAN region,” said Kelli Nakamura, associate professor of history and principal investigator of the IDEAS Grant. “Kapiʻolani CC students and faculty have already benefited from Brandon Marc’s network at the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as they consider applying for nationally competitive study abroad scholarships. He has been critical in providing institutional and student support to promote study-abroad initiatives and is an invaluable colleague who is passionate about supporting international education.”
The fellowship was limited to grantees from the State Department’s 2022 IDEAS Grant program, which was awarded in the fall to Higa’s project, Militourism and Indigenous Identities in Hawaiʻi and Okinawa, that promotes study abroad and U.S. foreign policy interests through a week-long summer institute as part of a redesigned Ethnic Studies 101 course.