Amy Russo was a JET in Maebashi, Gunma from 2010 to 2015. She taught at two senior high schools and the School for the Blind. While in Japan, Amy was active in her local Japanese community: she earned her shodan in kyūdō and took part in many local traditional dances. Over the last nine years, she has led workshops about linguistics, language teaching, and JET, including Gunma JET Orientation (2013), the JET Skill Development Conference (2010-2015), the California TESOL Conference (2016-2019), and the UC Davis Linguistic Conference (2016-2018).
In 2017, Amy earned her M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey. While at MIIS, Amy co-founded the Monterey Bay Subchapter (JETAAMB). She helped run events, such as Nihongo Dake Dinners and a screening and discussion of the documentary Hafu. From 2017 to 2019, Amy created and ran a one-day workshop for new outbound JETs about lesson planning, material design, and teaching theory.
She currently works at the Writing Center of San Jose State University (SJSU) as the Coordinator of Multilingual Writing Support. She is developing relationships with local JET alumni and organizations, such as the SJSU Japanese Society and the Martin Luther King Library.
Amy is grateful for the chance to continue to build bridges between Japan and America centered around language, culture, and understanding as President of JETAANC.
Cameron Koichi Joe
Cameron Koichi was a JET in Chiba Prefecture from 2012-2016, teaching as an ALT at 12 elementary schools and three junior high schools. While in Japan, he was an active member of the LGBTQ community, facilitating international exchange while serving as Vice President of Stonewall Japan for two years, building relationships with the US Embassy and local Japanese LGBTQ organizations developing educational programming and community outreach. He continued his international LGBTQ and international exchange advocacy with a one-year tenure on Peace Boat, developing global programming for their onboard university program and facilitating seminars on LGBTQ rights for more than 300 passengers traveling the world to build peace.
Currently, Cameron works at the intersection of Japan, the US, and the LGBTQ community, facilitating workshops and talks at conferences (NQAPIA, Okaeri, COPANI) and singing with the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) Chorus, who recently completed a tour in Japan to sing with fellow LGBTQ API choruses from around Asia. He is excited to continue his work at the crossroads of so many global communities as Vice President of JETAANC.
Anna Fung was an ALT in Morioka, Iwate from 2011-2014, working at Morioka Third High School. Since returning, she has served as JETAANC's Vice President and now Treasurer, and she loves to be one of the Executive Committee's "ninja" because she likes to take on various jobs and learn new skills.
Anna has volunteered with JETAANC since returning from Japan, including organizing disaster relief fundraising events for the Tohoku region, career development programs, chapter meetings, picnics, and networking events. She loves to travel, go on hikes, play board games with her fellow JETAANC committee members, and eat!
Melissa was a Hokkaido JET from 2007-2012. She taught at two junior high schools and five elementary schools as the sole ALT in Akabira. Melissa caught the travel bug early, after visiting Ireland with a family friend while in high school. The experience made her realize the importance of pushing her own mental, cultural, and geographical boundaries to develop a better understanding of the world and herself. Melissa went on to participate in two undergraduate exchange programs in Europe through Linfield College and graduated with a BA in History. After returning from JET, she earned her MA in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
In her current role as Director of Operations at VIA Programs, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, Melissa utilizes her international experience and organizational management expertise to further sustainable development and operations of VIA’s cultural exchange programs in the US and Asia. She calls Monterey home and enjoys working 90% remotely while also having frequent opportunities to travel to east and southeast Asia. As a member of the leadership team, Melissa hopes to enhance JETAANC's engagement and support of the JET and Japan-connected communities in the Bay Area.