AJET Bios

Executive Council

Pat Owens, President, 2nd year ALT in Hachinohe City, Kansas City, KS, USA

President – Howdy! My name is Pat Owens and I’m originally from the suburbs of Kansas City, Kansas, USA, you can find me currently situated in the lovely Hachinohe City. Before heading this way, I went to college at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington (Seattle’s smellier neighbor), where I got a degree in some ridiculously-titled major called “Foreign Languages and International Relations.” Immediately after that I also spent two years in Seoul, South Korea, doing…pretty much the same job as I’m doing here!

I spend most of my time in Hachinohe split between the following things: going out on the town with Sanpachi-Kitakami kids, watching TV, snowboarding, playing ice hockey (badly), surfing (worsely), co-hosting Hachinohe’s foreigner-run radio show, writing articles for Good Morning Aomori and playing video games. While writing this bio, I’m trying to avoid saying anything witty, as I don’t want to build any expectations!

If you have any questions about anything, please don’t hesitate to ask myself or one of the infinitely more interesting AJET council members who you can find below!

Ryan Smith, Vice President, 3rd year ALT in Aomori City, Christchurch, New Zealand

Vice President – Hi Aomori friends! I’m stoked to be your AJET Vice-president this year. I’ve always loved getting involved with the community and running events to bring everyone together to have fun. I organised events for international students back in NZ and also worked as a tour guide for a while before moving here in 2011. I’m pretty big into snowboarding, video games, ’80s movies, travelling, longboarding and most importantly, good food. I currently live in Aomori city with my fiance Chiaki.

There’s a lot of Aomori that I’d like people to experience, and so we’re going to focus our events this year on getting out to some of the less travelled to spots, which are what really makes Aomori so special (think cabin/camping trips!). Also, if you have an idea for an event or something you’d like to see happen, we’d love to hear about it! Can’t wait to see you all at our next event.

Amanda Marcroft, 1st year ALT in Hachinohe City, Sacramento, California USA

 Treasurer – Hey there! I came here from the sunny valley of California where my most applicable degree was in Japanese Language and Literature…..which has proven fairly useless. If you like (or even know) Edogawa Rampo though, come find me for some overenthusiastic discussions.

I grew up in the desert and Aomori came as a sort of rough surprise so in winter you’ll likely see me wearing everything I own. Fortunately, snowboarding has won me over so you can usually find me out there, at our various events, doing some mounted archery, or playing any game I can get in on. I’m excited to meet you all and have some great times.

Appointed Positions

These positions are being filled by dedicated people with either an expertise or strong interest in the field in which they are working. For more information about what the Website Coordinator, Online Publications Coordinator, Translations Coordinator, or Volunteer Programs Coordinator do or how you can get involved, please contact them through the CONTACT FORM.

Jacqueline Laibinis, Online Publications Coordinator, 3rd year ALT in Aomori City, Texas USA

Online Publications Coordinator:
Hello y’all!  I moved here from sunny California but am originally from Texas.  Before coming to Aomori, I studied Theatre Performance at Chapman University.  While I miss the laid back, warm atmosphere of California along with all the delicious sandwiches, cheeses, and beer, I have come to really enjoy all that Aomori has to offer (picking up snowboarding during winter really helped!)  My hobbies other than snowboarding include:  cooking, traveling, and yoga.  I also love, love, loooveee listening to audiobooks (currently on Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card).
I am currently the Head Editor of the online Aomori JET publication, Good Morning Aomori (GMA for short!)  It’s a great place to find writings by JETs, ideas for lessons, recipes to try, music/movies to check out, and a lot more.  It publishes twice a month, so bookmark it or follow us at:  www.goodmorningaomori.wordpress.com
About my position: Aomori AJET’s communication with JETs is a central part of how we maintain our community. Our monthly AJET Aomori Spotlight and Good Morning Aomori reaches current JETs to provide them with a way to contribute their skills via writing, drawing, photos, and more. Editing and coordinating these contributions is a task requiring creative drive, and the desire to put forth a dynamic publication each month. They help give JETs a valuable forum and outlet for what’s on their mind.

Mitchell Urbanowicz, Translation Coordinator, 1st year ALT, New York, USA

Translation Coordinator:
Hello everyone! My name is Mitchell Urbanowicz, and I am originally from Upstate New York. Before leaving for Aomori, I was studying biochemistry along with Japanese, so I am no stranger to the language. I grew up in Europe as a child, so in a sense, languages are my forte. I have also had some experience in college doing some translation work from Japanese to English for books on Japanese linguistics. While I will not promise anything great, I will do my best to communicate our message into moonrunes. Besides languages, my hobbies include photography and gaming, so you might see me in very unusual places around the country or traveling out of season when I am not at arcades or in my room beating up some bad guys. I hope to help everyone in the best way I can this year!

About my Position: 
Translation Coordinator: Aomori AJET’s public image depends on our ability to provide timely information in both English and Japanese. As such, we rely on JETs who can manage, support, and oversee a variety of short translation projects throughout the year. This is a professional challenge, and a way to gain experience in the field of interpreting/translation.
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2 thoughts on “AJET Bios

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Aomori! | Aomori AJET

  2. Pingback: Welcome to Aomori | Aomori AJET

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