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ALC Newsletter
September 24, 2021

Once again, members of our community have reported several exciting activities! Rather than wear out the welcome of the exclamation mark by attempting to comment on each one, I ask you to please join me in congratulating our colleagues on the following achievements:

Funded by a two-year U of M Humanities Collaboratory grant, Deirdre de la Cruz will be leading the major project “ReConnect/ReCollect: Reparative Connections and Collections at the University of Michigan,” an interdisciplinary research initiative that aims to develop reparative approaches to the vast collection of Philippine materials across campus. 
Eric Haynie successfully defended his dissertation on Saturday, September 4! He is starting a position in educational technology at Santa Clara University. 
FLTA Joseph A. Villarama (also in the “New Faces” section) reports a bumper crop of good news: first of all, his research paper “Second Language Learners on the Lens of Utilizing E-Learning Facilities” has been accepted to the 19th Asia TEFL International Conference, to be held in New Delhi, India. Centered on the theme “Empowering through the English Language: The Dynamics of Teaching and Learning of English in Asia,” the paper focuses on how technology aids the betterment of language, organizational, collaboration, and problem-solving skills based on a study of more than 170 second language learners. This marks Joseph’s third time in a row presenting at the Asia TEFL conference! Joseph was also recently accepted to the International English Language Teachers Association; he was officially inducted on September 2, 2021. Lastly, his submission to the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Regional Centre for Quality Improvement for Teachers and Education Personnel in Language was accepted for their 12th Annual International Symposium of Foreign Language Learning in Jakarta, Indonesia. The theme is “The Use of Technology to Assist Teachers and Students in Language Learning.”
We are pleased to welcome the following faces to our halls:
Joseph Agbuya Villarama joins us this year as Filipino Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA). When not at Michigan, Mr. Villarama is an assistant professor at Central Luzon State University in Nueva Ecija, Philippines, where he also earned his BA in Secondary Education, majoring in English. In addition to other advanced training, Mr. Villarama holds an MA in Education from Tarlac State University (Philippines) and has successfully completed TESOL Asia’s Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages certification course. His research interests include language pedagogy, second language acquisition, corpus linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and materials development.

Mr. Villarama is active in a variety of organizations and capacities, including as a mentor of exchange interns in Southeast Asia under SEAMEO project as well as interns from University of Tsukuba, Japan and Ganesha University of Education, Indonesia. He also chairs the Board of Directors of Nueva Ecija Youth Action Network, a province-wide, non-profit, non-sectarian, non-government, youth-led organization that aims to empower communities in accordance with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. 
Loyane Ferreira is another new face in Thayer. Loyane is here as a visiting doctoral researcher through February, working under the guidance of Don Lopez. Loyane is currently in the Ph.D. program in Religious Studies at the Methodist University of São Paulo, Brazil, with a concentration in Religion, Society, and Culture, where she is supported by two scholarships (including one just to come here!). She is studying Western readings on Buddhism in the context of the 19th century within a colonial framework. In Ann Arbor, her research will focus on translations of the Indian Emperor Asoka’s pillars, also made in that context. 

Loyane holds both a Bachelor’s (2006) and Master’s (2010) in History from the State University of Campinas, and she has been a Buddhist nun since 2011. She finished her studies in Buddhist Theology at the Pramāṇa Institute (2018), where she is now studying for a Master’s Degree in Buddhist Theology. She is also currently a volunteer professor at the Pramāṇa Institute; prior to that she worked as a history professor at Nossa Senhora do Patrocínio University Center.
Minori Suzuki is in our ranks this semester as a grader for the first-year Japanese course. In addition to having studied at UM for her undergraduate degree, she is currently in the Master of Accounting program in the Ross School of Business. She enjoys cooking, playing tennis, and traveling. Her photo is from a famous cherry blossom spot in Nagoya, Japan.
Mizuho Takayama is a GSI for second-year Japanese who has been working in this position for 1.5 years and teaching Japanese for 5 years total. She is passionate about teaching Japanese and sharing her knowledge of Japanese culture. She is especially interested in working on how students can practice kanji clearly and the Japanese aesthetics of kanji. She would like to talk to as many as students as possible, so she hopes anyone looking for a conversation partner, curious about writing kanji, and/or wanting to chat about culture will feel free to join her office hours! 
Saki Inoue also joins our GSI ranks leading recitation sections in second-year Japanese. Originally from Osaka, Japan, she has worked as an English language teacher and academic advisor for several years at Japanese universities. She’s currently a first-year master’s student in the Educational Studies program. She loves listening and playing music and also enjoys working with students and learning together!
Richard Zhao, a third-year law student, is in our halls as a GSI for second-year Chinese. Originally from Shanghai, China, Richard graduated from NYU's Shanghai campus in 2017 as a finance major. While there, he was a two-time resident assistant and an academic peer advising leader. He also volunteered at a local primary school as an English teacher. After graduating college, Richard worked for two years in Shanghai as a healthcare consultant. He spent his first law school summer interning at the Michigan Supreme Court and his second summer at Latham & Watkins in Chicago. His legal interests include health law, child welfare, white collar investigation, and complex commercial litigation. Richard will join Latham & Watkins after graduation. He plans to become a litigator and a white collar lawyer. In his spare time, Richard enjoys standup comedy, legal and political podcasts, classical music, and hiking.
Tianyu Jiang, a GSI for first-year Chinese, earned her BS in Cognitive Science and Data Science at the University of Michigan, and she just started pursuing her MS degree in Applied Statistics. She is very excited about meeting everyone either in person or virtually! In her free time, Tianyu enjoys reading, doodling, trying out new vegan recipes, and writing fan-fics.
Hongyu Yu is with us as a second-year Chinese GSI. She received her BA in communications from China Agricultural University and is finishing her MA in communications from Beijing Foreign Studies University. She has a passionate interest in solving societal issues and wants to focus her academic studies in the area of social demography, in particular, the influence of mass communication in China directed to the general public. 
Our November colloqiuim speaker will be Swarnim Khare. Please stay tuned for more details.
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University of Michigan Department of Asian Languages and Cultures · 202 S Thayer St Ste 6111 · Ann Arbor, MI 48104-5413 · USA

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