College of Letters & Sciences
Student reading out of a Japanese book

Language & Literature

Contact Information

Elena Levy-Navarro
Department Chair & Professor
Phone: 262-472-5047
Location: Laurentide Hall 3110
Pilar Melero
Language & Literature Professor
Phone: 262-472-3173
Location: Laurentide Hall 3106
Elizabeth Lamb
Department Associate
Phone: 262-472-1036
Location: Laurentide Hall 3112


Yookoso! Welcome to the Japanese Program at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater! 

Students of Japanese at UW-Whitewater can choose to major or minor in Japanese Studies. Japanese language courses are designed to build a solid foundation of all four language skills and promote the development of language proficiency. In addition to the course offerings at UW-Whitewater, through a collaboration with UW-Oshkosh, students are given the option to take courses taught at UW-Oshkosh on-line. Many students combine their interest of Japanese with a degree in business, education, history, media arts and game development, international studies, and science. Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to use Japanese outside of the classroom. Student organizations such as the Japanese Anime & Culture Society and the Japanese Language Club meet weekly. There, students learn new Japanese phrases and can participate in lively discussions about interesting aspects of Japanese culture with their new-found friends. These clubs often offer opportunities for students to practice their Japanese communication skills together with exchange students from Japan. Students interested in studying abroad have the option of joining a year-long or semester-long program. Currently, UW-Whitewater has exchange programs with Sophia University in Tokyo and Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka. Students who are not able to participate in the study abroad program have the option of applying to the Guy Healy summer internship program where they will teach English to Japanese youth at various locations throughout Japan. Periodically, travel study to Japan is offered to students during the summer. The Office of Global Experiences is a wonderful resource for students who have aspirations to study and work in Japan!

Melanie Czarnecki teaches all levels of Japanese and advises thesis writing students at UW-Whitewater. She received a BA in Japanese from UW-Madison and an MA in Modern Japanese Literature from Hokkaido University where she also completed all of her doctoral coursework. She is a recipient of the Japanese Ministry of Education Japanese Studies Scholarship, the Japanese Ministry of Education Research Scholarship, and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Graduate Studies Scholarship. She lived in Sapporo, Japan for nine years while a student and spent more than a decade in Tokyo while teaching at Sophia University, Toyo University, and Rikkyo University. Melanie’s approach to Japanese language teaching has been directly influenced by her own Japanese language professors at UW-Madison. She strives to be a rigorous yet caring instructor who sets high academic standards for all her students. She hopes that her own immense passion for Japanese language and cultural studies will inspire the next generation of Japanologists to dream big and travel far, and while doing so to always remember the Japanese proverb: 七転八起. No matter how many times you may stumble, always get back up and try again!