Gibson Turns Passion for Asian Culture
Into Success in Japan
Windsor, N.J. - Adam Gibson's love of Japanese culture has
led him to exotic places - and his start at Mercer County
Community College helped him get there. Gibson ('02, A.A.S.,
Computer Systems/ Networking) has spent the last two years
in the city of Niigata, the largest city on the Japanese Sea
coast, where he has taught English to Japanese students at
five high schools and to disabled elementary school children.
"I really enjoy getting to know my students," said
Gibson, who also oversees an extracurricular English Club
that enables his students to practice together twice weekly.
"Although I am fluent in Japanese, I engage them solely
in English. Seeing them step out of their comfort zones both
in and out of the classroom to rise to the challenge of learning
a new language makes me feel good." Gibson sparks discussion
using a variety of interactive methods from board games to
English language movies without subtitles.
Adam Gibson ('02) with some of his Japanese students
is Gibson's biggest challenge? "Making sure that I can
fit everything that I want to do into a single 50-minute period
or during club meetings," he says. A graduate of Ewing
High School, he vividly recalls the days when school was difficult
for him while he struggled with Attention Deficit Disorder
(ADD). Although he took pre-college preparation classes at
Mercer as a high school senior, his initial adjustment to
the demands of college proved hard. But then he got serious.
"I knuckled down and my following semesters were very
successful," he says.
Gibson found a supportive environment at Mercer that enabled
him to blossom. He especially recalls Communications Professor
Alvyn Haywood, who thoroughly engaged him with stimulating
lectures and strongly encouraged him to follow his dreams.
"As a child, I loved computers and thought of becoming
a technician," Gibson recalled. "I was also fascinated
with Japanese culture from my childhood days of watching Japanese
So Gibson focused on computer technology, but also took a
Japanese language class at Mercer. From that point on, he
was hooked on learning all he could about Asian culture. Upon
graduating from MCCC, he transferred to Rutgers University,
joining his twin brother Alan, who was studying psychology.
Gibson earned his bachelor's degrees in Asian Studies and
Psychology in 2007. The latter discipline reflected a growing
interest in how the mind works. "It was all a natural
fit," he said.
Transformative for Gibson while at Rutgers was his Study Abroad
experience in Beppu, Japan, in affiliation with Asian Pacific
University. One semester turned into two, during which he
tutored children in English for the first time.
he looks forward to parlaying his combination of teaching
and language skills into a career at an international company
"If I had not gone to MCCC, I might not be where I am
today," Gibson said. "I have learned that as long
as you don't give up, anything is possible. A little perseverance
goes a long way. Find your passion and follow it as far as
you can go!"
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