Majors in Japanese studies go on to careers in a variety of fields—from traditional bamboo crafts to Wall Street finance.

Alumni Highlights

Cameron Penwell ’04 (JAPN/History) serves as a Japanese reference librarian in the Asian Division at the Library of Congress. After working in Japan for a few years as a translator and editor, he returned to the U.S. to undertake graduate studies in modern Japanese history at the University of Chicago. He taught briefly as a visiting instructor of history at Knox College before taking up his current position. 

Laurel Taylor ’11 (JAPN/Music) holds an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa and is currently a PhD candidate in Japanese and comparative literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on affective loops between readers and writers in the digital age and the nature of digital materiality. In her free time, she practices creative writing and literary translation.

Meghan Mendoza ’12 (JAPN) worked as English teacher at various private English schools beginning in 2012, and became a TNR specialist in 2018 and freelance translator in 2020. She started Bunka Buddy in 2021.

Shane Healy ’18 (JAPN/LNGT minor) attended the 10-month intensive Japanese program at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (IUC) in Yokohama. He currently works as a translator for Ten Nine Communications, a translation/interpretation agency in Tokyo.

Dave Anderson ’19.5 (JAPN/PSCI) is a Fulbright Scholar at Okayama University (Japan).

Benjamin Freedman ’19 (RELI/JAPN minor) was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for graduate study at Keio University. He is an administrative coordinator at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York.

Karl Lin ’20 (JAPN/MBBC) was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct chemical biology research in the Campbell Lab at the University of Tokyo. After Fulbright, he briefly continued his research as a research assistant before matriculating into the Tri-Institutional PhD Program in Chemical Biology.

Jacquelyn O’Connell ’20 (IGS EAS/LNGT minor) started Jackie’s Japanese Tutoring before working as a JET assistant language teacher in Yokote, Japan, in 2021.

Sawyer Tadano ’21 (JAPN/PHYS) worked as a JET assistant language teacher in Kitami, Japan, from 2021 to 2022 before working for Pegasus Tech Ventures.

Emma Dempsey Roman ‘22 (BIOL/JAPN minor) is currently a lab technician in an ichthyology and microbiology lab at California Academy of Sciences in collaboration with Stanford and is hoping to soon do her field work in Okinawa.