Student Biographies

Laura Cossette

My name is Laura Cossette and I am from San Francisco, CA. I am a first year student at Soka University of America, most likely concentrating in International Studies. I am very interested in Latin American studies, Spanish, photography and reading. In my free time I like to hang out with friends, go to the movies, and play board games. In the future I hope to become fluent in Spanish then start a career as either a Spanish teacher or interpreter.

Jacob Edelstein

My name is Jacob Edelstein and I am ninteen years old from Palos Verdes, California. Currently I am studying as a freshman at Soka University of America. I had the oppurtunity to work with malnourished children in Panama during 2009 and from this experience I gained a deep interest in elemenentary education and Spanish translation. I am thrilled to have the oppurtunity to travel to Argentina and examine both an international system of education and the larger question of children’s rights within a society. After Soka I hope to work in translation and use Spanish internationally in my work.

Norito Hagino

My name is Norito Hagino and I am currently a Junior at Soka University of America. I was born into a Japanese family in San Francisco, California and have lived in California all through out my life. In January 2011 I was given the oppurtunity to participate in the Tijuana, Mexico Learning Cluster with Prof. Tomas Crowder-Taraborrelli and now, I am once again fortunate to take a LC abroad, this time in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On a side note, I have just finished studying abroad for a semester in Quito, Ecuador.

Katie KamimotoHello my name is Katie Kamimoto, I am a sophomore at Soka University Class of 2014 from Long Beach, Ca! I am very excited to be part of this Argentina Learning cluster and to experience the Argentinean culture, learn about the rich history, and to hear the experiences of many who lived through the Dirty War. It will be a wonderful experience being able to do field research in a country like Argentina and hope to bring back great memories and experiences.

Kimberley Ng

Hi! My name is Kimberley Ng. I’m from Malaysia, currently a Junior at Soka University of America. Having grown up in Malaysia, I know nothing about Latin American culture. Having never learnt about it in school, I thought this Learning Culture would be a terrific opportunity to immerse myself in a new horizon of culture. Plus, it will also allow me to learn about the problems of education and allow me to further understand the problems of education and learn how to exercise the children rights of Argentina. With the experience I gain from this Learning Cluster, I can bring it back to my country and perhaps, help better the education system as well.

Nandini Puri Hi! My name is Nandini Puri and I am from India. I have done my high school in Malaysia and I am currently a sophomore in Soka University of America and plan to graduate with International Studies as my concentration. I am so excited to be a part of this Learning Cluster because I am extremely interested in learning all I can about the Dirty Wars, children’s rights, and Argentinean culture. I hope to take back amazing memories and beautiful experiences, which I can treasure forever. 

Miho Saito

My name is Miho Saito. I am currently a sophomore studying at Soka University of America with a concentration in Humanities. I am interetsed in Human Rights and culture. I wanted to take the Children’s Rights Learning Cluster in Argentina because I was interested in learning about the impact of poverty on education and the quality of education children are receiving.

Monse Sepulveda

Hi, my name is Monse Sepulveda, I’m from Chile and currently, I’m a third year student at Soka University of America, in California, USA. Even though I grew up in Chile, I was very disappointed with myself when I realized one day that I knew very little about Latin America. I think that most of the time, we assume that we know everything about our birth place just because we’ve lived there our whole lives. But some of my friends who come from other parts of the world knew so much more than I did. I’m now trying to learn as much as I can about Latin America. This Learning Cluster is part of that effort.

Claudia Ahumada

Hello my name is Claudia Ahumada, currently a freshman at Soka University of America and I am concentrating on Social and Behavioral Sciences. Originally from Oceanside, CA; I am Mexican-American, fluent in Spanish, English, and presently learning French. I am truly grateful for being able to participate in this Learning Cluster because I am learning more about Latin America as I have already studied past culture and history in my Latin American Studies class here at SUA. I look forward to learning in depth about the Dirty War, hearing personal experiences, and meeting new people in Argentina. When I am not studying I enjoy dancing hip hop!

Maria Valdovinos

My name is Maria Valdovinos. I am a 20 year-old junior at Soka University of America. I am a Mexican-American fluent in Spanish and English. I was born in Los Angeles but raised in Naucalpan de Juarez, Mexico. My home is now in Compton, California. After college, I would like to work as an advocate in children’s education, specifically analyzing and improving the effectiveness of certain educational programs. By being a part of this LC, I have the opportunity to expand my knowledge of international education systems by observing the primary schools of Argentina.

Malahat Zhobin

Hi my name is Malahat Zhobin, friends call me Mal. I am so excited to be studying children’s right in Argentina. I am very fond of learning about new cultures and life styles. I am very greatful to be getting a change to work with people and hear their stories. This is going to be a step closer to my dream for working as a writer and photographer for National Geographic.