"The U.S. and Japan are both leaders in terahertz science, and this will give our students a chance to participate firsthand," Kono said.
The NanoJapan research experience clearly makes a lasting impression on participants. Many program alumni have opted for follow-up internships or go on to graduate studies in science and engineering.
Kevin Chu, a Rice sophomore who interned at the University of Tokyo, said, "In high school chemistry classes, you're given a little cookbook. You follow the procedures step by step, and you get the results that millions of others have gotten. But in my lab in Tokyo, I was able to design my own experiment and carry it out and produce some really nice results. That kind of independence was tremendous."
NanoJapan was honored at the United Nations in 2008 with an Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. The award, which was given by the Institute of International Education, recognized NanoJapan for "Best Practice in Study Abroad."
Kono said the continued support and recognition of the program are welcome but not nearly as gratifying as the impact that the program has made in the lives of students.
Diasio said he expects the friendships that he formed this summer to last for many years. "My mentor and another graduate student from the lab that I was in are going to be at Rice in the fall, and we're all very excited because now I get to return the favor and show them Houston and America."
|Contact: Jade Boyd|