New Zealand university offers scholarship to islander activists

THE University of Otago in New Zealand is offering full scholarship to activists and students who have interest in peace and conflict studies, according to Dr. Sylvia Frain, one of the presenters at the Third Marianas History Conference held recently on Saipan.

She encouraged CNMI residents to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the university.

“The university prefers to give scholarships to our brothers and sisters in the Pacific, specifically from Micronesia, who are underrepresented,” said Frain, who just received her doctorate from the University of Otago.

She said the university has a National Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. “Within that center they are offering three-year scholarships to activists or students who have interest in studying conflicts — it could be historical or it could be preventive. It is a relatively new discipline,” she added.

Frain said the students will not have to pay fees and will get a monthly living allowance. The scholars are also allowed to bring their family. “Your partner can work and your child can attend school.”

She said “anyone who has completed an undergraduate degree and has a master’s degree can apply for the PhD program. The university will help them get a scholarship visa.”

Members of the Tinian Women’s Association, Pagan Watch, Guardians of Gani and  Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian of Guam  wave at motorists last week as they protest the proposed U.S. military live-fire training on Guam, Tinian and Pagan.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. LirioMembers of the Tinian Women’s Association, Pagan Watch, Guardians of Gani and Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian of Guam wave at motorists last week as they protest the proposed U.S. military live-fire training on Guam, Tinian and Pagan. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

For more information, email Dr. Sylvia Frain at sylviacfrain@gmail.com.

During the history conference, Frain presented her paper which highlighted contemporary demilitarization efforts occurring in the CNMI.

Her paper focused on three examples of Chamorro and Refaluwasch women-led resistance to U.S. militarization in the commonwealth.

She noted that compared to other places, Guam and the Northern Marianas have a different approach to opposing militarization.

“Digital, legal, political and spiritual resistance are currently unfolding across the [Marianas] archipelago through online petitions, solidarity videos and federal lawsuits,” she said.

“In other places, resistance is measured by thousands of people marching on the street or toppling the government. There is not much (similar) activity happening in Guam and here in the CNMI.”