Who We Are | The HAJET Prefectural Council

Hello from the 2018 HAJET Prefectural Council! Our goal is to make sure your time within Japan is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. We’re looking forward to meeting you (yes, you, right there)! If you have questions, feel free to reach out!

 


Devan Hawkins : President

Devan Hawkins

President

president@hajet.org

Hello and welcome!

The name is Devan Hawkins and proudly the 2018-2019 President of HAJET. I'm a kendo-practising, onsen-loving beard enthusiast from Toronto, Canada. I'm placed in a small fishing town called Furubira located on the northern coast of the southwest region. When I'm not playing Nintendo games from under my kotatsu at home, I enjoy other sit-down activities like writing, studying Japanese and driving on Hokkaido's big, open roads. Then the weekend comes and I go from hermit to adventurer, ready to travel around in my little kei-car to wherever the next island event is, big or small.

This year as President, it is my aim to keep HAJET on it's current course: running smoothly to prosperity, with a lot of fun on the way. Like most things in life, we reap what we sow, and in order to get the most from HAJET and give the most to you, I'll work hard to listen to your words, change what isn't working and make HAJET something that we all want to be a part of. With that, know that you can always contact me (my email is written above) with all of your concerns, suggestions, worries and adventure stories, and I'd be happy to hear from you.

May the adventure continue.

Adrian Vele : Vice President

Adrian Vele

Vice President

vp@hajet.org

Hey guys! How’s it going? My name’s Adrian and I’m your HAJET Vice President for the 2018-2019 term. I’m currently serving my community at a high school in the lovely city of Takikawa in the central Sorachi region. Although it’s only my first year on JET, it happens to be my 5th year living in this far away land. Back in 2010-2014, I resided in the picturesque hot spring resort town of Beppu while attending Uni. After graduating, I returned home to Boston and then proceeded to move to Prague, Czech Republic (my other home) where I pursued a TEFL certification and taught for a year.

When I’m not teaching or otherwise exploring my surroundings, I’m often travelling internationally, visiting friends, and soaking up as much of the local history as I can. And, while I love being outside and doing extended treks through the mountains, I’m also quite partial to bartending and playing poker.

As the HAJET VP, it’ll be my responsibility to ensure our seasonal meetings and events go smoothly. Much of my duties will be behind the scenes but, I’ll also be taking an active role in supporting Devan in his grand vision for HAJET.

If you ever have any questions, need any help (HAJET related or otherwise), or just want a travel buddy - Let me know! I’m always ready to listen and I’m always down for a new adventure ^^ Best of luck and I look forward to getting to know you all better in the coming year.

Nivedh Sreejit : Secretary

Nivedh Sreejit

Secretary

secretary@hajet.org

Hello fellow HAJET’ers and beyond! I’m Nivedh Sreejit and I’m your HAJET secretary this year!

Unlike my superstar predecessor, I’m quite fresh to the HAJET Prefectural Council but through my experience as your first year rep. i’ve benefitted from exposure to the awesome activities of this organization and am excited to put that insight to some good use this year. As secretary, my work for HAJET will mostly consist of maintaining the extensive member directory and note-taking at the general meetings so future members have insight into the thought processes and decisions being made in this exciting chapter of our organization! Beyond this, my role includes providing support and logistics for our various online platforms, mailing services and participating in the decision making process of the Prefectural Council at large.

Originally hailing from Calgary (cow-town), Canada, I now live in the smelly—but loveable—city of Monbetsu in the Okhotsk region of Hokkaido. I find myself keeping busy through various activities here in my city, such as participating and competing in my local Kendo club, and by whisking off on the weekends (as many of us do) to the various cities and towns of Hokkaido to make merry with my fellow HAJET’ers. I’ve spent my first-year immersing myself in the Hokkaido-wide activities organized by HAJET and I believe, in occupying the role of HAJET secretary I can give back, in some small way, to an organization that has so significantly impacted my experience here in Japan. I’m so stoked to see what we accomplish in this coming year and am looking forward to meeting all of you at one of our exciting events!

Claire Bate-Roullin : Treasurer

Claire Bate-Roullin

Treasurer

treasurer@hajet.org

Hi everyone! My name is Claire (though my students all know me as Kiki) and I’m the 2018-2019 Treasurer for HAJET.

I’m originally from the Big Smoke aka London but decided that I had enough of the grey skies and rain and moved to Hokkaido where I get to enjoy the grey skies and snow instead!

I’m currently living in the south western town of Yoichi, mainly known for its whiskey, apples and wine. In the day you can find me running after small kids and doing high speed renditions of head shoulders knees and toes whilst in the evenings you can find me running to catch the last train and badly singing Britpop songs at karaoke.

