Saint Martin's professor honored with 2005 multicultural excellence award

Oct. 12, 2005

Lacey – Fumie Hashimoto, an associate professor of education at Saint Martin’s University is the recipient of the 2005 Washington State Association for Multicultural Education’s Multicultural Excellence Award.

The award was presented at the organization’s annual conference this fall. It honors an individual who have made significant contributions to multicultural, diversity and international education through leadership, advocacy, dedication, innovation, and/or research, and whose activities have had lasting effects on the field. Association members include representatives from public and private school districts, colleges, universities, government agencies, organizations, businesses and other groups that advocate for and support multicultural, diversity and international education.

Hashimoto, who came to the United States from Japan in 1971 as an English-as-a-Second-Language student, learned about the emotional and academic difficulties faced by ESL students and immigrants through personal experience. She has taught ESL classes and volunteered her time to aid refugees from many countries; served on a diversity task force; acted as a translator and consultant to various Japanese and U.S. businesses and government agencies; sponsored several international students coming to the United States to study; presented Japanese culture workshops for host families; and worked closely with Saint Martin’s international education division to prepare host families and find conversation partners for international students.

Joyce Westgard, Saint Martin’s dean of education, said Hashimoto includes understanding and acceptance of diversity issues in every class she teaches, and also teaches a graduate-level class devoted totally to diversity issues.

Westgard says that while state guidelines specify that teacher education institutions instill tolerance of diversity in new teachers, Hashimoto takes it much further: “She believes that we must instill empathy, acceptance, understanding and celebration of differences in our students so they in turn can instill the same in their students.”

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Deanna Partlow
Media relations coordinator