Affiliation: Soka University
After finishing his Master’s in a different field and prior to planned doctoral study, Richmond wanted to "spend a year abroad." A friend invited him to Japan to teach English in 1989, and as they say, the rest is history!
One year in Japan turned into five until he did return to the states to complete his PhD in International Comparative Education at the University of Southern California. Richmond went abroad again in 1997 to Thailand, and then in 2001, he came back to Japan and took on a faculty position at Soka University in Tokyo where he is currently the Chair of the Master’s in International Language Education: TESOL Graduate Program.
Richmond has been active in JALT for a number of years, where he has worked with our international partner organizations, our Associate Members, the JALT Central Office, and most recently, with many aspects of the Association as the JALT President. Richmond remains busy attending and presenting at conferences and frequently engaging in consultancy activities in Asia. While he continues to travel extensively and to conduct research in varying contexts, he also now happily calls Japan home again.
- President 2016 - Present
- Vice President 2013 - 2016
- Business Manager 2013 - 2014
- Chair of the International Affairs Committee 2008 - 2013
- Member of the International Affairs Committee 2007 - 2008
Affiliation: Okayama University
Naomi is originally from Los Angeles, California, and first came to Japan when she was nine years old. After several other trips to Japan to visit her relatives, she got her first job teaching in the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program in 1987. She enjoyed teaching so much that she went back to California to get her master’s degree in TESOL at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. When she got her degree, she secured a contract position at a university in Nishinomiya, thinking that she would return to California to find full-time work there. That was 24 years ago, and she is still in Japan!
This is her 11th year teaching full-time at Okayama University in the Center for Liberal Arts and Language Education, where she and her colleagues teach general English courses to all of the first and second-year students. Her research interests include student motivation and learner autonomy.
She has been an active JALT member for over 20 years. Her first taste of conference planning came in 1996 when it was held in Hiroshima. She took a short break from JALT activities to focus on her family for a few years after that, but returned in 2005 and has been involved with conference planning ever since.JALT Experience
- 2014-2016 Conference Manager
- 2006-2009 Educational Materials Exhibition Coordinator
- 2010 Conference Business Manager
- 2011-2013 Educational Materials Exhibition Coordinator
- 2008-2010 Hiroshima chapter president
- 1996 EME Co-coordinator
Director of Membership
Affiliation: Shinshu University and Matsumoto University
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and majored in history at U.C. Berkeley. With a longstanding interest in Asia, it still took me quite a few years and quite a few turns to get to Japan. Trying and failing, first in the Seventies, then again in the Eighties, I finally turned up in Japan to stay in 1994, with a backpack, no job and no money, but the determination to make it work this time. Beating the bushes for a job, I went through the local phonebook in Suwa and found a jukucho who was willing to give me a chance. My first boss also happened to be the Shinshu JALT chapter president, so I joined JALT immediately and became a chapter officer. After seven years working at the juku and in eikaiwa, I completed my Master’s degree in Linguistics (TESOL), and gradually transitioned to university teaching. I am glad to know that I am finally where I was meant to be: in JALT and in Matsumoto, Japan.
My JALT Background includes:
- Domestic Affairs Committee Chair, 2012-2014
- Shinshu Chapter Membership Chair, 2008-2014
- Chapter Representative Liaison, 2008-2012
- Shinshu Chapter President, 2004-2008
- Shinshu Chapter Newsletter Liaison, 2003
- Shinshu Chapter Program Chair, 1996
- Shinshu Chapter Recording Secretary, 1994-1995
Director of Program
Affiliation: Meiji University
Louise began teaching English in Japan in 1999 after finding a job advertisement in an abandoned newspaper on a train in Melbourne, Australia. She stayed in Tokyo until 2000 then went backpacking in Europe, teaching English in England, Italy and Spain along the way. She resettled in Melbourne for a couple of years, where she taught general English and EAP courses, then left English behind for a while to study French in Montreal and go on a road trip across Canada. In 2003 she found herself back in Japan for what was only supposed to be a year, yet here she is…
Louise’s main research interests centre around e-learning and learner motivation. Prior to becoming JALT’s Director of Program, she was an active member of JALTCALL, starting as a member-at-large in 2015 before taking on the role of Publicity Officer for JALTCALL2016 and accepting the role of Publicity Officer for the JALTCALL SIG (position still held). She loves conferences and will work hard with the rest of the team to make your next JALT event special!
