2015 Florida JETAA Elections – Bios and Voting Information


Thank you for voting and we will announce the winners shortly.

The positions up for election this term are Vice-President, Secretary, and Webmaster. For more information about the responsibilities of these positions, please visit this link.

To cast your vote, visit this Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/gNwSHXM37h

Voting closes April 13th at 11:55 PM. Any votes received after this date will be discounted.



Allan Mortdetsky

Hello everyone in Florida JETAA. Allan here, your vice president. It’s been great serving ya’ll for the past year and change and I’d like to do it again if you’ll have me. I’ve volunteered with the Consulate and represented JETAA at functions, researched and started projects for bringing events to Florida and trying to break the wall of the JBA, and represented Florida at the past regional and national conferences. I look forward to helping FLJETAA continue to grow. Thank you.

Allan M.
Vice President Florida JETAA

Jennifer Hwang

Originally from Southern California with an MA in Linguistics from San Jose State University, I was a JET in Shizuoka prefecture from 2008 to 2012. My first two years were spent as an ALT at a small, low academic level high school in rural Kawanehon-cho. I was later transferred to a high academic level high school in Yaizu City where over 90% of the students went on to universities. In my final year as an ALT, I was invited to transfer to the Prefrectural Education Center where I planned and facilitated several training workshops including Orientation for new JETs, Mid-Year Seminar for ALTs and JTEs, as well as mandatory refresher training for Japanese teachers only. I also helped piloted the Elementary School Foreign Language (ESFL) Program which was nationally institutionalized in 2011.

Since returning to the United States, I have taught English for Academic Purposes at Hillsborough Community College and am now an academic advisor for international students at INTO USF. In the past couple of years, I have declined recommendations to join the Florida JETAA board. However, now that I have become more familiar with Florida’s relationship with Japan–through attending Tampa’s Tsudoi and Natsumatsuri, participating in the 2013 JET PDO, volunteering with the Japan-America Society of Tampa Bay (JASTB), as well as meeting with the Deputy Consul General and attending the Networking Meeting for Sister City Representatives–I feel that I can make a productive contribution to our association as Vice-President. I am eager to support the President in bringing alumni across the state together as well as providing more support for JET at both the national and local level. I know that Japan holds a special place in all of hearts and I would love to help people maintain their relationship with the country.


Autumn Widdoes

I was born and raised in Florida and currently call Tampa my hometown.  I’ve lived in Germany, Vietnam, England, and Japan.   I completed my BA at the Wilkes Honors College of FAU and my MA in Performance Studies at Tisch/NYU.   I spent 4 years on JET in Okinawa from 2010-2014, where I lived in both Ishigaki and Naha. While in Japan, I helped organize Tohoku relief efforts via the SHINSAI:  Theaters for Japan fundraiser and we raised more than 70000 yen in one afternoon of live performance presented in both English and Japanese.  I also founded a bilingual performance collective called TASK 沖縄 after teaching several performance/dance theater making classes at ひやみかち学校 culture school in Naha, Okinawa.  Since returning to Florida, I have been actively involved in the JETAA community in the Tampa Bay region, speaking at JET recruitment events at Eckerd College and helping organize the Tampa screening of LIVE YOUR DREAM: The Taylor Anderson Story.  My long term goals are to promote Japanese performance/arts in the US and to bring more Japanese and Japan-related arts, film, and performance to the Tampa region.   I look forward to working with the JETAA communities throughout Florida to instill a sense of importance in maintaining our connection to Japan via JET.


Lauren Sorondo

Hello! My name is Lauren Sorondo, and I’m a Miami native. In September 2014, I returned from 2 years in Kumamoto with JET. Since then, I’ve been participated in FL JETAA events, such as the Bounenkai and the recent  film screening for the Taylor Anderson Story down in Miami. I’ve also stated hosting “Coffee 会話,” a conversation circle in South Florida. While I don’t have prior experience as a webmaster, I am passionate about JETAA and supporting the new and old alumni. In a state as large as Florida, I believe the best way is through communication of events. I hope to be able to continue improving the website that our previous officers have worked hard to create.  🙂


To cast your vote, visit this Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/gNwSHXM37h

Voting closes April 13th at 11:55 PM. Any votes received after this date will be discounted.

2015 Summer Internship at the Morikami Gardens

I am writing to inform you that we are looking for an intern for the summer (June to Mid-August 2015) in our Education Department. This is an unpaid internship but will be counted as school credit (depending on approval of their school or college advisor).

Their duties will include:

–    Assisting the Youth & Outreach Program Coordinator in coordinating, developing and preparing activities for our Summer Tour Plus (STP) Program.

–     Monitoring the high school volunteers in the STP Program creating a positive learning environment for the summer campers.

–    Organize and direct the Hands-on-Art activity with expertise and flexibility.

–    Work with museum docents to provide an educational and enjoyable Japanese cultural experience for all participants.

–    Assist the Education Department with other tasks when needed.

Someone with knowledge of Japanese culture is required. Please keep in mind that the Morikami is located in Delray Beach, FL. Those living in Miami-Dade and Broward who apply must be willing to commit to the internship and the expense from commuting to our museum. We unfortunately cannot reimburse them for their commuting expenses. The days of the internship are flexible and negotiable to fit the intern’s schedule. We would like to have the intern Tuesday through Friday, mostly in the mornings and an occasional afternoon.

We believe this is a great opportunity to have hands-on experience teaching, develop management and leadership skills, learn teamwork, and use their knowledge about Japanese culture. The intern will also have an opportunity to gain experience working with a cultural and non-profit organization.

Please direct all inquiries and/or email their resume to Jaclyn DeMarzo, Youth & Outreach Program Coordinator, at jdemarzo1@pbcgov.org or at 561-495-0233 x. 237

The deadline for submitting their resume will be on Monday, April 20th 2015.


2015 Florida JETAA Elections

We are pleased to announce the 2015 elections for officer positions. The positions up for election are Vice-President, Secretary, and Webmaster. All positions carry 2-year terms. To learn more about the positions, please click here.

If you are interesting in working more closely with FLJETAA and helping to grow our community, please consider running for a position.  Elections will be held during late-February and another email will confirm the candidates, how to vote, and the voting deadline. To avoid conflicts of interest, the current president, Bahia, who is not running this term will be collecting the nominations and handling the elections.

Nominating Yourself

To run, simply nominate yourself for the position that you are interested by emailing president@floridajetaa.org with a brief 1-2 paragraph bio about yourself and why you’d be a good candidate. Bios are due by February, 15th, 2015 (EXTENDED).

Nominating Others

If you know who someone who would be perfect for a position you may nominate them by emailing their name and the position for which you are nominating them to president@floridajetaa.org. Nominations of others must be received by February 10th, 2015 (EXTENDED), to allow us time to contact the nominee to find out if they will accept the nomination and get their bios by February 10th. Nominees will not be told who nominated them and are free to accept or decline the nomination.

If you have any further questions about elections, please send them to president@floridajetaa.org.

To run for a position and to vote you must be a JET alumni. Friends of JET are not eligible to vote or run for a position.