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Source: Erin Waymire, enw2714@k-state.edu
Photo available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Kristin Hodges, 785-532-6415, khodges2@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

K-STATE JUNIOR RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP TO SPEND SEMESTER STUDYING IN JAPAN

MANHATTAN -- Erin Waymire, a Kansas State University junior in anthropology from Manhattan, has been awarded a scholarship to study in Japan for a semester.

Waymire received a Bridging Scholarship from the Association of Teachers of Japanese for $2,500 to study at Japan's Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata City in spring 2010. Bridging Scholarships are awarded to 100 U.S. students annually by the Association of Teachers of Japanese, a nonprofit organization that aims to broaden the knowledge and appreciation of Japan and its culture.

Waymire started studying Japanese during her senior year at Maize High School, where she graduated in 2007. That summer, she and her sister were able to fulfill a dream of traveling to Japan.

"During those two weeks in Japan, I fell in love with the culture all over again, thrilled to see what I had learned both in and out of the classroom come to life before my eyes," she said.

Waymire said one of her best memories from the trip was spending time with a group of Japanese middle school girls learning English.

"Although none of us had perfected our skills in the other language, we shared something in common," she said. "I felt a powerful connection with them as we traded knowledge about each other's language and culture, and after two weeks of being immersed in the Japanese culture, I knew that I would one day return."

Waymire plans a career as an anthropologist and has a love for traveling, so she is excited for a semester of studying abroad. She will take Japanese courses in reading, writing and speaking, as well as courses taught in English.

"I want to not only grow in my Japanese language skills, but also in my understanding of the world and the various peoples that inhabit it," she said.

Waymire is involved in K-State's Japanese Language program, where she attends events that allow students studying Japanese to talk with Japanese students studying in the United States. She also has been a member of the color guard in K-State's marching band. She is a recipient of a Chapman Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the Anthropological Field School in Malta last summer to learn anthropological field techniques.

She is the daughter of Stephen L. and Jeanna Waymire, Wichita.