The MAJET Committee

MAJET events are organized by the magically eclectic group of volunteers listed below.

From developing resources to organizing events and connecting people with opportunities, we’re working hard to make your time in Miyazaki the best it can be! MAJET’s purpose is to serve the community, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of us if you have questions, feedback, or suggestions you’d like to share.

Executive Team

All MAJET volunteers are equally important, but someone had to be formally in charge, so here we are!

President: Tahirah Newkirk

  • 4th year ALT
  • Hometown: Centreville, Virginia, USA
  • Current town: Hyuga
  • she/her/hers

Oh hi. I’m Tahirah, like “to hear a” sound. That’s how you pronounce my name. Got it? Cool. I’m aware that I’m pretty tall, so you don’t have to remind me. Ask me about how much I love Venus and Serena Williams. I dare you. Hobbies include most logic puzzle and hate-reading novels that have melodramatic plots. Major bucket list items include going to all four major tennis tournaments and riding at least one roller coaster in every country I visit. I’m like your extroverted Sims character whose social bar drains quickly, so I’d love to hang out with you if you’re a cool person.

Let’s enjoy our time in Japan together!!

Vice-President: Sarah Barnes

  • 3rd year ALT
  • Hometown: Durham, England, United Kingdom
  • Current town: Miyazaki City
  • she/her/hers

Hello! I’m a prefectural ALT in Miyazaki City. This will be my 2nd year in Japan. I like sports, being out doors and eating chicken nanban! I joined MAJET to bring all the groups in Miyazaki together. Feel free to send me a message if you’re having a hard time and wanna hang out. See you around!

Vice-President: Kate Bushong

  • 2nd year CIR
  • Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  • Current town: Nichinan
  • she/her/hers

初めまして!I’m the current CIR for Nichinan, aka your friendly neighborhood translator. My hobbies include studying foreign language (Chinese and Japanese), painting, and cooking!

Treasurer: Tom Rawson Hammond

  • 2nd year ALT
  • Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Current town: Miyazaki City
  • they/them/theirs

Hey! I am Tom, hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia in the Great White North. I studied Game Theory in university, and I am a huge fan of board games and anything strategy related (chess anyone?). I do kickboxing in Miyazaki City, and I love a good martial arts anime. When bored, I like cooking, making cocktails, and infusing spirits. I hope to see you at one of the MAJET events this year!

Secretary: Molly Voth

  • 3rd year ALT
  • Hometown: Woodland Park, Colorado, USA
  • Current town: Miyazaki City
  • she/her/hers

HI EVERYONE! I’m Molly! I am from Colorado (USA)
so yes the humidity here was a shock to me too
I am a travel/ photography junkie! I love going on weekend adventures all over Japan and taking photos! I have been to 16 countries and had 18 addresses in my life so far. I absolutely love the outdoors. Camping, hiking, skiing, swimming, diving, kayaking, you name it! Unless I see a huntsman spider then I’m O U T (other spiders are okay). After being here a bit you’ll see what I’m talking about.
My favorite thing in the entire world is my dog Shelly. She is a mini pug and the sassiest creature on the planet. You don’t need to ask, I will show you pictures of her anyway.
Lastly, I am an instagram addict (@hummercedes )
If your ever in need of a hiking/ travel/ or just general adventure buddy let me know


General Volunteers

Who needs labels anyway? As stated above, these folks are just as important when it comes to making MAJET function.

Em Hammet

  • 3rd year ALT
  • Hometown: Columbus, Ohio, USA
  • Current town: Nobeoka
  • she/her/hers

こんにちは! My name is Em Hammett, and I’m from Ohio in the United States. I completed my undergraduate degree at Sarah Lawrence College near New York City. I wish I had majored in Japanese, but instead, I studied mostly creative writing and English (it’s only a matter of time before I ask Tahirah if I can write a blog post). I love Nobeoka City very much, and I look forward to exploring more places in Miyazaki, Kyushu, Japan, and beyond. I am a first year ALT, and I joined MAJET to get involved in a community right away. I was a resident advisor in college, so I love connecting with others, event planning, and, well, fun things! I also love social media a little too much.  よろしくおねがいします.

Mariah Smith

  • 3rd year ALT
  • Hometown: Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • Current town: Miyazaki City
  • she/her/hers/mistress

Wats Up!!!! Hi, I’m Mariah! 2nd year JET located in Miyazaki City but I’m from Detroit. DETROIT!!!! I love dancing. My favorite styles are African, modern, hip hop, belly dancing and aerial silks but I don’t know any studios in Miyazaki (>.< sorry). I’m into baking and anime (of course lol). I also like Lolita fashion and no it’s not the same as cosplay =_=. This is my first year as a MAJET member. I’m excited to have new members and enjoy fun events with you. Let’s have fun!!!

Past MAJET Teams

2016-2017: Jodi Dobinsky, Makaya Moore, Cassie Conrad, Manu Somerville, Peter Bagley, Aurian Eghbalian, Jon Moore, Tam Gibbs, Kyle Spencer
2015-2016: Cassie Conrad, Joanna Gwinnett, Jodi Dobinsky, Manu Somerville, Bethany Harven, Marla Kallstrom
2014-2015: Julian Novales Flamarique, Annica Curtis, Alissa Berdahl, Larissa Milo-Dale, Jodi Dobinsky, Manu Somerville, and Cassie Conrad (Not pictured: Toshiyuki Aochi)