UPDATED: Link included! Jackbox Game Night!

Time: 8:30 pm
Date: June 26, 2020
Location: Google Meet

Looking for some casual fun on a Friday night? Join us online for some hilarious hijinks while we play a bunch of your favorite Jackbox games!

Games start at 8:30 PM and will continue till everyone is all out of fun. A link to the Google Meet will be provided on the day of the event. Hope to see you there!

Netflix Watch Party!

Date: Thursday Nights
Time: 8:30pm
Location: Netflix

Are you a fan of the Terrace House series? Perhaps you’ve heard of it, but haven’t made time to watch it yourself? Well come one, come all to Terrace House Thursdays! Through the “Netflix Party” chrome browser extension we’ll be hosting watch parties every Thursday, starting at 8:30 eastern. We’ll be watching “Terrace House Boys and Girls in the City”. We’ll plan to watch two episodes each session since they are only about 30 minutes. If we decide to watch a third, we’ll post an update about it so if you miss a session then you can catch up for the next one.

Be sure to download the “Neflix Party” extension at least the day before. There regularly has been issues for people who download it and then immediately tried to join a party.

July 2021: Rhea Young

Rhea and some of her many students

July brings us into the hot season of summer, and we can almost imagine being in Japan again with the sounds of cicadas filling our eardrums. Summer is also a busy time for our next guest, Rhea Young, as she is usually busy getting all the new JETs together for orientations, last-minute document checks, and finally shipping JETs out to their new homes. This month we take a step away from the consulate and get to know about Rhea’s time as an ALT in Oita City and why “lack of water pressure” is a good excuse for daily sento visits (jealous).



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June 2021: Jamie Mucaria

Jamie and his students at a prom-themed English camp

It’s June, and with a new month comes a new alumnus to the spotlight! This time we’re talking to Jamie Mucaria, a unicorn five-year JET! Not only does he have that coveted status, but he also has a story or two about broken bones and wheelchair rides in the hospital. Also, don’t get between him and his 7-Eleven. Come along, get to know your fellow JET alumnus, and wonder how Jamie was able to do so many activities while on JET!


May 2021: Lauren Gassman

Lauren and her seniors on graduation day

Welcome to May’s edition of Alumni Spotlight, where we are taking some time to meet Lauren Gassman. Lauren has been stateside for almost ten years now and has been enjoying her time as a Japanese teacher, making visits back to Japan and furthering her studies of Japanese language education. Join me (and be jealous) in hearing about Lauren’s cooking track students and their annual cooking showcase!


April 2021: Tiffany Spearman/Trager

Tiffany on her final day of school, where she taught only three students.

For our very first installation of Alumni Spotlight, I talked with Tiffany Spearman/Trager, one of GLJETAA’s newest returnees. Tiffany has only been back since October 2020 but has been busy with her new job teaching Japanese and aims for more in the future. Get to know Tiffany, and you may find yourself as excited about nine schools a week as she was.


Please vote for the 2020-2022 Officers!

Election time is here! If you are a registered member of the Great Lakes JETAA Chapter, please fill out the ballot to vote for the 2020-2022 Officers! The voting window is from March 30th to April 5th.

Included in the ballot is also the chapter-wide vote to amend our by-laws which was drafted on June 23, 2019.

Here are the platforms of the people who are running:

Great Lakes JETAA 2020 Election Platforms 

President – Megan Worden 

Members of Great Lakes JETAA, 

Hello, my name is Megan Worden. I was a JET in Toyama from 2013-2015, and currently teach Japanese at Cass Technical High School in Detroit. I’ve had the privilege of being president for this region for the past two years, and I have loved every second of it. 

I am running again because I’m passionate about helping connect our vast JETAA community with the Japanese community at large. Over the last two years we’ve successfully worked with members of the JBSD and the Women’s Club for events, and I want to keep expanding our cross-organization participation. I also want to continue our smaller, member centered events around both states to help keep the JET spirit alive, and have a thriving community ready to welcome those who come home after the JET experience. 

