VIA Programs Updates

Issue #5 - November 2016

Healthcare Workshop in Tokyo

This November, VIA hosted over 60 medical students, interpreters, and physicians at the University of Tokyo for “Creating the Physician Leader,” a two-day workshop co-led by Dr. J Andrew Chacko, Medical Director at the Palo Alto Veteran’s Affairs Hospital. This unique educational experience provided a safe, creative, and highly interactive space for attendees to discover what it takes to become an effective medical leader in the 21st century. Drawing on design thinking methodology, the workshop included brainstorming, team-building, and mindfulness activities, in addition to a stimulating look at the important role that critical role that effective teamwork plays in driving positive treatment outcomes for patients. Afterward, attendees joined Dr. Chacko and VIA staff for further conversation and cultural exchange over a delicious Japanese meal.

Christy's Recruitment Trip Updates

Christy, VIA's Cross-cultural & Leadership Programs Director, shares updates on her recruitment trip to Asia.


It has been an exciting time reconnecting with ALC, GLE, ESI & DSI alums during this recruitment season. However, staff were not the only ones recruiting! This year, we made available resources for alums to hold their own information sessions at their university and share their personal program experiences.


Yocky Luan from GLE SVP Summer 2015 held a session at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and said "it felt great to share my experience."


Sau Ching Choi from GLE SVP Summer 2016 held a session at Lingnan University. We also had two members from GLE Bangkok Summer 2016, Vu & Ngoc, hold a session at Tra Vinh University.

Leading Gay Rights Activist to Join January Program in Indonesia

Dede Oetomo will join the program as an instructor during our Gender and Conflict Studies course in Yogyakarta and Bali this January. This nine day program for graduate students uses gender as a lens to explore conflict, civic engagement, violence, development, and justice.


Check out a recent New York Times profile on Dede below.

Thanksgiving in Myanmar

Five generations of VIA fellows and alumnae gathered last week in Yangon to celebrate Thanksgiving and share updates on what they are working on at schools, NGOs, and social enterprises across the country.


Their comments on the day: We're thankful for the eye-opening and heart-warming experiences we've had in Myanmar and the community of support we have with each other.

The Next Revolution in Teacher Training

Patrick shares an inspiring story from a long-term friend of VIA.


Hla Hla Win took me on a long walk across NASA’s Mountain View campus on a blustery afternoon a few weeks ago. VIA has been connected to Hla Hla through our work at the Pre-collegiate Program (PCP) In Yangon, Myanmar. VIA has been sending teachers since 2006 to this groundbreaking program whose mission is to, “create a society of educated innovators, leaders, and change-makers who solve important challenges in Myanmar and beyond.”


After Hla Hla finished at PCP she did her undergraduate work in the US and then returned to Myanmar to work for a number of schools and NGOs. Fresh off of another degree in the US, this time at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, she’s diving straight into the next big challenge.


Hla Hla is the co-founder of Teachers’ Learning Lab which aims to use virtual reality as a tool to train teachers across the world on best practices. In particular, she aims to help teachers make their classrooms more student-centered and supportive of critical thinking. Her organization is a part of Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program which aims to develop programs and organizations which will impact a billion people within 10 years.

VIA Alums Launch Unity Now

Inspired by their program in China and Hong Kong in 2015, three American Youth Leadership Program alums have launched Unity Now, a chapter-based student movement to build cultural understanding across the world.

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