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President: Bob Sanderson

Treasurer: Mehrasa Alizadeh

Program Co-chairs: Robert Sheridan and Donna Fujimoto

Publicity Co-chairs: Paul Mathieson and Michael Hollenback

Membership Co-chairs:  Naomi Chiba and Elisabeth Fernandes

Web Editor and Elections Officer: Sean Gay

Publications Chair: Ryan W. Smithers

Officers at Large: Naoko Amano, Andrew Blaker, Rebecca Calman, Steve Cornwell, Julia Kimura, Josh MacPherson, Claire Murray, Mark Pileggi, Junichi Taguchi, Hana Takatani, Bertlinde Voegel, Jared Wangen, and Gerry Yokota

Officer profiles:

Bob Sanderson is from Rochester, Minnesota, USA, has a BA in History from the University of Colorado and an MA in TESOL from the School for International Training in Vermont. He teaches at Kindai, Osaka Jogakuin, and Hannan Universities.

Mehrasa Alizadeh is 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.

Robert Sheridan (M.S.Ed.) is from Toronto, Canada, and is a full-time lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture at Kindai University in Nara. His research interests include vocabulary acquisition, CLIL, extensive reading, motivation, and assessment.

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. She's Chair of Kansai SIETAR and Coordinator of JALT's Pragmatics SIG.

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.

Michael Hollenback teaches at Konan University, Hirao School of Management, in Nishinomiya. He has taught in Japan for over 10 years, and researches Global Citizenship Education.

Naomi Chiba is a graduate of Kansai Gaidai University, has an MA in Linguistics from the University of Sydney, and teaches at Osaka Jogakuin University and Konan Women's University.


Elisabeth Fernandes holds a double MAT (English and French) from the School for International Training Graduate Institute in Vermont. Her areas of interest include intercultural education, extensive reading and neuroscience.

Sean Gay has a MS in TESOL and PhD in Health Services. He is an Associate Lecturer of English at the School of Policy Studies in Kwansei Gakuin University. His research interests include EFL writing assessment, research-based curriculum development, disaster management, CLIL, and critical thinking in EFL.

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 years as a TESOL teacher in Japan. His research interests include action research, lifelong learning, and individual learner differences.

Officers at Large:

Naoko Amano teaches at her private language school called Yellow Banana in Kishiwada. She’s been teaching English to young learners for over 8 years, and is also a member of iTDi.

Andrew Blaker is from Auckland, New Zealand, and holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham. He currently works for the Osaka City Board of Education. 

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.

Steve Cornwell is Vice President at Osaka Jogakuin University and also teaches online for the New School. He has an EdD from Temple University Japan, and has served in many roles in JALT over the years including as National Director of Program (2010-2016) and currently as Coordinator of the Teachers Helping Teachers SIG. He is also the President of IAFOR's Academic Governing Board.

Julia Kimura is from Toronto, Canada, and teaches EFL at Kindai 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.

Josh MacPherson blogs, creates, and teaches academic vocabulary through his personal website www.VocabularyNinja.com. However, most of his time is spent managing and teaching TOEFL prep through the website www.TOEFLSpeakingTeacher.com. He has taught for over ten years at private and public language schools in Korea, America and Japan. 

Claire Murray is originally from Canada, and holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham. She has taught EFL to a wide range of students in New Zealand and Japan, and currently works for the Osaka City Board of Education.

Mark Pileggi is 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.

Junichi Taguchi, from Nara, enjoys teaching would-be teachers of English at Yamato University, Suita City, Osaka. He taught English for 43 years, mostly at Osaka-Prefectural High schools. While teaching English, he worked as a kind of vocational teacher for more than a decade and featured on NHK TV. He studied philosophy at Kyoto University and his interest is always in humanity. Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.

Hana Takatani has an MA in Linguistics from Kansai Gaidai University and teaches 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.

Jared Wangen teaches young learners at his school in Izumi-shi.

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.