Job Opening: Manager, Asia Campus Master of Public Health Program, University of Utah

job opening - 5Institution: University of Utah
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posted: 11/14/2016
Type: Full Time
Requisition Number: PRN12881B

Job Summary:
This individual will be responsible for managing projects in relation to the educational programs for the MPH programs at University of Utah Asia (UA) including leading recruitment efforts, marketing and advising for the Division of Public Health (MPH). The program manager will provide internal and external customer service to potential and current students, staff, faculty and other visitors.
This position may require regular travel between Utah and Korea.


  • Devise a sustainable recruitment and marketing plan that outlines financial support required for success.
  • Meet and advise potential students who drop-in inquiring about degree offerings (advise on degree requirements, expectations, registration requirements, deadlines, and the Division and University of Utah policies and regulations).
  • Address inquiries regarding admissions in person and via email; general information about the Program, Division/University requirements and deadlines, programs of study, and career opportunities.
  • Attend appropriate local and national professional meetings; assist in all aspects of the exhibit booths; coordinate recruiting and marketing materials for these meetings.

Marketing/External communications

  • Assist with maintaining information on Division website, newsletters, brochures, and other related marketing materials requested by Academic Manager.
  • Assist with social media and presence at the UA.


  • Meet and advise, counsel and track current University of Utah Asia Campus Master of Public Health (MPH) students Provide current information on degree requirements, expectations, registration requirements, deadlines, schedules, and the Division and University of Utah policies and regulations).May possibly advise potential joint degree students and certificate students as well.
  • Continually review, monitor, evaluate and maintain current student records/files to determine status for completion of degree program requirements.
  • Provide students with current and upcoming schedules; registration advising, and distribution of permission codes.


  • Track paperwork and progress. Assist students with questions and coordinate with practicum coordinator in Utah.
  • Assist in developing new practicum sites.
  • Promote and publicize opportunities.


  • Provide information and services related to career advising. Search and disseminate local, national and international job opportunities.
  • Coordinate career center services and communicate student and career job opportunities.
  • Coordinate meetings with local businesses interested in hiring graduates.


  • Coordinate the “New Student Orientation” with feedback from Academic Manager prepare handouts, docket, and assigned advisors for appropriate programs.
  • Assist with providing potential Division/Program graduate information to the Academic Manager; assist in preparing student’s graduation forms.
  • Answer the University of Asia Public Health mainline, greet and assist customers, and unlocking and locking up the Division of Public Health area, and other assigned areas during.
  • Act as supporting liaison between campuses.
  • Support administrative functions such as planning and attending meetings, taking meeting minutes, as well as support faculty course support.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field plus two years of related experience or equivalency. Demonstrated human relations and effective communication skills also required.

Full description on

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Fun Link Friday: Videos of Japan’s Traditional Artisans

Maybe it’s because of my research, maybe because I love art, or maybe because making things with your hands is so dang cool, but I am totally obsessed with a YouTube playlist recently highlighted by Open Culture on production processes of Japan’s artisans.

On the “手技TEWAZAシリーズ” (Tezawa Series) playlist, tezawa roughly translating to “hand technique” or “hand craft,” twenty videos are linked that showcase the amazing skills of Japan’s traditional artisans. The subjects range from fine pattern dyeing of the Edo period to techniques for making carving knives originating in the sixteenth century. Each video, about three to five minutes long, is totally mesmerizing and has wonderful production value, so I suggest you block out some time in your internet rabbit hole schedule to enjoy these. If you need convincing, just check out the Kanazawa gold leaf video below! The full list can be found here.

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Book Announcement: Right Thoughts at the Last Moment: Buddhism and Deathbed Practices in Early Medieval Japan

9780824856434 Via the University of Hawai’i Press.

Right Thoughts at the Last Moment: Buddhism and Deathbed Practices in Early Medieval Japan

