Connie Jill Carlstrom Endowed Award in Japanese Studies

2010 - Kendall Shibuya


Kendall Shibuya with (from left to right) Professor Chuck Cleveland, Dean of Students, Roger Carlstrom, Kendall, Connie Carlstrom, President George Bridges, and Professor Tim Kaufman-Osborn, Dean of Faculty. Roger Carlstrom announced that he would make a special donation to the Carlstrom fund to thank Professor Cleveland for attending the awards ceremony every since since the first award in May 1994.


Kendall Shibuya, the 2010 Carlstrom Award Winner in Japanese Studies, stands with Mr. and Mrs. Carlstrom and Professor Takemoto at the new Olin East Tea room and classroom on May 13, 2010.

Recipients of the Award

2010 Kendall Shibuya
2009 Jason T. Shon
2008 Chadwick Frisk
2007 Seanacey Pierce
2006 Kerry Shannon
2005 Lisa Johnson
2004 Torrin Shimono
2003 Lisa Dodobara
2002 Sarah Neeri
2001 Wren McNally
2000 Maja Rose Palmer
1999 Erin Kusunoki
1998 Christopher Wiggins
1997 Marise Chan
1996 Brian Bergstrom
1995 Heather Lauerman
1995 Lindsey Rindflesh
1994 Rose Spidell

Each year, the Connie Jill Carlstrom Endowed Award in Japanese Studies is presented to a promising student of Japanese language and culture who shows great interest in pursuing a career or graduate studies in some aspect of relations between Japan and the United States. Candidates must have achieved junior status and have studied Japanese for at least one academic year at the college level. The award recipient will be selected by a committee of three members of the teaching faculty selected by the Dean of the Faculty.

The award was established in 1993 by the Carlstrom family to honor Jill Carlstrom who died suddenly in the town of Tamamura, Japan, on September 6, 1993. She had just begun teaching in the Japan Exchange Program that is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education. After graduating as an English major, with a minor in Japanese language and literature, in May, 1993, Jill went to Japan in late July to begin preparing for her assignment as an Assistant Language Teacher in two junior high schools.

On the Whitman campus, Jill was an active member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She studied Japanese for four years at Whitman College and served in her senior year as the Resident Assistant of the Tekisuijuku, the Japanese language interest house on campus. According to Professor Takemoto, "Jill was a vital and important part of the Japanese program. Her sensitivity and love of languages enabled her not only to understand and speak Japanese, but to interpret Japanese culture for those who knew nothing about it. She had the potential to be the perfect bridge between the two cultures."

2009 - Jason T. Shon


Jason Shon, winner of the 2009 Carlstrom Award in Japanese Studies, stands with Mr. Roger Carlstrom, Professor Takemoto, and Mrs. Connie Carlstrom at Tekisuijuku on Monday, May 4th, 2009.


Asian Studies Seniors are recognized at the Carlstrom Award Ceremony. Kevin Kato, Kyle Pereira, Jessica Martinez, Jill Morita, Reese Ismael, David Thylur, and Jason Shon.


Jason with President George Bridges, Dean of Faculty Lori Bettison-Varga, and Dean of Students Chuck Cleveland on May 4th, 2009.

2008 - Chad Frisk


Chad Frisk, May, 2008.


Roger and Connie Carlstrom congratulate Chad Frisk, 2008 winner of the Carlstrom Award in Japanese Studies. Chad currently teaches English on the JET program.


2008 Carlstrom Award to Chad Frisk congratulated by Dead of Faculty, Lori Bettison Varga, Johnson-sensei, Connie Carlstrom, Roger Carlstrom, Takemoto-sensei, Dean of Students Chuck Cleaveland, and Prof. Brian Dott.

2007 - Seanacey Pierce


Seanacey Pierce wins the 2007 Carlstrom Award for Japanese Studies.


Seanacey Pierce with members of the TEK:
Jessica Martinez, Jason Shon, Matt Magnuson, David Thylur,
David Fernandez, Seanacey Pierce, and Adachi Kojiro (native speaker).


Seanacey Pierce with Roger and Connie Carlstrom at May 4th, 2007 Awards Ceremony.

2006 - Kerry Shannon


Left to right: Takemoto-Sensei, Connie Carlstrom, Kerry
Shannon, Roger Carlstrom.


Kerry Shannon, 2006 Carlstrom Award recipient

Whitman News Release

2005 - Lisa Johnson


Lisa Johnson, 2005 Carlstrom Award recipient, with Roger and Connie Carlstrom.

Whitman News Release

September 6, 2003 Ten Year Memorial Gathering


Connie, Roger, and Terry Carlstrom pose next to the altar space that was set up at the Tekisuijuku for the 10 year memorial gathering for their daughter, Jill. Roger holds the new plaque that records the names of the winners of the Jill Carlstrom Award in Japanese Studies over the past ten years. The Carlstoms return to the Whitman campus every year to present an award to the top student in Japanese studies at Whitman College.


Just in front of the small altar space are two wooden statues that Roger Carlstrom purchased to remember how strongly committed his daughter was to Japanese studies. The two statues, called Ni-o (Two Kings), represent guardian figures that remind people that the path of Buddhism cannot be walked without great strength and resolve. On the altar are pictures of Terry's daughter Emma Jill who, along with her mother Carla, waited patiently in Yakima on the day of the gathering.


Roger and Connie Carlstrom made a special trip to the Tekisuijuku on Saturday, September 6, 2003, to remember and celebrate the life of their daughter Jill Carlstrom (June 16, 1971 to September 6, 1993). Jill's brother, Terry, joined them for the 10th year memorial gathering. Connie and Roger are looking at the Tekisuijuku photo album compiled when Jill served as the RA. Terry holds a new plaque that lists the names of all the winners of the Connie Jill Carlstrom Award in Japanese Studies.