Marshallese and Kosraean named APIC graduate scholars


TOKYO—A senior Marshallese government environmental officer and a Kosraean state budget official have been selected to receive full scholarships from the Association for Promotion of International Cooperation to study at Sophia University’s Graduate School of Environmental Studies in Tokyo.

Tamae Waguk of Kosrae and Rufus M. Lajkit of the Marshall Islands will begin studying this fall toward a master’s degree in environmental studies.

The graduate scholarship program is in partnership with APIC, the non- profit Micronesian Conservation Trust, and Sophia University.

This is the second year that the graduate scholarship is being offered.

“The young leaders who are chosen for the APIC graduate scholarship will play a critical role in assisting their countries adapt to rising sea levels and climate change,” said Ambassador Peter Sato, president of APIC.

APIC also sponsors full-ride scholarships for two Xavier High School graduates a year to attend Sophia University.

“Graduate work in environmental studies at Sophia University focuses on real problems faced by the countries of our students. This is part of the graduate school’s vision that graduate work must integrate theory and practice and all research must be interdisciplinary and focus on place and context specific, ecologically, economically and culturally relevant solution building. It is our hope that Tamae Waguk of Kosrae and Rufus Lajkit of Marshall Islands will be instilled by the vision of the university’s founding fathers and with knowledge sets built through their studies at Sophia University contribute to their local communities in the Pacific as drivers of change towards sustainable future for all,” said Professor Anne McDonald of the Graduate School of Environmental Studies.

“The best investment in Micronesia’s future is to support the education of our young conservation champions and future leaders. We feel this is the best way to sustain our programs moving forward,” said Willy Kostka, executive director of the Micronesian Conservation Trust, which is based in Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Micronesian Conservation Trust’s Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship Program is also supporting the graduate students selected for this initiative. APIC and MCT are keen on supporting this initiative effort to build the capacity of Micronesia’s young emerging conservation leaders and filling gaps in natural resource management expertise.

Waguk earned a BBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Guam in 2016, and also studied at the College of Micronesia-FSM on Pohnpei.

Lajkit studied at the College of the Marshall Islands, then transferred to the University of Hawaii-Hilo where he earned a BA in Geography.

The 2017 APIC Graduate Scholarship recipients are Bertha Reyuw of Yap and Bradford Mori of Chuuk, both in the Federated States of Micronesia.

APIC is a Tokyo-based foundation that strengthens relations between Japan and nations in the Caribbean and Pacific. For more information, visit:

The Micronesia Conservation Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing enduring partnerships that conserve the land and sea to improve quality of life for communities across Micronesia. More information can be found at

Sophia University opened its doors in Tokyo in 1913, making it the oldest Roman Catholic university in Japan. More information can be found at (PR)

Press Release
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