I graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Japanese Language from the University of Alaska Anchorage
in 2007. Since then I had taught English on the JET Program
in Akita Prefecture in the Tōhoku region of Japan from 2009 to 2012.
Before graduation from university, I had the pleasure of knowing and studying along with my friend Monty Dickson
. In September 2009, Monty and I set off on the JET Program to teach English in Northern Japan. Then on March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami took place. When I visited Rikuzentakata
, where Monty had lived, after the great tsunami, I was greatly struck by the amount of respect and affection the community had for Monty and what a great teacher and community member he was. It made me realize how important one individual can be towards grassroots internationalization between our countries of Japan and America.
It is with this realization that I hope to serve as first Coordinator for the Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language & Culture
to help strengthen bonds between our fine State of Alaska and Rikuzentakata and Japan.
It is with bittersweet feelings that I will be leaving my position at
the Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture to focus
on my studies. It has been my immense pleasure and honor to be with
this center since its inception along with Dr. Hiroko Harada. And it has
been my honor to work with community members and Japanese partners to
help coordinate meaningful Japanese cultural events in Anchorage in
honor of my old friend Monty Dickson. My thanks go out to all of the
sponsors and advocates of this center across the state of Alaska and
abroad, and I wish for nothing but the best. Thank you so much.