Congratulations to all of you who have recently joined the Graduate School at Yamagata University. The entire faculty, staff, and current students who will be your seniors extend a warm welcome to you.
Undoubtedly, you've entered the graduate school with lofty aspirations, eager to delve into uncharted territories awaiting exploration. Reflecting on my own journey into graduate school, I vividly recall the anticipation of advancing the research I had initiated as an undergraduate and uncovering new knowledge in my chosen field. As you continue your research, there may be moments of doubt when data doesn't align with your expectations or previous studies challenge your assumptions. During such times, I encourage you to pause and view things from various perspectives. Enthusiasm often drives us to focus in one direction, but postgraduate studies are an opportunity not only to acquire specialized knowledge and skills but also to develop the ability to approach problems from multiple angles and find innovative solutions. The years dedicated to research can be profoundly rewarding, although they may also present challenging moments when progress stalls or the job search becomes stressful. In such instances, please don't hesitate to share your concerns with friends, faculty, or visit the counseling services available on each campus.
Our world is in a state of rapid transformation. Climate change, triggered by global warming, and pandemics stemming from novel coronaviruses have profoundly altered our daily lives. Moreover, international conflicts, like the war in Ukraine, have caused social divisions beyond the directly affected nations. We must confront these issues that impact the survival of human society and contribute to the realization of a better world through our research. Yamagata University envisions a 'sustainable well-being society' and strives to promote well-being through education, research, and collaborative social initiatives. Well-being, though abstract, comprises multiple components that can be scientifically addressed to achieve societal realization. You will be engaged in cutting-edge research projects in your respective fields, and we anticipate that your work will significantly contribute to solving a wide range of societal problems.
Many of you completed your undergraduate studies amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and are now embarking on your graduate journey. Some of you may feel that you missed out on the experience of being part of a university community because of limited social interaction. If that resonates with you, I encourage you to use your time in graduate school to deepen the bonds you form with your fellow lab mates, seniors, juniors, and instructors. The connections you establish during your student years can evolve into lifelong friendships, and in this interconnected world, you are always part of a broader network. I urge you to treasure these connections.
While your tenure in graduate school may be shorter than your four-year undergraduate experience, you will be more deeply immersed in your research, and time may seem to fly by. It is a rare opportunity in your life to dedicate so much time to learning, especially when it is driven by your personal pursuit of knowledge. I hope that during this precious period of postgraduate study, you will expand the horizons of your interests, relish the joy of seeking truth through thoughtful exploration, and further cultivate your capacity for lifelong learning.
I genuinely hope that your time here at Yamagata University is both enjoyable and enlightening, allowing you to glean as much knowledge and experience as possible.
President Tamate Hidetoshi, October 2 2023