In my spare time I also enjoy ‘experimenting’ in my kitchen, travelling to new places and trying their local specialities (which Japan seems to have an endless supply of) as well as making the most of what our beautiful island has to offer, whether it be snowshoeing and skiing in the winter or camping and hiking in the summer. If any of that sounded good, let me know! The more the merrier.

Let’s enjoying HAJET!

Ashley Stefanuk : Project Outreach Coordinator

Ashley Stefanuk

Project Outreach Coordinator

project.outreach@hajet.org

Hello! My name is Ashley. I live in SW Hokkaido's Yakumo-cho, where it's "cloudy eight days of the week". I find this to be quite often true, but luckily am able to console myself of this with a local fried chicken shop called 'Harvester'.

I come from a city in Canada called Calgary -- a place mostly unknown to others, save for a surprising amount of Japanese Olympic enthusiasts (we held them in 1988). Skiing and snowboarding are also popular in the area -- though I do neither.

Instead my hobbies include memorizing poems, playing games, and trying to find my left slipper. Since coming to Japan I now also enjoy capturing interesting sounds and hunting down my town's yakitori truck. Oh yeah. I'm also really big on travelling and volunteering (sometimes even together). So if there's anything local or abroad you'd like to get involved with, or get others involved with, let me know!

Cyndy Lynn : Central Representative

Cyndy Lynn

Central Representative

central.rep@hajet.org

Hi! I’m Cynthia Doyle and I’m originally from Louisville, Kentucky. My placement is in Takikawa and my hobbies include running and eating donuts. I really enjoy meeting new people and making friends! Always down for a road trip so if you’re ever feeling lonely in Hokkaido just shoot me a message!

Max Alec : Northern Representative

Max Alec

Northern Representative

northern.rep@hajet.org

Hello hello! 2017-18 Northern Rep, Max, here. I’m a British JET living in Nayoro, which - like almost every other town and city on our island - claims to have the best snow in Japan. It’s also known locally for sunflowers, wheat fields, mochi rice and star gazing, so our mascot is a cute lil’ anthropomorphic amalgam of these.

Last August, I moved to Hokkaido from a county called Essex, known for fields, farms and a fake tan fuelled TV program. Nowadays, you’ll find me keen to join in any gatherings where beer or rugby is concerned, bubbling away in an onsen like a sexy fat slab of pork in a ramen bowl or bumming a lift around our beaut of an island to go skiing, camping or having a good old time.

You can drop me a message or email if you want to hit up a Yakiniku place, fancy belting out some karaoke or want a chin wag about anything!

Adriana Garcia : Sapporo Representative

Adriana Garcia

Sapporo Representative

sapporo.rep@hajet.org

Hi Hi!!! My name is Adriana Garcia but the students call me Nana-Sensei or Ms. Nana. I was born in Los Angeles and lived there for a whole two years before my family moved to the Reno, Nevada area where I was raised. Now I live in Sapporo where the only real difference in weather is that there is a bit more snow and it’s not a total desert.

I started my journey in Japan years ago as an exchange student in the Kansai area where I developed a reputation for traveling every weekend. While my love for travel has not gone away it has slowed down to not every weekend but I’m always open for adventure. I am a total geek who enjoys all things DC and am trying to adapt my cosplay game to life without a sewing machine. My hobbies include karaoke, candy, karaoke, ice cream, and just geeking out with good friends. I’m always up for a movie or any arcade. As your Sapporo rep I would like to help plan events to bring the Sapporo community together whether it be an impromptu karaoke meeting or a chance to check out the illumination in the winter (no one can take your picture on a solo trip!). I’m also down to help out in any way I can.

Koji Umezawa : Southwestern Representative

Koji Umezawa

Southwestern Representative

southwestern.rep@hajet.org

Hello, everyone!

My name is Koji Umezawa. Originally hailing from the great city of Toronto, I am currently a JHS ALT in Noboribetsu. This little city (or huge town, depending on your perspective) famous nationally for its natural hot springs, and attracts tons of tourists year round to visit the various onsens as well as Jigokudani (a.k.a. Hell Valley). According to legend, the hot water in Noboribetsu comes directly from the underworld. As such, the people have chosen the Devil as the city's mascot, as well as host an annual Hell festival every summer. It's more endearing than that sounds, trust me.

My hobbies include reading, as well as video and board games. I devoted one of my luggage bags solely to transporting my games to japan, So if you feel like forming (or ruining) some friendships hit me up!

