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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Asian Studies Welcomes Three New Japanese Lecturers

Chikako Cooke, Yuko Kato-Gast, and Maki Shimotani join the Department beginning fall 2008. Learn more about these new faculty members in the interview below.

Posted: September 22, 2008

Chikako Cooke
JT: How did you get interested in Asian Studies? 
CC: I had an opportunity to teach Japanese language at college after I finished my graduate program.  Later, I decided to study the language in order to teach at UW.
JT: What made you decide to come to UT Austin?
CC: PA, NJ, or TX-- That was my choice after I have done with UW.  Spending two full years in WI, I really wanted to live somewhere WARM!  (But,I did not expect this HOT!)
JT: Where were you teaching before you came to UT? 
CC: Emory University, UW, ACC.
  JT: If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be? 
CC: Dog! I am very loyal to the people I like.

Yuko Kato-Gast
JT: How did you get interested in Asian Studies? 
YKG: When I majored in linguistics, I had to study many languages. The more foreign languages I learned, the more I got interested in syntax, particularly, the structure of my own language.  
JT: What made you decide to come to UT Austin? (or back to UT Austin!)
YKG: When I was teaching at ACC/St.Edward's university, I was invited to go to the UT Anime Club meeting and met many students who are facinated by Japanese culture. I always wanted to let them know there is more to Japanese culture than Anime and the doorway to that is through learning the language.
JT: Where were you teaching before you came to UT?
YKG: In addition to working at various schools, I had taught business Japanese for companies through Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau since 1993. Introducing the language and Japanese mentality greatly helped them solve the conflict in communication with Japanese tourists. 
JT: If you could have dinner with any person living or dead who would it be and why?
YKG: Julia Child. I would invite her over and let her cook Tex-Mex.
JT: If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
YKG: Dalmatian. I've had six dogs since I was three, and it was the most curious creature that just couldn't sit still.

Maki Shimotani
JT: How did you get interested in Asian Studies? 
MS: My research interests include Japanese linguistics (specifically, discourse analysis) and language pedagogy. I got interested in these areas when I took courses for teaching Japanese as a second language at my university in Japan. I think that the study of "language in use" is not only interesting, but also practical and contributive to teaching/learning foreign languages. 
JT: What made you decide to come to UT Austin?
MS: I talked with the colleagues in the Japanese program at UT before I decided to come here, and I thought they were really nice and the Japanese program is also good. Also, many people told me that Austin is a nice, pretty, and interesting city. 
JT: Where were you teaching before you came to UT?
MS: Fall 2002 to Summer 2008:  University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI);  Summer 2003: Beloit College (Beloit, WI);  Fall 2001 and Spring 2002: Mount Union College (Alliance, OH)  JT: If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?
MS: well maybe... turtle (I like slow life.) 

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