TOKYO – Ms. Elchung Gladys Hideyos of Palau was recently awarded a
Master’s Degree in Global Environmental Studies from Sophia University. She excelled
during her two years of study in Tokyo, earning the highest marks of any student from
the Micronesi region who has attended the historic Jesuit university as an APIC-Sophia
University-Micronesia Conservation Trust Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholar.
Hideyos’ thesis examined the role of women in fisheries management, conservation
and policy in Palau.
Professor Anne McDonald of Sophia University’s Graduate School of Global
Environmental Studies praised Hideyos for her[olarship and commitment as a graduate
student. “Your work was academically brilliant but done with heart and love of your
country and people. I know you will go on to do great things for Palau and Micronesia,
attaining goals you might never thought were possible, but are! You have what it takes
to make a difference in the world. In fact, you’ve already started,” McDonald said.
Hideyos began her advanced studies shortly before the global novel coronavirus
pandemic led to a series of emergency decrees in Tokyo. She completed her studies
with a mix of traditional classroom work and remote learning via a computer from her
dormitory room. Hideyos earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies in
2018 from Chaminade University in Honolulu.
Hideyos said she was thankful for the opportunity to study in Japan. “Even with
the challenges I faced in the last two years, I would say that this experience has opened
my mind and humbled me. I learned a lot and was able to make connections with
people from around the world, which is amazing being from such a small island country
in the Pacific. I’m very grateful for this opportunity that was created for us Micronesian
graduates,” she said.
Four graduate students from the Micronesia-region are studying at the Tokyo
university on an APIC-Sophia University-Micronesia Conservation Trust Scholarship.
Five students, including Hideyos, have graduated with master’s degrees. The highly
competitive scholarship is funded by Sophia University, the Association for Promotion of
International Cooperation, a Tokyo-based private foundation, and the Micronesia
Conservation Trust’s Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Fund. This is the
fourth year that the all-expenses-paid scholarships are being offered.
APIC, Sophia University and MCT partner to select current professionals from
the Micronesia region to pursue graduate level degrees. Sophia University has
committed to providing full tuition scholarships, APIC covers travel, room and board and
a monthly allowance, and MCT, through the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge
Scholarship Fund, covers the cost of internships for the scholars.
The Scholarship aims to produce professionals who contribute to the
development of effective conservation of Micronesia’s biodiversity, climate change
adaptation and mitigation, among other environmental issues contributing to the
promotion of sustainable livelihoods across the region. The scholars focus on
developing leadership and technical skills and/or majors that enhance their ability to
carry out work in conservation, climate adaptation and sustainable development in
Micronesia. So far all the student scholars have returned to their home countries and
assumed leading positions in the workforce.

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