Our very own Haruka Takayama Hasegawa was recognized by UVA's Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC) for her generous contributions to the VISAS program. VISAS partners volunteers with international students, staff, and visiting scholars to foster support for international students and staff as well as cross-cultural learning that benefits all parties. We are not surprised, as Haruka is known within the department for her perpetual good cheer and kindness. The text from the VISAS article is quoted in full below:
Haruka Takayama Hasegawa is a PhD candidate in Economics from Kyushu, the sourthernmost of the four main islands of Japan. Haruka’s collegiate career began with her undergraduate studies at Japan’s Kobe University where she focused on development economics. After graduating, Haruka worked as a consultant in Tokyo before moving to the U.S. to earn a master’s degree at Boston University. Along the way, she decided to shift her focus to international trade and returned to Tokyo to work in foreign affairs. Here in Charlottesville, Haruka continues her focus on international trade in pursuit of her doctorate. Haruka became involved with VISAS her first year at UVa, in 2015, working with ESL Assistants in her CAELC ESL classes. Haruka quickly developed as a leader and, in 2016, took on the role as a panelist for the “Teaching as a Graduate Student” workshop series that welcomes and helps acclimate new international TAs to the university. Through these efforts, Haruka has used her insight to help many international students overcome the challenges she faced when she was a new international graduate student in the U.S. This year, in addition to continuing her efforts as a panelist, Haruka has become involved with the Language Consultant (LC) program. She meets with her LC, Mae, on a weekly basis to practice English speaking and learn about different aspects of the U.S. and university culture. Hoping to pursue an academic career in the U.S., Haruka truly appreciates everything she can learn from Mae about the U.S. undergraduate student life, from football games and March Madness to academics and everyday activities. We are sincerely grateful and honored to have gotten to know Haruka and to have her as a member of the VISAS family.