FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 2, 2011
MUW professor and family served as missionaries in Japan
By Jill D. O’Bryant
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Dr. Brenda Dickey, assistant professor of education at Mississippi University for Women, understands the concept of serving others. She and her family did just that when they were missionaries in Japan for 30 years.
She and her husband Jim lived and worked with the Japanese people in a cross-cultural setting year-round through a large world mission organization, the Assemblies of God World Missions. They also learned to speak Japanese fluently.
While in Japan, Dr. Dickey served as educational consultant for the Assemblies of God World Missions organization and served as a member of the Asian Educational Resource Consortium (AERC), which provides educational resources to all mission organization families living and working in Asia.
“We began Christian churches, developed cross-cultural educational programs and began an English school for students to learn English as a second language,” Dickey said.
They also raised their daughter Karen, who is now 25, in Japan.
“Our daughter was raised in Japan until she completed high school, when we returned to the states in 2004 to become stateside-based,” she said.
In addition to working at MUW, she and her husband now serve as member care consultants for families living in all areas of the world. They have been to Africa, Europe, Northern Asia and Asia Pacific consulting with families concerning the educational needs of their children and providing member care support.
“Our hearts were saddened about the recent earthquake in Japan that brought devastation to the areas where we have worked for many years,” Dickey said. “We are continuing to provide support and help to Japan and will be going to Japan to provide relief work to those devastated areas in the summer of 2012.”
Because of her experiences as both a foreign missionary and an educator, cultural diversity and understanding are topics that are dear to her heart.
“The needs of the world economically, socially and educationally are becoming more and more connected to local communities in the United States,” Dickey said. “Multiculturalism and cultural diversity in schools, businesses and communities require an understanding of diverse cultural communication. Cultural understanding and communication is necessary in the arena of education, jobs and economic growth in the world of globalization.
“My experience working and living in a cross-cultural setting provides competency skills in multicultural understanding and communication that impacts application of practice in education. Cultural understanding and empathy impacts teaching models of instruction in teacher education and practice.”
Dickey, who joined the MUW faculty this fall, holds an undergraduate degree in elementary education from Southeastern University in Florida, a master’s in elementary school guidance and counseling from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate in educational psychology, learning and development from Regent University with her dissertation topic exploring student self-efficacy cross-culturally and how it impacts academic achievement.
She has experience teaching in both public and private schools in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. Most recently she taught at Mississippi College in the International Department teaching English as a second language to foreign students.