WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Jan. 24, 2018 — Recent West Liberty University graduate Megumi Maruta has been selected to be a participant in the 2018 Emerging Leaders Program during the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting to be held in February in Washington, DC.
Maruta, who is 24 years old and a native of Japan, will join 19 other representatives earmarked as the 2018 Emerging Leaders in global education. He currently is interning for the non-profit GlobalPittsburgh, which is a member of the Global Ties organization.
“It’s my honor to be a part of this conference and support public diplomacy. All the emerging leaders are from all over the states so it will be a good networking event too. I’m also looking forward to seeing ambassadors from different countries and sharing our perspective about public diplomacy,” he said.
Maruta spent four and a half years earning his undergraduate degree in Community Education, graduating this past December. His double majors included both: Teaching English and Global Education, and Sports, Recreation, and Wellness.
“I’m very proud of Megumi who was our first graduate in the new Teaching English and Global Education major. He performed so well at his practicum with GlobalPittsburgh that he was recommended for this honor and it is a perfect opportunity for him,” said Dr. Miriam Roth Douglas, who was his academic advisor and is a professor in WLU’s College of Education and Human Performance.
“My goal is to do my OPT (optional practical training, a visa status) for half a year. Then enter a master’s program at the University of Pittsburgh as a graduate assistant,” Maruta said. The graduate assistant position is in the Study Abroad Department and will allow him to complete a master’s in education with a concentration in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
After he completes his studies, he plans to be an English teacher in different countries.
Maruta was influenced in his career choice of international education by his father, Toyomichi Maruta, who is currently working as an elementary school principal in Japan but will soon become principal for the Japanese School in Milan, Italy.
“My father has influenced me of course. But I do consider global education critical. I remember when I was in high school, the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited us and I discovered then how great the United States is because of its diversity. I believe this is what makes the U.S. greater than any other country,” Maruta said.
The Global Ties U.S. National Meeting is a gathering of organizations, U.S. government agencies, and leaders in the international exchange field, held each year in Washington, DC. Participants also will visit Capitol Hill and enjoy meeting government officials.
Maruta originally came to WLU after exploring colleges online and speaking with Mia Szabo, WLU director of International Enrollment Services.
“As soon as I got accepted to WLU, Ms. Szabo contacted me through email and the way she handled my questions and concerns was incredible. She was not only answering all my questions in a timely manner, but she was also providing me extra information that was very useful prior to my arrival in the states,” he said.
Teaching English and Global Education major is just one of more than 70 undergraduate majors offered at West Liberty University, plus a growing number of graduate programs including master’s in education, physician assistant studies, criminology, biology, professional studies and an online MBA. For complete information please visit westliberty.edu or call 1.866.WESTLIB.