Director of Public Relations
Thomas E. Bieri
Affiliation: Nanzan University
I first visited Japan in the spring of 1995, and I returned to work here in March of 1996. I spent two years teaching conversation in Tottori and one in Kurume before going to Australia to complete my first Master’s. I came back to Japan in 2000 to began teaching at the tertiary level in Nagoya. I am currently an Assistant Professor responsible for overseeing the Business English Program in the Department of Business Administration at Nanzan University and I also teach at Chukyo University.
Within JALT I have held a number of positions in the ER and CALL SIGs, including Coordinator, Membership Chair, AM Liaison, and Seminar Chair. I also contribute by proofreading, editing and writing for the ER SIG publications, by helping with the annual JALT PanSIG conference, and I have served on two national committees and one working group.
I have a BA in Women’s Studies from University of California, Berkeley, an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southern Queensland, and an MA in Educational Technology from Michigan State University. My research interests include the application of technology to learning and teaching and the use of extensive reading to promote language learning.
Director of Records
Affilaition: Soka Women’s College
Maiko is from Houston, Texas. She doubled-majored and received her BA in International Relations and East Asian Languages and Cultures at University of Southern California in 1998. She then pursued her graduate studies in Second and Foreign Language Education with a Concentration in TESOL at Soka University of America and earned her MA in 2000. She began her teaching career in April 2001 at Soka Women’s College, and she is currently an Associate Professor there. Maiko has been a JALT member-at-large since 2001 before becoming the Director of Records.
Director of Treasury
Affilaition: Kurume University
Robert is originally from Montreal, Canada. After working in Vancouver for a year, he decided to travel to Japan to see what it was like to live in this beautiful country. He was offered a full-time job teaching English and French at Berlitz School in Fukuoka and he has been living here since 1983.
He has taught English at language schools, companies, junior and senior high schools, junior colleges, and universities. He has enjoyed taking students on English study trips to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He received an MAT in ESOL from SIT in Vermont, and a PhD from the Kyushu Institute of Technology. He has also recently completed a one-year sabbatical at the University of Birmingham, UK, where he published a book on corpus linguistics.
He is interested in doing research in technology for language learning and has been an active member in JALT for many years. He is a Professor at the Institute of Foreign Language Education, Kurume University, in Fukuoka Prefecture.JALT Experience
- CALL SIG - Coordinator, Proceedings Editor, Treasurer and Conference Chair
- PanSIG Conference - Proceedings Editor and Conference Administrator
Affilaition: Kumamoto Gakuen University
Joseph Tomei came to Japan on the first year of the JET program, and was in Miyagi prefecture for 5 years (87-92) After a Linguistics MA from the University of Oregon, he came to Hokkaido University. JALT publication opportunities helped secure a tenured position at Kumamoto Gakuen University, home for 18 years. Arriving in Kumamoto, he became Kumamoto chapter president and served as National Membership Chair when JALT became an NPO.
Work supporting foreign lecturers at the prefectural university led to the PALE SIG and the SCOEP. Because of reduced chapter membership, he organized Kumamoto chapter's dissolution, providing the framework for similar challenges. He then worked with Bill Balsamo in Vietnam, efforts which eventually turned into the THT SIG, where he served as coordinator. More recently, the Kumamoto chapter has been resurrected as part of NanKyu (Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Kumamoto and now Nagasaki) and he has most recently been treasurer for NanKyu and THT.
He plays horn in a local symphony and does martial arts, holding an aikido 5th dan and a iaido 6th dan. At the International Conference, you can find him doing aikido at the Mind and Body Space or presenting at the Technology in Teaching event.