I would be honored to serve as your president for another term, and hope I can count on your vote. 

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu! 

Vice-President (Michigan) – Alicia Smith 

Hello, my name is Alicia Smith, and I am running for GLJETAA Vice-President of Michigan. I have enjoyed being an officer of GLJETAA in various positions (Webmaster, Secretary, Vice-President), and am hoping to continue my volunteer efforts as VP of MI. Some of my contributions this term have included member/community outreach, newsletter design/content production, and researching/posting local events. If I am re-elected, I hope to increase the number of online virtual events and connections across our states (and the world). Thank you for your consideration. 

Vice-President (Ohio) – Jennifer Sherman 

I am your current Great Lakes JETAA Ohio Vice President Jennifer Sherman, and I would love the opportunity to continue serving our community. My JET hometown was Mihama, Mie from 2012 to 2016. For my current full-time job, I write and edit articles related to anime, manga, and game news as Associate Editor at Anime News Network. With northeast Ohio as my home base, I’m thrilled to work with all of you on exciting projects to engage with JET alums in Ohio and Michigan. As GLJETAA’s representative, I participated in JETAA USA’s National Conference in Denver in 2018, gaining valuable tools and making connections to improve our chapter. I want to continue to collaborate with other JET community leaders to develop and host more events throughout Ohio. I look forward to hearing your ideas for the coming year. Thank you for being an active member of our chapter! 

Treasurer – Bill Schlatter 

Hello JET alumni of Michigan and Ohio! My name is Bill Schlatter, and I was on the JET Program from 2012-2014 in Hokkaido. I am running for re-election as Treasurer of Great Lakes JETAA. I’ve been on the job for two years now, so I understand the paperwork and bureaucracy involved in JETAA chapter finances. It’s not fun work, but it needs doing, so vote for me if you want me to keep doing it for another two years! 

Secretary – Kyle Belanger 

My name is Kyle Belanger and I’ll be running for the Secretary position on the Great Lakes JET Alumni Association board. I’ve only recently returned back from my time on the JET Program in Shizuoka where I volunteered in my local AJET chapter as Vice President. Back in Michigan, I wanted to continue to lend a hand in events oriented toward international exchange and keeping the JET community as well connected as it was in Japan. I pride myself on my organizational and interpersonal skills and feel they would be an asset as Secretary. 

Webmaster – Lily Sun 

Hello, my name is Lily Sun. I was a JET ALT from 2015 to 2017 in Ishikawa Prefecture. 

I would be honored to continue to serve the Great Lakes JETAA community in the position of Webmaster. I have three years of experience making websites for myself and other freelance clients with WordPress. I have experience making websites using HTML and CSS. I also have an Associate degree in web design and a BFA in graphic design. 

As a webmaster, I will re-design the website using an award-winning WordPress theme. I will make timely updates to the website, and make it more accessible to members and create a hub of information. I will host and facilitate events as an Officer to support the community. Please vote for me for the Webmaster position. Thank you for your consideration! 

Virtual Happy Hour!

Since we can’t have the in-person networking happy hour we’d planned, we’re moving it to virtual! Grab your favorite drinks and snack, throw on some comfy clothes, and log on in for some good company!

Date: March 20th, 2020
Time: 7-10pm

2020 Shinnenkai

Want to eat your weight in sushi while unwinding with other former JETs for the weekend? Come to the Great Lakes JETAA Shinnenkai! We will be meeting at Fuji Buffet in Madison Heights for AYCE sushi, hot pot, dim sum, udon, pho, crab legs, dessert, and salad… If you want a salad, you can fill up on salad…

Adult dinners are $26.99. Children under ten are $2.10 per year old; children two years and younger are free.

Friends of JETs (FoJs) and family are welcome to attend.

CLAIR has generously offered to subsidize alumni participants. The amount will be based on the number of members attending.

After dinner, you can run amok in 168 Asian Grocery Store or sing karaoke at KTV.

Hope to see you there!

Date: February 8, 2020
Time: 6-8pm
Location: Fuji Japanese Buffet (Google Maps)