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The JETAA Chicago Leadership is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone in our community. To learn more review our Community Conduct & Agreements.

Join us on Friday, June 2nd from 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM, CST, for the first event of JETAA Chicago's '23 Survival Series, JETogether, for outgoing '23 JETs ! This event will be an informal meet and greet for outgoing JETs to get the chance to learn about different areas in Japan, showcased by JET Alumni, as well as the opportunity to meet other JETs departing for the same area. Save the date and come join us in kicking off the Survival Series!

Also, JETAA Chicago is in need of JET alumni mentors to help educate and onboard the next generation of outgoing JETs! If you are interested in being an alumni mentor for future events, please fill out the Alumni Mentor In-take Form!

Being located in the Chicagoland area is not required to be a mentor. Illinois suburban and subchapter alumni in Wisconsin and Indiana are welcome and wanted!

Sign up here!

This event is open to JET alumni and outgoing JETs.

Questions? Contact our Outreach Coordinator, Constance.

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We would like to welcome Joe Palermo to the 2023-2024 JETAA Chicago Board as our Networking Lead! Take a look below at Joe's officer profile to learn about his motivations, values and goals.

Our Networking Lead, Joe Palermo (he/him), was an MEF (Mombunsho English Fellow) in Gunma Prefecture from 1982-1984.

Tell us more about your JET experience.

I was part of the original Mombusho English Fellow (MEF) program which was pre-JET. I was based in the beautiful mountainous town of Numata, located in Gunma Prefecture. My role was to visit 50 middle schools in the region and do what we called "one shots". This meant doing self-introductions and teaching 3-4 classes per visit.

When did you join/how long have you been on the JETAA Board? What positions have you held?

I have just recently joined the board in 2023.

What inspired you to step up as a leader and join the JETAA Chicago Board?

I have a lifelong interest in Japan and I wanted to give back to those involved with JET.

Describe your officer duties and what you are looking forward to in regard to your responsibilities.

I've just recently joined the board, but I plan to be an experienced resource and try to involve those who were part of the original MEF program in our activities.

What could be a healthy and/or needed culture add to JETAA Chicago?

A healthy add would be to include older members with experience in the MEF program or who have had long experiences living in Japan beyond JET.

What is one goal you would like to accomplish as an officer of JETAA Chicago, or something that you are looking forward to being a part of?

I have just joined the board, but have participated in most board meetings over the last two years.

For you, what sparks joy?

- Writing and publishing articles (Nostalgia Magazine, Reminisce, Japonica, etc.)

- Speaking and studying Japanese

- Playing music (guitar) and attending concerts & musicals

- Intentionally making time for friends weekly over coffee and lunch in retirement

- Playing Pokemon Go

What is your favorite Japanese "thing" near where you live now (and/or in the Midwest)?

Shopping at Mitsuwa

Connect with Joe via LinkedIn!

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Interested in a specific topic of study or want to learn more about fields within International Affairs? Hear from leading graduate schools that offer topic-focused grad school programs in a more intimate setting during these small group chats hosted by the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA):

Development and Conflict Resolution - May 10 at 4:00pm ET

Diplomacy and International Cooperation - May 16 at 4:00pm ET

Women, Peace, and Security - May 18 at 12:00pm ET

National Security and Global Threats - May 23 at 2:00pm ET

Global Communications - May 25 at 4:00pm ET

Human Rights, Social Justice, and Law - May 31 at 2:00pm ET

Energy, Sustainability, and Climate - June 6 at 4:00pm ET

Global Public Health - June 8 at 12:00pm ET

Register here:

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Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Alumni Association of Chicago
Connecting JET alumni in the Midwest - Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana
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