Jodi Crandall is truly one of a kind—a charismatic professional who is “down to earth,” kind, generous with her time and her advice, a creative dynamo, and a genuinely caring person. We’ve worked together, written together, and traveled together.
Jodi is the consummate world traveler. She once convinced a funicular driver to take us up to the top of the Great Wall of China, even though it was closed! We had been scheduled to do a week-long workshop in Japan and Jodi said, “Where else do you think we could go? How about China?” For just $100.00 extra airfare, we got our tickets and were off with my daughter Lisa (who adores Jodi) to Beijing.
Thanks to Jodi, I fulfilled my trip fantasy to take Lisa to the top of the Great Wall of China on her 15th birthday. “This is it,” Lisa exclaimed. “I’ll never have another birthday better than this—I’ve peaked!”
Our trip was vintage Jodi—no pre-arranged tour, just guidebooks and a zest for adventure. She would tear out the appropriate pages from her guidebooks and we would plot our course, from the Temple of Heaven to a Mongolian hotpot restaurant. Returning from her early morning run in the park, she reported on the Tai Chi practitioners shrouded in fog. Typical Jodi—always moving. In fact, finding her in DC has always been a challenge. “Will you be home next week?” I would ask hopefully.
“No, I have to go to Kazakhstan,” she would reply, or Tibet, or Saudi Arabia, or Kiribati, or some other exotic place. She had a box of notecards where she kept recommendations for hotels, restaurants, places to visit, foods to try, and experiences not to be missed in her travels around the world.
WATESOL and many other professional organizations have been blessed to have Jodi’s dynamic leadership, including TESOL and AAAL (American Association for Applied Linguistics).
Those of us who know her are privileged to count her as a friend. And the world at large could not have a better ambassador for cross-cultural understanding and teacher education than Jodi Crandall!
Congratulations, Jodi. This award is well-deserved!