Naomi Funahashi is the Manager of the Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP) and Teacher Professional Development for the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE). In addition to her work as the instructor of the RSP, she also develops curricula at SPICE. Prior to joining SPICE in 2005, she was a project coordinator at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California and worked in technology publishing in San Francisco.
Naomi's academic interests lie in global education, online education pedagogy, teacher professional development, and curriculum design. She attended high school at the American School in Japan, received her Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Brown University, her teaching credential in social science from San Francisco State University, and her Ed.M. in Global Studies in Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
She has authored or co-authored the following curriculum units for SPICE: Storytelling of Indigenous Peoples in the United States, Immigration to the United States, Along the Silk Road, Central Asia: Between Peril and Promise, and Sadako's Paper Cranes and Lessons of Peace.
Naomi has presented teacher seminars nationally at Teachers College, Columbia University, the annual Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning Conference, the National Council for Social Studies and California Council for Social Studies annual conferences, and other venues. She has also presented teacher seminars internationally for the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools in Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia, and for the European Council of International Schools in France, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
In 2008, the Asia Society in New York awarded the 2007 Goldman Sachs Foundation Media and Technology Prize to the Reischauer Scholars Program. In 2017, the United States–Japan Foundation presented Naomi with the Elgin Heinz Teacher Award, an honor that recognizes pre-college teachers who have made significant contributions to promoting mutual understanding between Americans and Japanese. Naomi has taught over 300 students in the RSP from 35 U.S. states.
In The News
The following reflection is a guest post written by Brandon Cho, an alumnus of the Reischauer Scholars Program.
On March 26, 2021, a virtual award ceremony was held to honor SPICE’s Spring and Fall 2019 Stanford e-Japan honorees and 2020 Reischauer Scholars Program honorees.
In his March 15, 2021 lecture for SPICE’s Reischauer Scholars Program, actor George Takei—who played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek—added “and Stand Back” to the iconic Star Trek words, “Live Long and Prosper,” as he was greeting students.