Student Affiliate Program

Student affiliates represent and engage with CSGJ for the duration of their studies at the University of Toronto and beyond. This diverse group of students interested in Japanese culture and politics support our mission by fostering a greater understanding of contemporary Japan, and have access to our events and networks.

Current affiliates

Katie Bolissian headshot

Katie Bolissian, 2nd Year Master of Public Policy

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"While my interest in Japan first started with fine arts, it strengthened when I began taking classes about Japanese politics and learning about the country's important role within international organizations. Becoming an Affiliate was the perfect supplement to my learning and allowed me to join a diverse community with similar academic interests!"

Kristi Deki headshot

Kristi Deki, 3rd Year Ethics, Society, and Law & Minors in Contemporary Asian Studies & Psychology

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"I wanted to become a CSGJ student affiliate because I've always had an interest in Japanese politics and culture. As someone who spent most of her childhood in Tokyo, I hope that becoming a part of CSGJ will help me expand my current understanding of contemporary Japan by examining the country through an international perspective."

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Amelia Gipp

Headshot of Taisei Inoue

Taisei Inoue, 4th Year Public Policy, Minors in Political Science & Sociology

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"I wanted to be a CSGJ student affiliate because my interests lie in Japanese public and foreign policy and I want to enhance my understanding of how policies in Japan are perceived and received globally."

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Mei Kanda

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Erica Matsui, 4th Year Diaspora & Transnational Studies, Minors in Human Geography & Economics

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"As a Japanese-American student, I want to understand Japan’s outlook and approach to political issues and how they contrast with the ‘Western’ perspective I have been taught."

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Flor Martinez-Seeber

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Samantha Moura Novais de Quadros

Arnaud Nsamirizi headshot

Arnaud Nsamirizi, 2nd Year Master of Global Affairs

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"Working in an Izakaya gave me exposure to a lot of Japanese nationals and culture, which sparked my interest in Japan. After taking courses on Japanese politics and participating in the Kakehashi exchange program, I became even more invested in understanding Japan's affairs and its people. Joining the CSGJ will certainly give me opportunities to further my understanding in contemporary Japanese issues."

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Dania Asahi Ogie

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Jai Singh

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Leo Teng

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Una Vulevic, 3rd Year Political Science and European Studies

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"I’ve always been interested in Japan from a cultural standpoint, but I’ve enjoyed learning more about the country from a political/historical point of view."

Elva Yung headshot

Elva Tsz Pui Yung, 3rd Year East Asian Studies with Minors in Contemporary Asian Studies & Political Science 

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"I began to learn Japanese in high school and that was the first time I officially became in touch with studies related to Japan. I then found myself having a big interest in Japanese studies so I decided to major in East Asian Studies in my undergraduate. Now I am in my third year of study, the past two years doing East Asian Studies deepened my interest in Japan studies, and I would like to further be in touch with the Japanese affairs and connect with like-minded people."

Affiliate alumni

Headshot of Bailey Irene Midori Hoy

Bailey Irene Midori Hoy, B.A. ‘21

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"Being Japanese-Canadian, I’ve always been interested in the relationship between Japan and the rest of the world. After participating in the Kakehashi Project, I was inspired to get more involved with CSGJ and with like-minded people!"

Headshot of Anvesh Jain

Anvesh Jain, B.A. ‘21

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"I became a student affiliate to widen my understanding of Asian security dynamics, particularly Indo-Japanese, SinoJapanese, and Korean-Japanese relations. I've been to Japan twice - I have a deep fondness for the country and want to better study its politics, people, and constitutional structure."

Headshot of Vanessa Biklo

Vanessa Biklo, B.A. '22

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"I took Professor Lipscy's class in my third year and I was immediately intrigued and fascinated by Japanese politics and culture. I wanted to become a student affiliate at CSGJ in order to learn more about Japan-Canada relations and Japanese politics and to create meaningful connections between faculty and other students."

Headshot of Christal Cheng standing in front of the Supreme Court sign

Christal Cheng, B.A. '22

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"As the global landscape shifts eastward, I am interested in how Asian states are reinterpreting the international system, relations between Japan and its East Asian neighbours, and how the world is grappling with Asia’s rise. Becoming a CSGJ student affiliate enhances my studies and allows me to be more engaged in the conversation pertaining to contemporary Japan."

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Cheryl Cheung, B.A. '22

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"I wanted to make the most out of my final year at U of T by diving deeper into the areas that have interested me throughout my undergraduate career. My interest in the experience of youth in contemporary Japan was sparked by Professor Clark's course on Asian Youth Cultures. There is no better way of meeting others who share this interest than by becoming a CSGJ student affiliate."

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Jenny Liu, B.A. '22

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"Japan is special to me, as my father works there and I used to spend summers in Osaka. I took Professor Lipscy’s class on Japanese Politics and attended a CSGJ seminar, and I got more interested - I became a student affiliate to attend more events and enhance my understanding of Japanese politics."

Headshot of Aisha Shafaqat

Aisha Shafaqat, B.A. '22

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"Japan has such an interesting political-economic history, and I am interested in exploring the nation’s contemporary challenges and successes through conversations with my peers and thought-provoking lectures."

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Abena Somiah, B.A. '22

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"I heard about CSGJ when I took Professor Lipscy's course, and have been looking to get involved ever since! I am passionate about Japanese culture and want to acquire more knowledge about the country and its current issues."

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Brian Wu, B.A. '22

Why did you join the Student Affiliate Program?

"I joined because I'm eager to learn more about Japanese politics and East Asian international relations, and how scholars approach the current issues facing this exciting region."

Interested in joining the community?

As a student affiliate, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend invitation-only events
  • Be featured on the CSGJ website and social media
  • Lead future student initiatives related to the Centre
  • Submit written reflections to be published on the CSGJ website

To join us, you must:

  • be a current U of T student (undergraduate & graduate)
  • commit to attending at least two CSGJ events per academic year
  • have taken, or currently be taking, at least one course related to contemporary Japan at U of T (or equivalent), or have participated in the Kakehashi Project




Events and Program Coordinator