As your rep for 2017-2018, I will continue to act as your direct line to HAJET PC, as well as organise various events to not only get the southwest crew together, but also to bring JETs from all over hokkaido to our oft overlooked region! Please don't hesitate to contact me any way you can either to get the word out on events, or with any concerns you have with HAJET or Hokkaido life in general! Looking forward to this year! d^^b

Charlotte Emmott : Eastern Representative

Charlotte Emmott

Eastern Representative

eastern.rep@hajet.org

HEY Y’ALL, COULD YOU HEAR ME COMING?! Because you usually can; my voice and laugh could wake up hibernating bears. Wait, that’s a bad thing here in Hokkaido…

What’s up y’all, my name is Charlotte, best known as Charlie. But you can call me Chuck, Chuckie, Charles Dickens, Prince Charles, all of those winners right there. I’m your 2018-2019 Eastern Rep! I’ve been here in Hokkaido for 2 years now and I’ve already made a name for myself as one of the loudest people here in Hokkaido. I’m technically from Canada, but I was born in South Africa, had my childhood in Northern England (yep, I’m a scouser), and moved to Canada when I was 12 years old. Canada, however, is definitely where I consider home; Calgary, Alberta to be exact. I say ‘eh’ all the time and everything!

I currently reside in a cute little fishing town famous for scallops and curling; Tokoro, Kitami. I teach them all, from kindergarten to high school, all the brats here in Tokoro are my students.

When I’m not hiding from the 1st graders screaming “CHARLIE SENSEI, ONI-GOKO!!” during the week, I’m spending my weekends driving all over our beautiful island on crazy adventures with all of you, or hosting cozy dinner parties at my house, where I like to invite anyone and everyone passing through in for for a latte and a hang out.

As your Eastern Rep this year, I want to showcase a lot of lesser-known places here in the East, and put a spotlight on the ALT’s that live there. But, as well as repping the heck out of our side of the Island, I’ll mostly be here as a support system and a friend to talk to when winter blues or life’s little bumps getcha down. Like I said, my home is always open and I have a latte machine… I HAVE A LATTE MACHINE.

LET’S BE FRIENDS, YALL!

Ben Lee : HEC Coordinator

Ben Lee

HEC Coordinator

hec@hajet.org

Hey all!
I'm Ben, this year's HEC Coordinator. I'm originally from Boston and have been living in Hokkaido for 2 years. I like outdoor sports, reading books, eating, cooking, lots of music, and a whole bunch of other things that I'm not going to list here. But you can feel free to ask me about them -- I prefer face-to-face conversation over having you read about me online anyway 🙂
You can also talk to me about anything related to HEC, the best ALT-run Summer English camp you'll find anywhere in Japan!"
Sonia Chand : Publications Coordinator

Sonia Chand

Publications Coordinator

publications@hajet.org

Hey everyone! I’m Sonia and I’m the new Publications Coordinator for 2017-2018. That means I’ll be working on getting the Hokkaido Newcomers Guide (HNG) out to you.

I’m originally from Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest and friendliest city. Now, I live in the town of Yoichi which I call ‘little Scotland’, being the home of Japanese whiskey and Soran Bushi. Yoichi’s Scottish roots go way back to my very own hometown. The first ever foreigner to live here was also a fellow Scot from Kirkintilloch. As a result, I don’t get homesick very often! Yoichi is just an hour outside of Sapporo and well worth the visit. The train glides past a beautiful shoreline, covered with uniquely shaped boulders and rocks. You’ll eventually come across the spectacular Shiripa cape. Initially, chosen by the Ainu as a point of high spiritual energy, locals now believe it’s the perfect spot to watch the famous the crimson sunset.

My hobbies include reading, salsa dancing, volunteering and watching horror movies with a wonderful lady from my BOE. This winter, I tried snowshoeing for the first time and I’m keen to keep it up! It’s a lot less painful than skiing (as long as you have both shoes) and a great way to keep active in winter. If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, then you have the chance to try it by areas that pretty much remain untouched in winter. I can guarantee you’ll have fun if you travel around a bit and find new places to explore. In fact, my weekends are all about travelling. I love meeting up with my new Hokkaido friends and getting up to all sorts of shenanigans. In the evenings, I take bagpipe lessons and try not to get tipsy off the fumes from the whiskey distillery on my walk back from school.

As the new HNG coordinator, my goal is to keep the guide up-to-date and ensure that you get the best possible advice available. I also plan on reaching out to various businesses that are popular within the ALT community for sponsorship. If you need to contact me for any publications related reasons, then feel free to get in touch at publications@hajet.org.

I always attend HAJET meetings and welcome events so look out for me!

Adam Gentle : Bookseller

Adam Gentle

Bookseller

bookseller@hajet.org

Hi, guys! My name is Adam, and I live up in the lovely and slightly stinky city of Monbetsu on the Okhotsk coast. If you're into petting seals, meeting Russians, viewing drift ice, eating crab, or hanging with me, you should stop by sometime. I've got plenty of coffee/tea, and an entire wall filled with about a thousand books for you to peruse and purchase/gawk at.

