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NMC Sends Student Representative to Okinawa Exchange Program (October 8, 2008)

To further promote the exchange of knowledge and experience between the College and its Pacific Rim counterparts, the Northern Marianas College will be sending a student representative to Okinawa to participate in an exchange program designed to advance regional dialogue.

Charmaine Hofschneider, NMC sophomore, will be traveling to Japan from October 8-15 to participate in the Okinawa-Pacific Educational Network Initiative (OPENI). The program aims to provide students from the Pacific region with opportunities to learn about various economic, social, and environmental issues in Okinawa through field trips and exchange activities with local students.

“I’m excited to be meeting and learning from many other students with diverse backgrounds,” said Hofschneider. “While I look forward to sharing many of our issues with them, I also anticipate that I’ll bringing back a wealth of new knowledge that I can share with others here.”

This year’s exchange program will focus particularly on environmental and energy issues. Included on the agenda are meetings with environmental specialists and utility representatives as well as visits to a desalination center, a landfill project, and a river dam. “The focus of this year’s program is very timely and relevant espe cially for the CNMI,” said NMC President Dr. Carmen Fernandez. “We are extremely proud of Charmaine ” we are confident she will make a great ambassador of the College.”

The OPENI Program is funded by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and administered by the Center of Asian Pacific Island Studies at the University of Ryukyus in Okinawa. In addition to the Northern Marianas College, the University of Guam, the Guam Community College, the College of the Federated States of Micronesia, the College of the Marshall Islands, and Palau Community College will also be sending student representatives.

Hofschneider will be accompanied by Bonnie Royal of the College’s Cooperative Research, Extension and Education Service (CREES) department.

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