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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 Monday, May 1st at 6:30 pm CST for our May Open Board Meeting! At our open board meeting, we will discuss upcoming events and more in the new term. And in order to honor the special day (May the Fourth...but on the First!), the monthly meeting will be immediately followed by a virtual happy hour with a fun Star Wars twist! The meeting starts at 6:30 pm and the happy hour will begin around 7:30 pm (or earlier if the meeting is finished sooner). Relax with fellow JETs for a night of laid back conversation and fun group activities. Join us for one or both! Theme (optional): Wear your best Star Wars/Intergalactic space swag.

Sign up here!

Open Board Meetings are open to alumni in our jurisdiction (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana)

Questions? Contact us at

USJETAA seeks a well-organized individual with exceptional communication skills to serve as our next Program & Communications Coordinator. If you are passionate about making the JETAA network WORK, we want to hear from you!

See the original job posting here.

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Please join us for the next IUC Alumni Talks featuring Melek Su Ortabasi.

Melek will share her experiences living and studying in Japan and working as a Japanese literature professor. We’ll also discuss her successful efforts to lobby for the opening of Japan's borders after the pandemic.

Register on Zoom

About our speaker

Dr. Melek Su Ortabasi is Associate Professor of World Literature at Simon Fraser University. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and has taught at universities in Canada, the US, and Japan. Her research interests include modern Japanese literature, world children’s literature, translation theory and practice, and popular culture. She is an accomplished author, with numerous published books, academic journal articles, and book chapters. Melek is dedicated to teaching and has taught a variety of courses in world literature at the undergraduate level. Currently, Melek is living in Yokohama with her youngest child while on a visiting professorship at Sophia University in Tokyo. Her latest project is working on a book manuscript about transnational influences on the development of modern Japanese children’s literature.

Join Melek to hear about her background as a bilingual German/English speaker who was raised and educated in different countries, giving her a unique perspective on language and culture. We’ll hear about her experiences studying Japanese literature, going from her time at the IUC to her academic career, and the valuable lessons she’s learned along the way. We will also discuss how her lobbying made a difference for separated families hurt by Japan’s closed borders during the pandemic.

About IUC Alumni Talks

IUC Alumni Talks is a web series organized by alumni Richard ('03), Taranee (‘19), Mariah (‘23) and Megan (‘20).

The goal of these events is to create a space for the IUC alumni network to share their personal journeys with each other and with the wider public including future IUC students. Through this series, we hope to build a strong community among people with diverse associations with Japan.

If you have any questions or feedback, or if you’re interested in getting involved, please contact the organizing committee at

Miss the previous sessions? Mondai nai! Watch here on the IUC Alumni Talks YouTube channel.

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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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