During the 2nd Joint Commission Meeting of the Working Group on Education in Bali, July 22-24, 2011 attended by high ranking officials of the Indonesian and U.S. governments, alumni representatives and current grantees of the U.S. Government scholarship programs were invited for a round table discussion attended by both delegations.
The alumni and grantees shared their life changing experience of participating in the exchange programs. The American grantees related how their impression significantly changed towards Indonesia after they arrived, got settled and met with the Indonesians. The same is true with the Indonesian program alumni who have a very different view of the U.S. after they got immersed in the community while they were in the U.S. Both groups found their living outside their country have significantly changed their world outlook in a positive way. In addition, the Indonesian grantees have acquired the skills and ideas which they hope could be implemented for the betterment of their workplace and community. They all stated that they would and have shared their experience and newly acquired knowledge with their friends and community in Indonesia.
The Fulbright program returnee invited to participante in the roundtable discussion is I Nyoman Aryawibawa who earned his Ph.D.in Linguistics from the University of Kansas in 2010. He is a faculty member at Udayana University and upon his return has also been assigned to be a staff member of the newly established International Office in the University. The current American Fulbright grantee participating is Rebecca Sandidge who is a Ph.D. student candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. She is conducting research on “Ants of Komodo Island: Patterns in Distribution and Diversity” with the aim of studying the type of ant species and their distribution in relation to vegetation type and altitude.
One AMINEF administered program participant also participated in the discussion. She is Meutia Herlina, Community College Initiative Program alumn, who spent time pursuing her Associate Degree at Kirkwood Community College. Grantees of the other US Department of State programs are Emily Jenkins and Andrew Calvert of the Critical Language Scholarship, and Truong Nguyen and Abdul Mukhid of the Peace Corps sponsored program, and Haeril Halim and Luh Virsa Paradissa who are grantees of the Indonesia English Language Study Program.
After listening to the grantees’ insights, Deputy Ministry of Education, Fasli Jalal, invited the alums and grantees to share their opinion on what both countries could do to improve this exchange program. All strongly suggested that the number of grantees should be increased considering the impact of the program to the grantees and their communities. They also suggested that information on the programs be disseminated to the remote areas because people there should also be able to participate in the programs.
The Indonesian delegation to the meeting are, among others, Deputy Minister of National Education Fasli Jalal, Director General of Higher Education Djoko Santoso, and Director for Human Resources Development of the Directorate General of Higher Education Supriadi Rustad.
The US delegation to the Education Working Group are, among others, US Assistant Secretary Ann Stock, Deputy Assistant Secretary Alina Romanowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary Andre Lewis, Senior Policy Advisor David Plack, Branch Chief East Asia Pacific Matthew McMahon, Peace Corps Chief of Operations David Burgess, USAID Mission Director Jakarta Walter North, USAID Director of Education Jakarta Margaret Sancho, Peace Corps Indonesia Director Betsy Vegso, US Embassy Public Affairs Officers Don Q. Washington, AMINEF Executive Director Michael E. McCoy, and Regional Educational Advising Coordinator South East Asia Jonathan Lembright.
4nd from left: A/S Ann Stock, 6th from left: Deputy Minister Fasli Jalal; 2nd from right: Fulbrighter I Nyoman Aryawibawa; 3rd from right: CCIP Mutia Herlina
USG Alumni and Grantees at the roundtable discussion
USG delegation incl. AMINEF Executive Director Michael E. McCoy
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