Former Gadsden State student, now Japanese politician, honored

Abe chose Gadsden State Community College as her first educational experience in the United States from 1998 to 1999. She continued her education at Jacksonville State University for one semester, then attended the University of Alabama in Birmingham, achieving a Master’s of Science in nursing.

She relocated to Chicago and earned a doctorate in administrative studies from the University of Illinois.

After completing her doctorate program, Abe served as lecturer at Gumma University and assistant professor at Tokyo Medical and Dental University. She was elected to the Japanese House in 2005, after serving as vice president of the Japanese Nursing Association and parliamentary vice minister of foreign affairs.

She says her desire in the political arena is to reform the social welfare system. Her education in health care was driven by a passion to serve the poor, children and the elderly.

“Toshiko credits Gadsden State for helping her improve her English and giving her the foundation she needed to achieve impressive goals,” Paula Ross-Derrick, GSCC coordinator of international programs, said. “We are so proud of her accomplishments in both her education and political government in Japan.”

Gadsden State Acting President Bill Blow nominated Abe for the award, which she will receive April 8 during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The AACC presents these awards annually to former students from community colleges who are making outstanding contributions in their chosen career fields and to their communities. Six winners will be honored in Washington, as a highlight of the association’s annual convention. Gen. Colin Powell will deliver the keynote address.

“We are so proud to have one of our former students receive this award,” Blow said. “She (Abe) is a shining example of what an international education can do for a person and how it can change the lives of many. This demonstrates the value and quality of a community college education.”

Abe is the second Gadsden State student to win the award. Jeff Cook, singer and songwriter for the country music group Alabama, received it in 2002. He and Dr. Victor Ficker, former GSCC president, were honored in a ceremony held in Chicago.

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Former Gadsden State student, now Japanese politician, honored
Japanese Education – Yahoo News Search Results
Japanese Education – Yahoo News Search Results

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