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Sakae Students Complete Summer Program

Sixteen Japanese students with the Sakae Institute of Study Abroad have completed their month-long summer program at Ohio Northern, practicing their skills in English and learning about American culture. Four will be full time students at Ohio Northern this fall. All will be enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs across the U.S.

For the seventh year, ONU has been part of the Sakae program, helping Japanese high school and graduate students sharpen their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in English while taking short academic courses and learning about American culture. The cultural immersion included attending ONU Day at Cedar Point, a trip to a Reds game in Cincinnati, an overnight trip to the ONU Metzger Nature Center and a day trip hiking near Yellow Springs. 

This year’s academic programs included Dr. Keith Durkin's criminology mini-course and Professor Art Elsass's computer applications mini-course, integrated into the English as a Second Language curriculum. 

Marjorie Pitts, director of the ESL Bridging Program at ONU, wasdirector for the summer program and taught the advanced listening and speaking classes. Mary Drzycimski-Finn, assistant to the dean of ONU’s College of Arts & Sciences, was the assistant director and taught courses in advanced reading and writing.

Intermediate listening and speaking was taught by Mary Jo Beining, lecturer in English. Tom Beery, also a lecturer in English, conducted intermediate reading and writing. The students also participated in physical education “mini-courses” in tennis, American touch football and Frisbee golf with Bob Rohan, ONU’s assistant football coach.

In addition, the Sakae program students shared their culture with U.S. students taking part in the U.S. - Japan Camp directed by Dr. Robert Alexander. 

ONU student assistants for the summer program were Abigail Sterling, a junior English/creative writing major from Sylvania, Ohio, Andrew Leavitt, a senior English/creative writing major from Scarborough, Maine, and Fumi Sonezaki, a graduating biology/environmental studies major and 2008 graduate of the ONU Sakae Institute from Fukuoka, Japan.

Yoko Sakae founded the Sakae Institute of Study Abroad in 1972 to make the transition to life on a U.S. college campus easier for Japanese students.

 Sakae students attend a reception with ONU President and First Lady, Dr. Kendall L. and Toby Baker. Above, Sakae participants Noriko Oikawa, international studies, Yuki Tada, international studies, Sae Tanaka, athletic training, and Akira Aiba, biology, will be attending ONU this fall.