616pp. November 2016
Cloth – Price: $68.00
ISBN: 978-0-8248-5643-4

Buddhists across Asia have often aspired to die with a clear and focused mind, as the historical Buddha himself is said to have done. This book explores how the ideal of dying with right mindfulness was appropriated, disseminated, and transformed in premodern Japan, focusing on the late tenth through early fourteenth centuries. By concentrating one’s thoughts on the Buddha in one’s last moments, it was said even an ignorant and sinful person could escape the cycle of deluded rebirth and achieve birth in a buddha’s pure land, where liberation would be assured. Conversely, the slightest mental distraction at that final juncture could send even a devout practitioner tumbling down into the hells or other miserable rebirth realms. The ideal of mindful death thus generated both hope and anxiety and created a demand for ritual specialists who could act as religious guides at the deathbed. Buddhist death management in Japan has been studied chiefly from the standpoint of funerals and mortuary rites. Right Thoughts at the Last Moment investigates a largely untold side of that story: how early medieval Japanese prepared for death, and how desire for ritual assistance in one’s last hours contributed to Buddhist preeminence in death-related matters. It represents the first book-length study in a Western language to examine how the Buddhist ideal of mindful death was appropriated in a specific historical context.
Practice for one’s last hours occupied the intersections of multiple, often disparate approaches that Buddhism offered for coping with death. Because they crossed sectarian lines and eventually permeated all social levels, deathbed practices afford insights into broader issues in medieval Japanese religion, including intellectual developments, devotional practices, pollution concerns, ritual performance, and divisions of labor among religious professionals. They also allow us to see beyond the categories of “old” versus “new” Buddhism, or establishment Buddhism versus marginal heterodoxies, which have characterized much scholarship to date. Enlivened by cogent examples, this study draws on a wealth of sources including ritual instructions, hagiographies, doctrinal writings, didactic tales, courtier diaries, historical records, letters, and relevant art historical material to explore the interplay of doctrinal ideals and on-the-ground practice.

11 color, 1 b&w illustrations

Studies in East Asian Buddhism Series
Published in association with the Kuroda Institute

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Fun Link Friday: Rocks with Faces

Sorry for the lag in Fun Link Fridays lately, everybody! Last weekend I was traveling to Chicago to present at a workshop on The Impact of the Digital on Japanese Studies (more to come on Japanese Studies and digital humanities soon!).

Is an Elvis rock a really good pun or a bad one?

Is an Elvis rock a really good pun or a bad one?

This week is also a bit hectic, so here’s a quickie fun link– a museum in Japan dedicated entirely to rocks that look like they have faces. Yes. This is a thing. Colossal recently posted an article  on the Chinsekikan (literally “hall of unusual rocks”) in Chichibu, Japan, where Yoshiko Hayama and her late husband have gathered over 1,700 rocks that look like they’ve got faces. They even name them! Think you might have a good name for one? They sometimes let visitors name the rocks, so you’d better get out there to stare into the rock void– it stares back.

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Resource: Okinawa Hai!

Okinawa Hai! is one of a series of websites aimed, primarily, at helping US military families settle in, find their way around, and otherwise make the most of life in Okinawa, Germany, Korea, or Turkey, with the tagline “Helping you go from ‘Overseas? Yikes!’ to ‘Overseas? Yes!’.” That said, a great many of the posts can apply to the rest of us as well.

Those I have personally found most helpful are guides to local restaurants & other establishments, and to historical sites and other tourist sites, as well as monthly guides to local events. As I write this, some of the most recent posts include a guide to July 2016 local events, one on Aeon Shopping Mall, and one on visiting Cape Hedo. Again, many of these are written from the viewpoint of assuming that one is living not in Naha, but in some other part of the island, with driving directions often beginning at the gates of one of the bases.

Similarly, looking through their posts about looking for housing, I was a bit surprised and disappointed to find no blog posts for Naha at all; of course, most of these posts are going to be aimed at whole families on a military income, and not for the single grad student on a limited budget looking for a small apartment, but even so, if you’re an ethnographer coming to Okinawa with your whole family, you may find their “off-base housing” posts for Okinawa City, Gushikawa and Uruma, Yomitan, Chatan, etc. helpful. There is also a nice, lengthy post for getting started, which links to other posts on moving, finding housing, setting up phone and internet, renting a car, getting an international or Japanese driver’s license, finding a place of worship, finding things to do with the kids, and so on and so forth.

The Shuri skyline.

There are also a number of related posts on the basic logistics of living in Japan which I think may be of more general relevance for our Shinpai Deshou readers, including posts on paying bills in Japan, moving on-island within Okinawa Island, how to clean your Japanese air conditioner, how to know which kind of milk you’re buying, a comment thread on gluten free resources, and a whole category of posts on mobiles, landline phone, and internet services.

Along similar lines, Okinawa Hai! has countless helpful posts about everyday life-on-the-island sort of things, from information on preschools and childcare and kids’ activities, to reviews/listings of dental, vision, and other healthcare clinics, to stuff about buying/renting a car, car repair, highways & toll roads, etc..

There’s also a very brief blog post on attending university in Okinawa, which simply lists a few of the international universities available. But, I found this post quite useful as it keyed me in to the fact that LeoPalace21, the Japan-wide chain of apartment buildings, has an English website, and month-to-month contracts with no guarantor. I’m not sure about key money or other concerns, but it definitely seems a good place to start.

