Communication and Public Relations Division

The Communication and Public Relations Division (CPR) promotes understanding, appreciation, and support for OIST through external relations, professional media and marketing communications campaigns, with emphasis on digital, social and multimedia. The Division works to further the university's mission by engaging a broad audience that includes the general public of Okinawa and Japan, domestic and international scientific communities, government and funding agencies, industry and business development leaders, and students all over the world who are considering graduate careers in science and technology. The Division also fosters communication and cooperation within the graduate university through strategic internal communications. Output is delivered in both English and Japanese.

CPR Division has the following strategic priorities in 2021-2022:

  1. Make OIST achievements more visible and relevant to audiences in international science, industry, the Japanese public, and political stakeholders in Tokyo, Naha and Onna.
  2. Find opportunities to demonstrate tangible contributions by OIST to the economic, social and cultural well-being of Okinawa which are also significant to audiences outside of Okinawa for their scientific value, creativity, and originality.
  3. Promote OIST achievements in driving entrepreneurship and in translating basic science into breakthrough innovation.
  4. Promote the distinctiveness and difference of the OIST mission and location, the diversity of the community, and the degree to which OIST provides an exemplar and unique and positive challenge to research and graduate education in Japan.

The current Vice President for Communication and Public Relations is Heather Young, who joined OIST in April 2021.  Prior to arriving at OIST, she drove innovation by advancing communications for academic-industry collaborations across Canada and with international partners. Before that, she held leadership positions at a Canadian health and safety agency and at the Special Olympics. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Lights On Fund, a community-based fund that empowers charities through unrestricted grants, and is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators.  

VP profile:

The Assistant to the Vice President is Minae Uehara.

CPR VP Office

In addition to Media Relations, Community Relations, Translation and Interpretation, and Digital Content, Brand and Design, the Vice President directly oversees a team tasked with copywriting/proofreading, internal communication and staff engagement.

Heather Young
Rhett Register
Internal Communications Lead
Elizabeth Speyer
Internal Communications
Minae Uehara
Division Assistant for Communication and Public Relations

Media Relations

The Media Relations Section handles press relations and assists the Vice-President in managing institutional reputation.

Tomomi Okubo
Section Manager
Kaori Serakaki
Graphic Designer
Lucy Dickie
Science Communication Staff
Danielle Ellenby
Science Communication Staff
Hisashi Gakiya
Hisashi Gakiya
Media Relations Specialist

Digital Content, Brand and Design

The Digital Content, Brand and Design Section is responsible for web design/ development/ maintenance, website user training, content strategy/ management, graphic design, animation, photography, videography, and social media.

Micheal Cooper
Section Manager
Chris Wu
Senior Web Developer
Andrew Scott
Media Specialist
Jeffery Prine
Graphic Designer
Aya Peloquin
Social Media Coordinator
Jason Thompson
Jason Thompson
Web Developer
Michiyo Hashimoto
Web Editor

Community Relations

The Community Relations Section manages tours, exhibitions, and community and educational programs, including Open Campus, the Children's School of Science, and school visits.

Tomohiko Teruya
Section Manager
Miki Nakazato
Kennosuke Arime
Miyako Kudo
Ayame Munoz
Admin Assistant

Translation and Interpretation

Translation and Interpretation Team members can be found providing simultaneous interpretation work for numerous meetings and lectures and as well as written translation work for almost all the materials that come out of CPR as well as some work requested by other divisions.

Mari Takenouchi
Translator / Interpretor
Akiko Ringdahl
Translator / Interpretor
Ryoko Sharpe