Kraig Lee Whitmyer '18
Education -Higher Education, Criminal Justice, French
Protection Unit at Japan Association for Refugees (JAR)/English instructor for Berlitz.Co Japan
1. Tell us about your journey since graduation
Since my graduation in 2018, I left the beautiful city of Grand Rapids and moved to the land of the rising sun, Japan. Currently, I am a protection unit intern within the Protection Unit at the Japan Association for Refugees (JAR) in Nishikanda, Tokyo. I support refugees in Japan so that they can achieve a normal life by helping them with legal advising, providing meals and other essential resources, and offering assistance regarding employment opportunities. I am an English instructor as well for Berlitz.Co Japan in Ochanomizu, Tokyo, where I conduct lessons that advance English fluency for Japanese college students, business professionals, and medical personnel. Some of my duties include customizing lesson plans and Japanese university courses, typing up daily student counseling reports and end of the semester evaluations, and prepping educational content. Nowadays, I am actively involved with the Association of International Educators (NAFSA) by participating in e-learning seminars, higher education community planning and discussion, and annual higher education policy updates. I will start my Master’s program in the higher education field with a concentration in College Student Affairs Leadership (CSAL) at Grand Valley in 2021.
2. Share a favorite Grand Valley memory.
Enjoying my first Laker bowl celebration with my Freshmen roommates after our “Come Sail Away” jam session with T-Haas at the Fieldhouse.
3. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
The best piece of advice that I received in my life so far was from my ART101 professor at GVSU. He said to me and other clueless freshmen at the time, never allow yourself to get comfortable in life. Always push and move forward to gain a new experience or build your knowledge. The moment you stop pursuing everything or anything could be described as the moment you have experienced death.
4. List three words you would use to describe your Grand
Adventurous, Cultural, and Timeless.
5. What difference would you like to make in the world
I would like to continue connecting local communities around the world that might have never crossed paths against all odds.