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 JAPANESE LANGUAGE SCHOLARSHIP "AURORA" FOUNDATION Announces the 2010 Annual Scholarship Winners

March 1, 2010 (Updated March 2011)
For Immediate Release
Press contact: Aurora Foundation
Tel: (323) 882-6545
Fax: (323) 969-9425

Los Angeles - The Aurora Japanese Language Scholarship Foundation is pleased to announce their ninth scholarship winners, Mr. Noah Miles and Mr. Jason M. Packman. The primary goal of the Aurora Foundation is to assist United States citizens, who are either Japanese language teachers or graduate students of Japanese language education, to experience living in Japan and have the opportunity to participate in various educational programs during their stay to further their understanding of the Japanese language and culture. Two winners receive a $3,000 scholarship and roundtrip air tickets from the USA to Japan (coach class).

   Noah Miles

As a teenager in Kansas City, Noah became fascinated with Japanese culture because of the unique history and style of Buddhism in Japan. Noah earned a B.A. in Japanese Language at the University of Iowa in 2005. For his undergraduate honor’s thesis, Noah received a Freeman Foundation Research Grant to study the unique situation of American Baseball players playing in Japan, at the sports archive in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Tokyo. In 2007, he earned an M.A. from the University of Iowa. For this degree, he studied for one summer in Yokohama at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies. While in Iowa, Noah became acquainted with the poet Yoshimasu Gozo through the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and he wrote a series of translations of Gozo’s poetry about America for this thesis.

Noah has started two Japanese language programs in East Texas Since 2007, the first at the University of Texas at Tyler, and the second at Tyler Junior College. He has led students to Japan on two travel study courses, started an anime club, and is currently teaching first and second year Japanese. With the Japanese Language Scholarship, Noah will travel to Akita University in Tohoku in order to solidify a study abroad agreement with UT Tyler. He will meet with faculty, create promotional material, and experience the culture of Northern Japan. For Tyler Junior College, Noah will meet with representatives from two Japanese Junior Colleges in Tyler’s sister city, Yachiyo, in Chiba-ken, to encourage Japanese students to study abroad in East Texas.

 Jason Packman

Jason Packman has been involved in promoting US-Japan relations through language education throughout his adult life. He taught English in elementary and junior high schools in Ojiya, Niigata as a participant on the JET program. He then spent four years teaching English at elementary schools in Tokyo. He has also spent time as the Education Intern at the Japan Society at San Diego and Tijuana, where he worked on promoting Japanese language programs in San Diego.

Jason first went to Japan in 1995 as a participant in a study abroad program though UC Davis held at Ryukoku University in Kyoto. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian studies with a specialization in Japan from UCLA. and a Master's degree in Pacific International Affairs, with a specialization in Japan and Non Profit Management and International Education from the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego. He is currently living in San Diego, where he is pursuing a Master of Arts in Linguistics, specializing in Applied Linguistics, at San Diego State University, where he also teaches a freshman composition class for international students.

With his JLSF scholarship, Jason plans to study Japanese as a Second Language (JSL) programs in Yokohama. Jason hopes to better understand the specific kind of language people living in Japan feel is neccessary to learn in a classroom environment through his observations of these classes and interactions with their students and teachers. He also wants to better understand how non-linguistic forms of communication are taught in JSL classrooms, since mastering these forms of communication are especially important for the Japanese language learner who hopes to live in Japan. He hopes that this will help teachers and students in the United States to achieve their goals to teach and acquire strong and useful communicative skills in Japanese. San Diego and Yokohama are also sister cities, and he hopes his study will contribute to strengthening connections between the two cities in general, and the Japanese as a Second/Foreign Language education communities in particular.

To welcome the two recipients of the JLSF scholarships, the Aurora Foundation is holding the Aurora Foundation Benefit Dinner & Auction in Los Angeles in October, 2010. There will also be a benefit auction (live & silent) which is a fundraising event for the Aurora Foundation (EIN: 31-1639219).

For more information, including sponsorship, please contact the Aurora Foundation at (323) 882-6545 or by e-mail at AuroraFoundation@usa.net. Please check the JLSF website at www.jlsf-aurora.org.

8th annual scholarship winners (2009)

7th annual scholarship winners (2006)

6th annual scholarship winners (2005)

5th annual scholarship winners (2004)

4th annual scholarship winners (2003)

3rd annual scholarship winners (2002)

2nd annual scholarship winners (2001)