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TC Tokyo Student Gets Emperor's Blessing


TC Tokyo Student Gets Emperor

Pat Fulmer (left) and his wife Kazuko with Toranosuke Katayama (center), Minister of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, following the awards ceremony.

At the 68th Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Anniversary, TC Tokyo student Patrick Fulmer of the Japan M.A. in TESOL Program was awarded a commendation of appreciation (Kanshajyo) by Toranosuke Katayama, Minister of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications. The award was given for his many years of professional editing, speech writing and consulting service given to the Ministry.

"As a foreign language editor having a deep understanding and exceptional knowledge of the Ministry's business," read the commendation from the Minister, "you have contributed significantly to the Ministry's operations and international exchange, and I hereby extend to you my sincerest gratitude and appreciation."

Following the ceremony and banquet lunch, Fulmer and other recipients were taken by bus to the Imperial Palace in "Sunrise Hall" (Houmeiden), for an audience (Haietsu) with the Emperor and Empress of Japan.

"I am very gratified to have been recognized by the Japanese government for my work," said Fulmer. "Though the work has been very difficult at times, I have enjoyed a long and deeply satisfying relationship with the Ministry, particularly with the exemplary officials of the International Affairs Division, Postal Bureau.

Fulmer helps the Japanese government to write English language speeches and to edit correspondance and various publications. He also consults on international relations matters.

"Receiving this award and especially the Emperor's blessing has indeed been a profound honor and privilege that will surely guide me for the rest of my life," he added. "To all of the teachers, staff and colleagues of TC in Tokyo and New York, I extend to you my deepest and most sincere thanks for the wonderful support and friendship you have given me, and I look forward to sharing the years ahead."

Fulmer came to Japan 21 years ago in an exchange program while he was finishing up a degree in anthropology. After receiving his degree, he worked for an UNESCO-affiliated office. In 1984, he was initiated into his first government work with the former Ministry of Posts of Telecommunications that is now the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, and Posts and Telecommunications. His post includes working with other ministries and semi-governmental organizations.

As a part-time teacher at Showa Women's University for 13 years, a private Institution in Tokyo, Fulmer has been able to fuse his related interests in anthropology and education.

"Though I have been doing extensive research over the years in melding these disciplines, I came to recognize that my teaching and my students would benefit from my having a richer working foundation in TESOL," he said. "To my mind, TC was the only choice."

The program is an extension of the TC's Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Applied Linguistics programs directed by Leslie M. Beebe, Professor of Linguistics and Education and Director of Applied Linguistics Program, and James E. Purpura, Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Education and Director of the TESOL Program. Terry D. Royce, Director of the Program in Japan, said that 65 percent of the students in the program are Japanese.

Teachers College, Columbia University (Japan) inaugurated an M.A. program in TESOL in 1987. This program provides opportunities for Japanese-speaking teachers of English and English-speaking teachers of English to earn an M.A. while teaching full-time. For more information, please go to

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