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CCU staffer named S.C.'s first Rotary World Peace Fellow

March 27, 2008

Hiroyoshi "Hiro" Hiratsuka of Conway has been named a World Peace Fellow by the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution. Hiratsuka, who works at Coastal Carolina University as an nternational programs coordinator and as a lecturer of Japanese, will study at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan, beginning in September 2008 as part of a two-year program leading to a master's degree in peace studies. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Conway, he is the first South Carolina resident to be awarded a World Peace Fellowship.

A native of Chiba, Japan, Hiratsuka earned a bachelor's degree in international studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey and a master's degree in international education from the School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vt. His professional experience includes serving as international internship coordinator at the University of Diusburg-Essen in Germany and group leader of the Freeman Asia Japan Teacher Training program in Vermont.

Launched by Rotary International in 2002, this graduate-level program is aimed at equipping the next generation of government officials, diplomats and humanitarian leaders with skills to reduce the threat of war and violence. Each year up to 60 Rotary World Peace Fellowships are offered globally in a competitive process based on professional, academic and personal achievements.

Course work at the Rotary Centers focuses on preventing and resolving conflict by addressing its root causes, i.e., responding to hunger with food security, disease with health care, illiteracy with education, and poverty with sustainable development. After graduating from the program, Hiratsuka plans to work in post-conflict community projects sponsored by the United Nations and other international organizations. His long-range goal is to return to international education and put his experience to use teaching at the university level.

"I am honored to be a recipient of this fellowship, which gives me the opportunity to help address global issues that are of deep personal concern to me," says Hiratsuka. "It will allow me to fulfill my pledge to my grandparents not to repeat the atrocities of the past and to work toward world peace."