Message from Dr. Aiko SAKURAI

After spending two years as Associate Professor at GSICS, Kobe University, I am now at International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University in Sendai, conducting researches on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in education sector. I am the first Ph.D. granted student at Ogawa seminar in 2007. I wrote my dissertation about application of the whole school development approach in promoting girls’ education in rural Yemen, while I was working as an education consultant for JICA’s girl’s education project in Yemen, which was realized by Professor Ogawa’s strong initiative. As you can see, one of the great advantages in being at Ogawa seminar is to obtain the first-handed field experience for your research.

At the same time, I would like to tell you that obtaining a degree should not become a goal in your life. You should make maximum use of your degree as a ticket for expanding your opportunity to be a professional. Even though my Ph.D. dissertation is about Yemen and girls’ education, my research field right now is about disaster education in Japan and in developing countries. On March 11, 2011, we have experienced an unprecedented disaster, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET). After the disaster, my experience working as educational consultant in several development projects helped me to manage large donation collected from the world at an INGO. Since then, I have been developing and implementing a disaster recovery education project at one of tsunami affected schools in Tohoku. Now, I am trying to apply these Japanese experiences to other disaster prone countries from an academic perspective.

This is only about my personal experience. However, I would like you to emphasize that a dream could never be ended. Enjoy your life and make your life enriched through your experiences in Ogawa seminar!

Aiko SAKURAI, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Associate Professor
International Research Institute of Disaster Science, TOHOKU University