2017 President's Award Ceremony (21 March 2017)

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On 21 March, a ceremony was held to honor the recipients of the 2016 Kyoto University President's Award. The annual award was instituted in 2006 to recognize students who have contributed to the University's goal of excellence through outstanding achievements in scholarship, extracurricular activities, or public service. Selected out of 19 nominees by a committee chaired by Professor Shinsuke Kawazoe, executive vice-president for student affairs and library services, this year's winners comprised six individuals and one group.

The ceremony began with EVP Kawazoe reporting on the 2016-2017 selection process, followed by President Juichi Yamagiwa presenting each awardee with a certificate and commemorative gift, and sharing his thoughts on the recognized achievements.

A photo session was then followed by the students' presentations, which proceeded in a lively atmosphere with President Yamagiwa and EVP Kawazoe asking questions.

Awardee Category Citation
Akito Ohgi, 1st year, doctoral program, Material Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering Scholarship Mr Ohgi conceived and developed a novel protocol for hydrogenolysis of arenols, describing it in a paper published in Chemistry Letters . His study attracted widespread attention and eventually earned him the 9th GSC Student Travel Grant Award from Japan Association for Chemical Innovation (JACI). As part of this award, he attended and presented at the 6th Asia-Oceania Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry, held in Hong Kong, as a representative of Japanese graduate students.
Students enrolled in Special Study Course II (Physical Science) P4, represented by Shintaro Okamoto, 4th year, Faculty of Science Scholarship Mr Okamoto and classmates earned international acclaim for a major discovery they made concerning the "cosmic lithium problem" with the big-bang nucleosynthesis model. The 2015-2016 team members subsequently presented this study at the Nuclei in the Cosmos international conference, held with some 300 attendees, and published it in the American Physical Society's Physical Review Letters .
Shogo Kajimura, 3rd year, doctoral program, Division of Educational Studies, Graduate School of Education Scholarship Mr Kajimura investigated the neural basis of mind-wandering and the possibilities of modulation, publishing his findings in nine peer-reviewed journals, including Neuroimage , recognized as a world leader in brain function research. He also received five presentation awards.
Takahiro Itaya, 4th year, Human Health Science, Faculty of Medicine Scholarship Due to his exceptional academic excellence, Mr Itaya was accepted as a member of both a National Cancer Center research team and an R&D project of the Cabinet Office's Impulsing Paradigm Change Through Disruptive Technologies (ImPACT) program, a rare occurrence for an undergraduate student. He also won a Silver Medal at the 2013 Asia Jamboree of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.
Hisashi Hayakawa, 2nd year, master's program, West-Asian History, Graduate School of Letters Scholarship Mr Hayakawa launched an interdisciplinary space research project involving the study of historical documents. Findings from this initiative earned him the highest award from the Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (SGEPSS), and a student award from the Center for the Promotion of Integrated Sciences (CPIS), as well as coverage in Scientific American and three other publications.
Mariko Kimura, 2nd year, master's program, Division of Physics and Astronomy, Graduate School of Science Scholarship Ms Kimura led an international collaboration to make a continuous multicolor photometric observation of the outburst generated by the binary black-hole system V404 Cygni. Analyzing data obtained from this project, which involved 35 telescopes in 26 countries, Ms Kimura published her findings in Nature , attracting worldwide media attention (with reports in 11 domestic and 87 overseas publications).
Mutsuki Matsushita, 2nd year, master's program, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Graduate School of Engineering Extracurricular activity In 2016, Mr Matsushita became the first KU student to win a national orienteering competition. Based on this result, he received an athletic excellence award from Kyoto Sports Association, and was selected to represent Japan at an international competition.

Award recipients with President Yamagiwa

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Kyoto University President's Award