Contact Us

Earlham College Office

Gary DeCoker | Director, Japan Study, Earlham College
decokga@earlham.edu | 765-983-1890
Gary became the director of Japan Study in 2003. He also was the Resident Director in 1991-92 when he was a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. He received his MA in Japanese Studies and Ph.D. in Comparative Education from the University of Michigan. At Earlham, he is Professor of Japanese Studies. His research interests include educational reform and education in the arts. He is the editor of National Standards and School Reform in Japan and the United States (Teachers College Press, 2002), Japanese Education in the Era of Globalization (Teachers College Press, 2013), and numerous articles and book chapters on contemporary Japanese education, the teaching of the Japanese traditional arts, and current issues in U.S. education. His publications have appeared in Harvard Educational Review, Education About Asia, Social Education,Monumenta Nipponica, Phi Delta Kappan, Education Week, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. DeCoker has been awarded research grants from the Japan Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Japanese Ministry of Education, and the Japan-United States Friendship Commission.

Valerie Rambin | Assistant Director, Japan Study, Earlham College
rambiva@earlham.edu | 765-983-1883
A graduate of the University of Puget Sound, Valerie has been working as the Japan Study Assistant Director since October 2011. After receiving her BA in Japanese and International Relations in 2003, she became an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme in Niigata for two years. In 2008, after five years living and working in Niigata and Tokyo, she moved back to the U.S. to work in student affairs and residence life at Showa Women's University in Boston, where she worked with Japanese college students studying abroad in the U.S. In May 2011, she graduated with her MAEd in Leadership in Higher Education from Baldwin-Wallace University. Her areas of interest include assessment and intercultural communication.

Mary Owens | Coordinator, Japan Study, Earlham College
owensma@earlham.edu | 765-983-1224
Mary, a native of the Richmond, Indiana area and graduate of Indiana University,  has worked with the Japan Study Program since July 1991.  Mary comes from a farming background where hard-work, common sense and practicality are essential.   Having put three children through college, she is familiar with parent-related questions and concerns.  Don't hestitate to call her for any information regarding the program's details or logistics.

Waseda University Office

Michiyo Nagayama | Program Associate, International Division, Waseda University
Michiyo has worked with Japan Study at the Waseda University office since 1984. She has extensive experience working with host families and providing support to students. As an undergraduate at Waseda University, she participated on the Japan Study program and studied abroad at Albion College for a year. She received her MA and Ph.D. in Education from Waseda University. Her research interests include liberal arts colleges and study abroad programs. She also teaches at Rikkyo University about multiculturalism and higher education.

Sarah Bernard Asada | Program Assistant, International Division, Waseda University
A graduate of Antioch College, Sarah participated in the Japan Study program in 2002-03 and has been working with Japan Study since 2004. Sarah is currently completing her Ph.D. in International Studies at the Waseda University. Her research focuses on the long-term impacts of study abroad on participants’ personal, academic, and career development. In addition to her experience at Japan Study supporting American and Japanese students in their study abroad experiences, she has worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant at Waseda University and has 7 years of experience as a teacher at a private high school and junior high school located in Tokyo.