Meet Our Team

At Mirai InterCultural, passion is everything. Our team of expert instructors bring with them diverse experiences, and share in their passion for bridging people and businesses across cultures.


Jun kawabe | FOUNDER/CEO

With 35 years of teaching experience at various universities, Jun is currently an adjunct Japanese professor at Ohio Wesleyan University and the Director of Japanese Programs at Japan-America Society of Central Ohio (JASCO). She is actively involved in the greater Columbus community, has three grown children, two dogs and fish.  


Yukiko Bickell | Language Trainer

Yukiko was born and raised in Kobe, Japan. She received her B.A. in International Studies at BGSU, and her Master’s in TESOL (ESL) and Bilingual Education from the University of Findlay. She taught Japanese at Findlay, and has been tutoring Japanese and ESL since.

Yukiko also serves as a Japanese interpreter at Mount Carmel Hospital and with the New Albany School District in Ohio. She enjoys singing in her Japanese Chorus group, and playing piano, violin and tennis. Yukiko currently lives in Worthington, Ohio with her husband, two sons and her dog, Leo.


Sally Coons | Language specialist

Sally has 10 years of experience as a professional ESL instructor, including 5 years of teaching students of all ages and proficiency levels in Germany and Japan. She is a bilingual German and English speaker who is currently studying Japanese. She graduated from The Ohio State University and received her Master’s in TESOL from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California in 2017. Sally returned to Columbus from Japan in March 2019 and joined Mirai InterCultural as a Language Specialist shortly after. Her hobbies include hiking, reading, and playing taiko.


Yui Ramdeen | Language Trainer

Yui has a Master’s degree in Japanese Pedagogy and taught Japanese at The Ohio State University. She obtained her B.A in Linguistics and Psychology at the University of Oregon.

Yui taught Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte before moving back to Ohio. She co-authored, “Action! Japan: A Field Guide to Using Japanese in the Community,” a guide for learning Japanese while studying abroad in Japan. She currently lives in Dublin, OH with her husband.


Laura Renz | Language Trainer

Laura graduated from the University of Findlay with a degree in Japanese in 2009. She worked in Japan for two years teaching English and obtained her Masters degree in Japanese Pedagogy from The Ohio State University in 2013. She has been working at Mirai InterCultural teaching English and Japanese since 2014. She currently lives in Columbus with her husband, daughter, dog and cat.


Luz Marie Rodríguez | Language Trainer

LuzMa is an experienced teacher, writer and public speaker. She is a native Spanish speaker with a background in Latin American history, culture and architecture. She taught at several universities in Puerto Rico for ten years before moving to Columbus in 2017. She loves architecture, museums, traveling and cooking. LuzMa believes the best ways to learn about any culture are through language and cooking (of course, eating comes after).


masako tanaka | language trainer

Masako was born in Tokyo and received her B.A in Japanese Language Studies from Sophia University in Tokyo. Upon passing the Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test, she taught Japanese at a language school in Yokohama. She has been living in Ohio since 1999 with her husband and two children.


Takako Tysen | Language Trainer

Takako was born in Kochi, Japan. She received her B.A. in Linguistics at Kyoto Sangyo University. Takako finished an ALC Japanese Language teaching course and has taught Japanese to exchange students at a high school in Nagasaki, Japan.

Takako has been working for Mirai InterCultural since 2013. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two children.