Introducing: the 2015-2016 MAJET Team!

MAJET as an organization strives to plan events and develop resources that will provide members of our community with great experiences while they live in, work in, or visit Miyazaki.

But just who is in charge of all these events and developments? Well, that would be the MAJET Team! This is a group of volunteer Miyazaki JETs who come together with the shared goal of serving our community for the better.

The MAJET Team changes every year as JETs come and go or decide they want to focus their energy elsewhere. Early in the year, the active Team will send out a request for volunteers and nominations for new Team members. Then, by mid-spring the new Team is chosen. By late spring the new Team has already begun planning the next year’s events!

This year has been no exception. The 2015-2016 MAJET Team is now active, and we wanted to introduce ourselves to you and let you know what we have in mind for MAJET’s development this year. So, without further ado…

The 2015-2016 MAJET Team

CassiePicture (1)President: Cassie Conrad (3rd year ALT)

Hi everyone! This is now my second year on the MAJET Team. Over the past year I’ve come to view being a MAJET Team member as my way of fulfilling the “exchange” part of being a JET. I hope that my contributions help make Miyazaki more accessible not only to those living here, but to anyone who wants to come visit, as well. Last year I was a member of the Communications team and spent a lot of time writing and managing event correspondence and developing the MAJET website. My biggest contribution last year was the creation of the MAJET blog, which thankfully has been a huge hit (thanks, everyone!) ^_^ This year I’ve stepped into the role of President. I still have many many ideas in store for the website (and welcome any suggestions for content and resources!), but I also want to help more on the community side. I’d love to see more Japanese residents participating in our events, and I’d like to help provide more opportunities for JETs to become involved in the Miyazaki community.

JoPictureVice President: Jo Gwinnet (3rd year ALT)

Alright my lovelies? As I approach the end of my 2nd year on JET I’m looking back amazed at all of the fantastic things that have happened to me so far, many of which have been thanks to the brilliant ideas and organisation skills of each years fabulous MAJET teams. So this year I’m here to give back! Whether it’s advice on finding vegetarian places to eat, interesting festivals to visit, or how to convey the second and third conditional to a class of silent 16 year olds, I’m here to help! As Vice President I’m hoping to help everyone on the team to organise some exciting events for us to take part in this year and ensure that those events run smoothly. So if there are any events that you would like to see or any festivals you feel would be worthwhile visiting feel free to get in touch!

JodiPictureCommunications Lead / Technomage / Secretary: Jodi Dobinsky (3rd year ALT)

I’m from the American Midwest and I’m about to start my third year on JET.  I’m excited to be continuing on the board and hope to help with many great events in the future.  I originally joined MAJET as a way to make sure I was interacting with people from all over the prefecture.  While the board has fulfilled that requirement, it has also provided me a multitude of unexpected opportunities as well.  I’m looking forward to another great year.


ManuPictureJapanese Liaison / Treasurer: Manu Somerville (3rd year ALT)

Hey, all. Dragged with a minimum of kicking and screaming into a second year of the MAJET Team behind Cassie and Jodi, I’ll be helping out the crew with my wicked-rad grasp of the Japanese language. (NB: Grasp may be slippery under stress.) If you ever need help with reading/deciphering anything, from ingredients lists to stuff in your letterbox, I’m happy to try and help! As well as general translation duties, I’ll be trying to step up from last year in planning and other work the team does, to help where needed in a smaller team compared to last year.

BethPictureCommunity Liaison: Beth Harven (2nd year ALT)

I joined MAJET because I am desperately seeking ways to give back to young expats and EFL teachers now that I am nearing 30. Well, maybe desperately is a bit strong, but, seriously, MAJET was pretty helpful during my freshman year in Miyazaki. The Facebook MAJET page, the blog, and the monthly events really helped me jump into the local community, and I’d like to help others do the same. Or maybe I just want one more thing to distract me from my kanji Anki deck. I want to connect MAJET and local businesses, create more free events, and get MAJET involved in more community volunteer work. I think this year’s team is really focused on making the blog stellar, so I’m all about that. I’d also like to use the blog to showcase more of our local talent. So let me know if you have something you want to share!

MarlaPictureSupport / Communications / Treasurer: Marla Kallstrom (3rd year ALT)

Hey there! After two years of enjoying MAJET events, I’ve decided to join the team who helped create them. I’m hoping to bring you some fun and thought-provoking content on the blog over the next year. (Regrettably, this current blurb won’t showcase that since it’s being written in a cottage in Seagaia at 2 am.) I like writing and teaching people new things, so look forward to more articles on things to try in Miyazaki. I’m also general support, so if you’ve got any questions or ideas, let me know. That goes especially for any of you newcomers who’ve already found your way here. (Congrats on that—I didn’t find the Facebook group until 3 months in!)   To learn more about us, check out our bios on the MAJET Team page. Together, we’ll do our best to bring you exciting events and helpful resources to make your time in Miyazaki the best it can be! We welcome any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have, and look forward to seeing you at our first event, the 2015 Farewell Party.