Hiroo Aridome, Senior Lecturer in Japanese and Language Coordinator, received a McKeen Center Faculty Award for Public Engagement at the 2017 Awards Ceremony for Community Engagement and Commitment to the Common Good. He was joined by his colleague Jayanthi Selinger, Associate Professor of Asian Studies, as well as Justin Ehringhaus ’17 and Mitsuki Nishimoto ’17, two of the main students participants in the Oshietai (Japanese team teaching) Program.
“The McKeen Center Faculty Award for Public Engagement recognizes and honors the variety of ways in which faculty work to advance the common good through teaching, scholarship, and service that engages with communities and issues of public concern.
Hiroo has a distinguished record of service to both the Bowdoin and Maine communities. He has been particularly active in training Bowdoin students to teach Japanese in a local elementary school, through the Oshietai Program which has been in place for three years. Hiroo also trains students to participate in the Bath-Tsugaru Culture Workshops Program, whose members host students from their sister-city Tsugaru in Japan; others go to Japan on a cultural exchange trip. He supervises student presentations on “Japanese Culture Day” in Bath, and has helped to facilitate internships for students with L.L.Bean in Tokyo. These efforts take a tremendous amount of time and effort, as Hiroo does not merely suggest these activities but actively supports and coaches the student volunteers throughout the projects. The essence of community engagement in an academic setting is that the endeavor be beneficial for all parties, and this is certainly true of Hiroo’s efforts. His work enriches the education of Bowdoin students, provides language resources for those off campus, and helps facilitate cultural exchange.”