2018 Faculty & Staff

Noriko Ito Krenn, Ph.D, Academic Director

Noriko is a native of Japan. She holds a Masters degree in Counseling and a Ph.D. in Language Education and was a counselor for the UNO Honors Program. She is primarily responsible for the establishment of the UNO-Japan program, and is excited about taking on a new role as Academic Director in 2018 - our 10th anniversary year! She loves hiking, having meaningful conversations, and crawfish boiling. Her favorite quote is "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away."
2018 Course: JAPN 2001


David Rands, Ph.D., History & Japanese Language Instructor

Dr. David Rands is an Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of the Asian Studies Program at the Austin Peay State University. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Southern California specializing in Modern Japanese History, TransPacific and Urban History, and his M.A. in International Relations from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. Dr. Rands is excited about returning on the UNO-Japan program this summer and sharing experiences and learnings with his students in Kyoto.
2018 Courses: HIST 3992; HUMS 2090 


Hans Gruenig, Ph.D, Philosophy and Humanities Instructor

Dr. Hans Gruenig teaches courses on Buddhism, Asian Philosophy, and Happiness & Human Flourishing for the Department of Philosophy and the Asian Studies Program at Tulane University. He earned an M.A. in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Tulane University. Alongside his academic work, he has attended retreats with Buddhist meditation masters around the world, has been teaching meditation and wellness practices for more than 15 years, and was a Designated Speaker for the Dalai Lama’s most recent visit to New Orleans. Dr. Gruenig is looking forward to teaching again for UNO-Japan, and exploring Japan with everyone in the summer of 2018!
2018 Courses: PHIL 3260, HUMS 2090 


Mary I. Hicks, M.Ed, Program Director, UNO-Japan

Mary spent 2 years in Japan teaching English many years ago, and dreamed of being able to return to Japan someday. Now thanks to UNO-Japan, she gets to live that dream AND to share it with students and faculty every year! She started her UNO career assisting in teaching Japanese in the 90's, and that led to her current position with the UNO Division of International Education. Mary's other duties include the direction of the UNO International Student Exchange Programs and scholarship advising. In her personal time, she enjoys reading, travel (of course!), making crafty stuff, and getting out of the city from time to time.

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