Biographies

Keiko Yoshioka is from New Jersey and is a third-year student at Soka University of America. Even though her academic concentration is Social and Behaioral Sciences with an emphasis is on psychology, she is passionate about the languages and cultures of Latin America and Spain. As an American-born, she seeks to understand the history of the U.S. Mexico Border from and thus formulate an overall understanding of the situation from both sides.


Martha Valle was born into a Mexican family in 1991 that had migrated to Los Angeles, California. She is currently a sophomore at Soka University of America, and is interested in International Studies. Growing up in the United States and embracing her Mexican culture she has always been interested in the relationship between both bordering countries, United States and Mexico.

My name is Hiroko Yoshimura and I am from Japan. I have lived in New Zealand and Australia and now I am a junior at Soka University of America. I am interested in Development, but don’t know which particular area yet. In this learning cluster, I would like to learn if there is anyway that business can contribute to sustainable development. In a current society where business has a big power to affect the world, I think business also can contribute a lot in the field of development.

Heather Hallahan: I am a 20 year old Humanities student in the third year at Soka University of America. Growing up in the back-country of San Diego, I wanted to learn more about the border issues that are so closely tied to the city I refer to as home yet previously didn’t know much about. I joined this class in not only the hopes that I would be well informed on the topic, but also so that I could contribute to the change that it so desperately needs.

Eric Cheung: I am currently a junior attending Soka University of America. I have always seen a lot of news about illegal immigrants, corporations and sweatshops, and images of Mexico being poor and undeveloped. I wanted to be a part of this learning cluster to resolve this inexperience of mine involving those issues and to see those subjects firsthand.

My name is Maria Valdovinos and I am 19 years old. I am currently a sophomore attending Soka University of America. I was born in Los Angeles but raised in Naucalpan de Juarez, Mexico. My home is in Compton, California but spend most of my time here in Aliso Viejo. I am taking this course because as moving from the U.S. to Mexico and back to the U.S., my family and I have always being concerned about immigration issues. My life has a lot to do with border problems, immigration laws, and undocumented immigrants; it is part of who I am.

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