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President: Bob Sanderson

Co-Treasurers: Ryan W. Smithers and Mehrasa Alizadeh

Membership Chair:  Parisa Mehran

Publicity Chair: Paul Mathieson

Program Co-chairs: Donna Fujimoto and Robert Sheridan


Web Editor and Elections Officer: Sean Gay

Publications Chair: Ryan W. Smithers

Officers at Large: Rebecca Calman, Brad Colpitts, Steve Cornwell, Naomi Chiba, Bernadette Denston, Julia Kimura, Mark Pileggi, Tsukasa Shindo, Hana Takatani, Bertlinde Voegel, and Gerry Yokota

Officer profiles:

Bob Sanderson is from Rochester, Minnesota, USA, holds an MA in TESOL from the School for International Training Graduate Institute in Vermont, and teaches at Kindai, Osaka Jogakuin, and Hannan Universities.

Ryan W. Smithers, a full-time lecturer at Kwansei Gakuin University and Ph.D. student at Kyoto University, has taught EFL to students of all ages and abilities during his 18-year tenure as a TESOL teacher in Japan. His research interests include action research, lifelong learning, and individual learner differences.

Mehrasa Alizadeh is originally from Babol, in the north of Iran, and holds a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran. She taught English at Iran Language Institute (ILI) for eight years. She has been in Japan since 2014 and is pursuing a PhD at Osaka University.

Parisa Mehran was born and raised in Tehran and holds a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), both from Alzahra University, Tehran. Before moving to Japan, she taught English for academic purposes (EAP) at Alzahra University. She has been in Japan since 2014 and is pursuing a PhD at Osaka University.

Paul Mathieson is from Auckland, New Zealand, and holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from the University of Leicester, and teaches at Nara Medical University. His areas of interest include learner motivation and anxiety, intercultural communication, and World Englishes.

Donna Fujimoto has an MA from the University of Hawaii, and an EdD from Temple University Japan. She teaches at Osaka Jogakuin and Temple University, Osaka. Her main interests are intercultural education, conversation analysis, and pragmatics.

Robert Sheridan (M.S.Ed.) is a full-time lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture at Kindai University in Nara. He currently serves as our Osaka JALT Program Co-chair. His research interests include vocabulary acquisition, CLIL, extensive reading, motivation, and assessment.

Sean Gay is originally from Madison, Wisconsin. He holds a PhD in Health Services and a Masters in TESOL. He currently teaches as a lecturer at Ritsumeikan University in the department of Science and Engineering.

Officers at Large:

Rebecca Calman is originally from Los Angeles. She currently teaches at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. Her research interests include content area instruction and critical thinking skills.

Naomi Chiba is a graduate of Kansai Gaidai University, has an MA in Linguistics from the University of Sydney, and teaches full-time at Osaka Jogakuin University.


Brad Colpitts is based in the Language Center at Kwansei Gakuin University and has taught in a variety of contexts across Japan for over nine years. He holds an MEd in TESOL from the University of Calgary, Canada.

Steve Cornwell is a professor at Osaka Jogakuin University and also teaches for the New School. He has an EdD from Temple University Japan, and has served as JALT’s National Director of Program (2010-2016).

Bernadette Denston is from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, the UK, and has been in Japan since 2012. She recently finished her masters in educational and social research with UCL Institute of Education London and is now teaching at Konan Women's University. Her research interests include globalisation and education, teacher development, and identity.

Julia Kimura is originally from Toronto, Canada and now teaches EFL at Kinki University, Mukogawa Women’s University, and also teaches intensive courses at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University. She earned her M.S.Ed. from Temple University and is now back working on her PhD in Applied Linguistics.

Mark Pileggi is originally from Massachusetts and has been teaching in Japan since starting as a JET in 1997. He has a B.A. in computer graphics and an M.S. in Education specialization in Curriculum, Instruction and Technology. Currently working full time at Kobe City College of Technology, he loves technology in the classroom.

Tsukasa Shindo is from Yamanashi prefecture in Japan. He lived in Australia for 4 years and has a vocational graduate diploma of TESOL from Southbank Institute of Technology. He currently teaches at a Juku/Eikaiwa school (English Yushin) in Kyoto.

Hana Takatani has an MA in Linguistics from Kansai Gaidai University and teaches full-time at Osaka Jogakuin University.

Bertlinde Voegel is from Austria and a visiting lecturer at Osaka University. She teaches German to beginners and is interested in improving fluency and pronunciation of learners. Recent developments in the field of brain research with all the implications for learning are on her list of interests, too.

Gerry Yokota is Professor of English and Contemporary Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies at Osaka University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in English and Gender Studies as well as courses on Contemporary Japan for the G30 program.