This is actually my fourth position on the HAJET PC, and during that time I've come to appreciate the cool and completely donation-based resource that is the HAJET English Bookstore, and I am super stoked to continue the tradition. If you have books you'd like to donate, hit me up via email at bookseller@hajet.org and we'll work out a way to take them off your hands.

If you would like to make a purchase, check out the up to date Google Doc on what we currently have and the corresponding Goodreads reviews on the Hajet website under the Resources tab and then shoot me an email with your literary wants from the doc. I'll get back to you with a total and some ways to make your dreams come true. All proceeds from the bookstore go to fund HAJET events and outreach programs.

Also, check out the Hokkaido English Book Club I run on Facebook if you get a chance. HAJET is all about building community, and this particular one is the perfect place to connect with other equally nerdy individuals from around Hokkaido and dork out about everything from the latest Neil Gaiman to what makes "1984" the perfect introduction to dystopian fiction (actual discussions).

You can find our bookstore here!

Cheers, and happy reading!

 

Derek Moore : Elections Coordinator

Derek Moore

Elections Coordinator



Dia dhaoibh! How are you all keeping?

My name is Derek Moore, a 2nd year CIR in the skier paradise, Niseko. I’m really looking forward to be finally getting the lead out and actually getting involved in HAJET rather than just looking at it. As elections coordinator I’ll be the one helping organise the various elections of HAJET and I look forward to getting to know you all and getting plenty of nominations from everyone, ALT and CIR alike. So if you’re every interested in running for anything or just want a chat, please do let me know.

Without going too much into the autobiography, I come from a small village called Sallins (*hipster voice* you’ve probably never heard of it), famous for oaks and horses, about an hour south-west of Dublin, capital of the land of Saints and Scholars, Ireland. The rural landscape where there are often more sheep than people at times, and ever moody Atlantic weather have well and truly prepared me for Hokkaido. (I think…)

Though I live within driving distance to a ski resort, I have never actually gone skiing. Rather I fill my spare time reading whatever I can get my hands on, video games (RPGs and platformers are my specialty), film, and learning languages. Admittedly that last one is more an obsession, given that I speak four languages fluently (English, Irish – that weird thing at the beginning there-, French, and Japanese) and about 4 more (German, Spanish, Italian, Polish) at a basic level. So if you ever need a nerd to join your party (I’ve great luck stats –being Irish and all) or a table-quiz, let me know.

Slán agus beannacht!

Elissa Doyle : HEC Camp Coordinator

Elissa Doyle

HEC Camp Coordinator

heccamp@hajet.org

Hello friends!

My name’s Elissa and I’m the 2018 HEC Camp Coordinator!  I’m originally from a small town in Ontario, Canada and am currently residing in an equally as small, active, friendly town called Atsuma. It’s about 30 minutes southeast of the New Chitose Airport.  We are known for haskaps, rice (of course), unique restaurants and some wicked fun events. When I’m not at home living up the Atsuma life, you can usually find me out in the mountains enjoying the beautiful nature Hokkaido has to offer.  If you can’t see me, don’t worry, chances are you can hear me all the way from Wakanai.

I am in my first year here of the JET Programme and decided to get involved with HEC because I’m one of those people that just loves camp and can’t seem to give it up.  It is also a great opportunity for me to meet all of you wonderful humans, build stronger relationships with the people of Hokkaido and get to witness firsthand how ALT’s can make an impact on a large group of students.  If all of this sounds fun to you and you’re interested in joining in on the excitement, feel free to get in contact with me via Facebook or email.

I hope to see you all around!

Alex Reyes : Polestar Editor

Alex Reyes

Polestar Editor



Hi, I'm Alex. I am the Polestar Editor and to be 2nd year JET. I spend my off-time taking photos. If you're interested in writing for the Polestar feel free to contact me!

Kyle Willits : Webmaster

Kyle Willits

Webmaster

webmaster@hajet.org

Hi friends! I’m Kyle from the tiny, tiny, tiny town of Utashinai. We likely have more deer than people in my neighborhood. Before coming on the great JET adventure I was a web developer at a few different businesses, so this isn’t my first rodeo! I figured I’d put my skills to good use and help all of you. The past year has been a blur of finishing my Master’s, learning Japanese, working full time, and teaching; it still feels like I’m unable to slow down. I’m a big believer in black coffee and green tea.

Besides studying Japanese, this year I’ve started learning Kyuudo and have been teaching myself how to roast and brew coffee. I also enjoy photography and I try to explore Japan as much as possible in order to document how beautiful it is.

If you want to learn about web development for some post-JET career assistance, or just need a friend to talk to, don’t hesitate to let me know!