Asato Hachimangû, one of the Ryûkyû Eight Shrines, tucked away back in a Naha residential neighborhood, but just a few blocks walk from the Prefectural Museum. Given that it’s in Naha, I’m somehow not too surprised that Okinawa Hai! doesn’t have a review of it (yet). Maybe I’ll write and submit one.

Next, let me come back around to the reviews of historical sites, tourist destinations, restaurants, and so forth. Much of what’s listed here is very basic tourist stuff, and family-friendly; but there’s a lot, too, that’s more keyed in to the history and culture, and I’ve found Okinawa Hai! posts quite helpful in terms of telling me how to get to Futenma Shrine and what to expect to see there; and similarly for many other temples, shrines, gusuku, and other historical sites. These not only provide photos and basic narratives of what to see and do at each site, but are also quite good on the basic information: entry fee, street address, embedded Google Map of the location, hours, etc. They also have more than 500 listings of restaurants, cafés, and the like; more than just listings, these are often full narratives of individuals’ experiences with the restaurant, including photos, and I definitely plan to make use of these reviews to help me find cool places while I’m on-island.

And finally, there are a whole bunch of blog posts about hotels & visiting the outer islands, including tips on budget airlines, cheap hostels, and so forth. I’m definitely hoping to visit some of the nearer islands (Izena, Iheya) while I’m in Okinawa, and also hopefully some of the more distant ones (e.g. Taketomi, Yonaguni), so I’m sure these posts will come in helpful towards managing my budget, finding a place to stay, knowing where to go and what to see…

Iejima, visible in the distance from Churaumi Aquarium at Motobu.

All photos my own. Thanks to Okinawa Hai! for permission to use their header banner.

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Funding: Middlebury Summer Language Schools

money [150-2]Full Scholarships Available for Intensive Language Study at the Middlebury Summer Language Schools–The Kathryn Davis Fellows for Peace will cover the full cost of one summer of language study (tuition, room, and board)—from the beginner to graduate level—in any of the eleven languages offered: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian. The deadline is December 15, 2016. See the website for application details.

The Middlebury Language Schools celebrated its Centennial in 2015. Our website has more information on all eleven Language Schools, the Language Pledge®,  activities and the online application. Middlebury’s Arabic, Italian, and Korean programs take place exclusively at our West Coast Site at Mills College in Oakland, California. All other programs take place at the Middlebury College campus in Vermont.  To receive more information by email, please fill out this form.

Need-based Financial Aid Available to All Students – Nearly half of 2016 Language Schools students received financial aid. Learn more about financial aid and other scholarships and fellowships.

Contact Info:

Lesley Huston
Davis Fellows for Peace coordinator

Middlebury Language Schools
Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury, VT 05753

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Book Announcement: The History Problem: The Politics of War Commemoration in East Asia

9780824856748Via University of Hawai’i Press.


264 pages
ISBN 9780824856748 $62.00
East Asia / history / sociology

Seventy years have passed since the end of the Asia-Pacific War, yet Japan remains embroiled in controversy with its neighbors over the war’s commemoration. Among the many points of contention between Japan, China, and South Korea are interpretations of the Tokyo War Crimes Trial, apologies and compensation for foreign victims of Japanese aggression, prime ministerial visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, and the war’s portrayal in textbooks. Collectively, these controversies have come to be called the “history problem.” But why has the problem become so intractable? Can it ever be resolved, and if so, how?
To answer these questions author Hiro Saito mobilizes the sociology of collective memory and social movements, political theories of apology and reconciliation, psychological research on intergroup conflict, and philosophical reflections on memory and history. The history problem, he argues, is essentially a relational phenomenon caused when nations publicly showcase self-serving versions of the past at key ceremonies and events: Japan, South Korea, and China all focus on what happened to their own citizens with little regard for foreign others. Saito goes on to explore the emergence of a cosmopolitan form of commemoration taking humanity, rather than nationality, as its primary frame of reference, an approach increasingly used by a transnational network of advocacy NGOs, victims of Japan’s past wrongdoings, historians, and educators. When cosmopolitan commemoration is practiced as a collective endeavor by both perpetrators and victims, Saito argues, a resolution of the history problem—and eventual reconciliation—will finally become possible.

The History Problem examines a vast corpus of historical material in both English and Japanese, offering provocative findings that challenge orthodox explanations. Written in clear and accessible prose, this uniquely interdisciplinary book will appeal to sociologists, political scientists, and historians researching collective memory, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, and international relations—and to anyone interested in the commemoration of historical wrongs.

Hiro Saito is assistant professor of sociology at Singapore Management University.

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