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Central Japan Rail (JRC) Summer Educational Program Information Session

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  • Marie Mount Hall
High-speed train in Japan crosses a metal bridge with a lush green forested mountain in the background.

Join us for an info session on the JRC Summer Educational Program on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023 from 12:30-1:30PM. This program includes a unique learning opportunity in Japan where participants gain insight into the value of Japan's high-speed rail system and take part in cross-cultural exchange. Brief presentations will be followed by a Q&A session. Speakers will include Takuma Matsubayashi, Deputy Manager of JRC's Washington DC office; Ashley Mcmillian, Director of Community Engagement and Communications for Northeast Maglev; and Kai Toppa, former JRC program participant and UMD Fellows Program alum. JRC and Northeast Maglev are partnering to provide high-speed railway transportation in the US. Detailed application information for the program will be made available in January at the career page of Northeast Maglev's website.


Central Japan Rail (JRC) Summer Educational Program Info Session

Thursday, November 9, 2023

12:30-1:30 PM

2407 Marie Mount Hall


Speaker Bios:

Takuma Matsubayashi is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of invaluable experience in the railway industry, currently serving as Deputy Manager at Central Japan Railway Company (JRC), a renowned operator of a cutting-edge high-speed rail system in Japan, Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMaglev). Hailing from Nagoya, Japan, Takuma now resides in Rockville, MD. Takuma earned his Master of Public Policy from the prestigious UCLA Luskin School, following his Bachelor of Arts from Kyoto University. With a deep passion for promoting his company and its high-speed rail system to the American audience, he is determined to make a significant impact, especially in the Northeast Corridor region through the Northeast Corridor SCMaglev Project. He aspires to continue expanding awareness and understanding of the company's groundbreaking technology across the United States.

Ashley Mcmillian is the Director of Community Relations and Communication for Northeast Maglev. She leads Northeast Maglev’s engagement and communication strategies with local leaders and community organizations as part of the company’s efforts to bring high-speed transportation to the region. Ashley has 12 years of experience connecting companies with the public, sharing compelling content and creating spaces for interaction and understanding. Prior to joining Northeast Maglev, Ashley was the communications manager for Bold Ocean, a U.S.-flag shipping company based in Annapolis, Md. From 2016 through 2019, she was the communications specialist at Allianz Trade (formerly Euler Hermes North America), and between 2011 and 2016, Ashley was part of the communications team for Luminis Health – Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Kai Toppa is a UMD senior and studies Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a minor in Science and Technology Studies. He is also an alum '23 of the U.S. Diplomacy concentration in the Global branch of the UMD Fellows Program. Last summer, Kai was the first student from UMD to intern for the Central Japan Railway Company (JRC) in Tokyo and Northeast Maglev in Baltimore. He traveled to Japan with other JRC interns to learn about the development of the SCMAGLEV bullet train and improving public transit in the Northeast Corridor. He is half-Japanese and has previously lived in Japan, Boston, Philly, and Baltimore. He currently lives in the DMV and loves to cook, travel, and take photos.

If you have any questions, please email:


Marie Mount Hall

The Information Session will be hosted in the UMD Fellows Program's office, Room 2407 Marie Mount Hall. Access to the second floor is available through elevator and stair. One elevator is closed for the semester but there are others throughout the building.


University of Maryland Fellows Program

For disability accommodations, please contact Sam Briglia at

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