Japanese official to receive GSCC alumni honor


 Gadsden State Community College has no shortage of outstanding alumni.
However, the accomplishments of some former students stand out a little more than others.
    Toshiko Abe, now a deputy foreign minister for the Japanese government and a member of its House of Representatives, is one of those.
    Abe has been selected as one of GSCC’s 2013 Outstanding Alumna Award recipients. She will be honored with a reception at the college during an upcoming tour in the United States.
    Abe attended GSCC from 1988 to 1989. She also attended Jacksonville State University, then earned a nursing license and two degrees at UAB. Abe later earned a PhD from the University of Illinois.
    In 2005, she ran for the House of Representatives in the Japanese Diet, or Legislature, representing the Okayama Prefecture. She is now in her third term.
    In her work with foreign governments, she specializes in international law, as well as issues relating to Africa and the Middle East.
    In an interview with al.com, Abe said her passion as a nurse was caring for the elderly.
Abe made the decision to run for the diet after realizing that making policy was the best way to make changes to benefit the care of the Japanese people.
    This September, she plans to return to the United States for five days, with stops in Alabama and Washington, D.C., lectures at Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania and visiting the United Nations.

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