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DSU alum selected to teach in Japan

Collin Crosby will serve as an Assistant English Language Teacher in Uwajima, Japan beginning in August.

CLEVELAND, Miss. — Recent Delta State University graduate Collin Crosby has been selected for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program and will serve as an Assistant English Language Teacher in Uwajima in Ehime prefecture beginning in August 2024.

Founded in 1987, the JET Program is a competitive employment opportunity that allows young professionals to live and work in cities, towns, and villages throughout Japan. The JET Program typically receives 4,000-5,000 applications each year from U.S. applicants. Of these, 1,000-1,100 will be selected for participation in the JET Program. Most participants serve as Assistant Language Teachers and work in public and private schools throughout Japan.

Crosby volunteered at many events to promote Japanese culture.

“I applied for the JET Program because I have always been very interested in many facets of Japanese culture, history, and media. The program allows me to experience these things in person, while also advancing my career as an educator,” Crosby explained.

“My goal for teaching is to allow every student to grow in their knowledge of the English language and its usage. I love learning and sharing knowledge with others, so I want to pass that on to students,” Crosby said. “Not only do I want to teach students, but I want them to teach me as well. I hope that I can learn new skills, whether it be teaching strategies, classroom management skills, or anything else that I can use to be a better and more effective teacher in the future.”

Originally from Carriere, Crosby graduated in December 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Education – English Education degree after transferring from Pearl River Community College. During his time at DSU, Crosby worked as a supplemental instructor at the Student Success Center as well as a writing tutor for the DSU Writing Center.

Dr. Valarie Morgan, English Education Programs Coordinator, Assistant Professor of English, and Interim Associate Provost, taught Crosby and supervised his student teaching at DSU. “Collin was a wonderful student in our English Education BSE program. He served as a writing center tutor and was highly esteemed by his classmates for his intelligence and care. He often emerged as a leader both in and out of the classroom,” she said. “I am extremely proud of the teacher Collin has become, and I know he will be a tremendous asset to the JET program. I can think of no one better to represent Delta State abroad.”

Since 2022, DSU has hosted a Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator, Mizuki Umebara, who led Japanese cultural enrichment activities on campus and in the broader Delta region. A joint initiative of the Japan Foundation and Laurasian Institution, the Japan Outreach Initiative brings volunteer Japanese coordinators to regions of the U.S. where Japanese culture has been less accessible. JOI coordinators are hosted by U.S. nonprofits and educational institutions with a strong commitment to promoting learning about Japan. During the two-year program, JOI coordinators engage their American community through Japanese-themed programming—from lectures to hands-on elementary school activities to events focusing on traditional Japanese art forms. The program was hosted at DSU through the International Student Services office, a division of the Student Success Center.

Umebara is excited for the adventures that await Crosby in Japan. “Over the past two years, Collin has been an amazing, active learner. He not only participated in numerous Japan-related events but also volunteered at many events such as Japan Festival held at DSU and Cherry Blossom Festival held in Tupelo,” she said. “In my Japanese language classes, Collin was a very hardworking and attentive student. I was truly touched when I saw the portfolio he put together, which captured all of his cultural experiences. Now, all his enthusiasm and sincere curiosity are ready to come to full bloom.”

Located on Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, Uwajima has a population of around 70,000 people. Crosby will move from the flat alluvial plain of the Mississippi Delta to a city facing the Seto Inland Sea in one direction and surrounded by mountains. Uwajima’s main economy centers around commercial fishing and pearl cultivating. The city’s historic treasures include one of only twelve original castles from Japan’s feudal period.

“I owe so much to DSU for allowing me to pursue this dream I have had for a very long time. I am not sure that I ever would have had the courage to try something so new without the help of the peers, professors, and staff that I have come to know. I want to thank everyone who has helped me reach this goal of mine,” Crosby said of his experience at DSU.

For more information about study abroad and post-graduation international opportunities, please contact Michelle Johansen at or stop by the DSU International Student Services office on the second floor of the Union.