At the Tokyo Tech Academy for Leadership (ToTAL), we have welcomed seventeen new graduate students as the sixth cohort of December 2023 to its program. A registration ceremony for the new students were held on December 7 at Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza, Ookayama Campus.

New students, President Kazuya Masu, Provost and Executive Vice President for Institute Strategy Isao Satoh,
Executive Vice President for Education Jun-ichi Imura, Director of ToTAL Yutaka Akiyama and faculty

Established in April 2018, ToTAL offers a five-year extracurricular program for graduate students. The academy’s mission is to provide leadership excellence education to empower students in the science and technology fields to develop core expertise and the leadership skills to bring out the best in each other and become innovative global citizens in a rapidly-changing era.

At the beginning of the registration ceremony, Tokyo Tech President Kazuya Masu congratulated the new students and encouraged them to enjoy the cutting-edge educational program at ToTAL as well as to do their best in their research in order to become a leading person in the field of science. He also mentioned Tokyo Tech is planning to merge with Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) next year, and he hopes students at Tokyo Tech and TMDU will enjoy interaction with each other after the merger.

President Kazuya Masu

Next, Tokyo Tech Executive Vice President for Education, Jun-ichi Imura explained the outline of the ToTAL program. ToTAL provides leadership excellence program for students to develop core expertise and leadership mindset and skills. He also mentioned about the three seeds of leadership that ToTAL aims to nurture in their students, which is one of the objectives of the program. He said that he believes that the seeds of leadership will continue to grow after graduation, and encouraged the new students to make use of the learning environment to acquire leadership skills at ToTAL and demonstrate those skills not just in Tokyo Tech, but also in society.

Three seeds of leadership nurtured at ToTAL

Then, Provost and Executive Vice President for Institute Strategy Isao Satoh also gave a speech to the new students. He encouraged the registered students to hone their leadership mindset through workshops and classes provided at ToTAL. He told the students that it is important for each student to image what you want to achieve and discuss with other members what you can do for each other to achieve that. He emphasized that connections with other people will become an invaluable asset in the future.

Following the Executive Vice Presidents’ remarks, Professor Yutaka Akiyama, Director of ToTAL, welcomed the registered students and encouraged them to take advantage of the educational opportunities at ToTAL, which focuses on nurturing human skills and transferable skills. He also expressed his expectations for the new students saying that he hopes that they take the time and effort to maximize in-person dialogues and interaction with fellow colleagues at ToTAL. He mentioned that Tokyo Tech is planning to undergo a big change by merging with TMDU next year, and he hopes students at ToTAL will enjoy the time of this big change.

Professor Akiyama then introduced each faculty member of ToTAL, and a registration certificate was handed to each student by President Masu. To conclude the ceremony, each student gave a self-introductory speech about their goals while at ToTAL and commemorative photos were taken at the end.

[Excerpts of self-introductory speeches by new ToTAL students]

– At ToTAL, I would like to exchange and share ideas with fellow colleagues and gain abilities and skills that I can apply to my research and in society.
– I would like to work together with others in ToTAL to learn more about myself and what I want to be in the future.
– I understand that ToTAL provides good education and opportunities such as the off-campus project. I would like to enjoy communication with other students with various backgrounds that I meet at ToTAL.
– I believe that the mission of ToTAL should be mandatory for all students to learn, and I would like to achieve my dream by making use of knowledge and experience gained in ToTAL.
– Thinking about my scientific idols and role models, I wonder if I can become a person like them. After five years in ToTAL, I hope I can be more confident in myself.
– I would like to build on my undergraduate leadership skills to become a more effective leader, follower and communicator.
– I am eager to improve myself to become more confident for my future career and life.
– I would like to learn how to communicate better with others and work together with a variety of people with different backgrounds.

Please look forward to seeing the development and future activities of these students as they engage in friendly competition with their peers from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds!