Who we are:
JETAA Ottawa was founded in 1991 and is one of 52 JETAA chapters in 17 countries with over 60,000 members worldwide. We are alumni of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. All of our members, located in and around Ottawa, have participated in the JET Programme as an Assistant Language Teacher or a Coordinator for International Relations.
What we do:
We promote a deeper and stronger relations between Japan and Canada. Together with the Japanese embassy in Ottawa, we help promote the JET Programme, assist with JET application interviews and pre-departure orientation, and offer support and information to JET alumni.
President Brandon Wallace
Brandon Wallace was an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) on the JET Programme, placed in Akashi city, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan from 2011 to 2013. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research, NYC, with a particular interest in political philosophy. He has a passion for all things Japanese, including history, politics, language, and culture. He has passed the N3 level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). He currently works as Cultural Assistant at the Embassy of Japan.
Secretary Morgan Dufour
From a young age Morgan has constantly been on the move. Born in Ottawa, she's lived on both coasts of Canada, and in Germany. Following her Honours Bachelor of Science with Specialization in Psychology, she taught English in Tokyo on the JET Programme from 2015 to 2017. After this incredible experience, she moved back to Ottawa and currently spends her time bouldering, reading, and watching Netflix.
Treasurer Erica Long
Erica Long was an ALT on the JET Programme in Ashikita, a small town of 20,000 in Kumamoto Prefecture, from 2006 to 2011. She is originally from B.C. but on returning to Canada she moved to another small city of 20,000 in Canada's north, Yellowknife. Since moving to Ottawa in 2016 she has enjoyed the many opportunities to become involved with JETAA Ottawa and other Japan related groups in the city.
Event Coordinator Amy Kirasack
Amy was born in Ottawa and also lived in Pennsylvania and Singapore as a child. In 2014, she received a degree in Literature and Psychology at the University of Ottawa and spent three years as an ALT in Yamagata city. During her last year on JET, she served as AJET President for the Yamagata chapter, in which she coordinated events throughout the prefecture. In her free time, she enjoys eating, cats, and meditation, though not necessarily in that order.
Social Media Coordinator
Andrew was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. He attended Trent University in Peterborough to complete two degrees. First, he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in History and minoring in English Literature. Next, he completed a Bachelor of Education degree so that he could one day teach intermediate/secondary level students in a public school board. He moved to Hiroshima, Japan in 2014 to teach elementary and junior high school English as a Second Language classes with the Higashihiroshima Board of Education. He returned to Canada in 2016 and currently does seasonal work including a short-term contract at the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa.
Communications Tyler Bissonnette
Tyler Bissonnette was an ALT on the JET Programme Tamba city, Hyogo Prefecture from 2013 to 2017. During that time he worked for National AJET as the Block Representative of Hyogo, Kyoto, and Shiga and had the role of Representative Team Leader. He holds an Honours B.A. in Psychology with a minor in History from the University of Ottawa and worked for the Paper Selection Committee of the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa in late 2017/early 2018.
Translator Victoria Zielinski
Victoria Zielinski was an ALT on the JET Programme from 2014 to 2016 in Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. As a graduate of Business Commerce with a concentration in Marketing and minor in Japanese, Victoria had spent a semester abroad in Scotland as well. As an adaptable globe-trotter speaking several languages, she's always excited for the next adventure. Happy to have a home to return to in Ottawa, however, she had the privilege to work as Ambassador's assistant and is now the Head Translator of JETAA Ottawa.
Website Stephanie Ann Smith
Stephanie Smith grew up in the tiny Northern Ontario Town of Spanish, and pursued an Environmental Studies Bachelor of Arts at Carleton University in Ottawa before whisking herself off to Japan. Between 2014 and 2017, she worked as a JET Programme assistant language teacher at an elementary school in Shiga Prefecture, where she first began to be really enamoured with the Japanese language. She has recently returned to Japan to pursue work in Fukuoka Prefecture, maintaining the JETAA Ottawa website from abroad. Her interests include meditation, food sustainability and organic farming, cycling, minimalist living and of course Japanese language study.
Newsletter Editor Anna Rayner-Grignon
I was an ALT for 5 years, 2010 - 2015, in Kumamoto and currently work for the Political Section in the Embassy of Japan. I enjoy reading and cooking. I have the N2 JLPT and am working very slowly towards the N1. I'm always interested to know how we could improve our newsletter for our members and friends. Feel free to drop me a line with your ideas!
Graphic Designer Nancy Abou-Chahine
Nancy Abou-Chahine participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme as an ALT in Shima, Mie, for a full year (2015-2016). During that time, she was selected by the Japanese Prime Minister’s public relations office to represent Canada in a promotional video for the G7 Summit, which took place May 2016 in the Ise-Shima region. After returning to Canada, Nancy continues to maintain her relations with Japan by becoming JETAA’s executive graphic designer and designed the new logo for the association. She is also continuing her education as a Master of Science in Environmental Sustainability student at the University of Ottawa.