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 2023–2024:

  1. Grow and protect OIST’s brand and reputation locally, nationally, and internationally. Proactively share our scientific and institutional achievements. 
  2. Promote OIST's role in economic sustainability, especially in entrepreneurship and innovation, and their value to society.
  3. Drive science outreach and community engagement in Onna and around Okinawa Prefecture, including on remote islands.
  4. Contribute to the capacity-building of science communication at Japanese institutions and related associations. 
  5. Engage faculty, researchers, staff, and students by ensuring they are well-informed on achievements, challenges, and issues.

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: https://www.oist.jp/heather-young

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
Heather Young
VP CPR
 
 
Natsuki Matsumoto
Natsuki Matsumoto
Director of Communications
 
 
Rhett Register
Internal Communications Lead
 
 
Elizabeth Speyer
Elizabeth Speyer
Internal Communications
Coordinator
 
 
Minae Uehara
Division Assistant for Communication and Public Relations
 
 
Iliana Mendoza Villafuerte
SciArt Consultant

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
 
 
Merle Naidoo
Merle Naidoo
Science Writer
 
 
Adrian Skov
Adrian Skov
Science Writer
 
 
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
 
 
Andrew Scott
Media Specialist
 
 
Jeffery Prine
Graphic Designer
 
 
Aya Peloquin
Social Media Coordinator
 
 
Jason Thompson
Jason Thompson
Web Developer

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.

 
 
Arisa Ikeda
Arisa Ikeda
Section Manager
 
 
Miki Nakazato
Admin
 
 
Kennosuke Arime
Admin
 
 
Miyako Kudo
Admin
 
 
Yuka Shinzato
Yuka Shinzato
Admin Assistant
 
 
Ryo Arashiro
Ryo Arashiro
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 / Interpreter
 
 
Akiko Ringdahl
Translator / Interpreter
 
 
Jun Tau
Jun Tau
Translator / Interpreter