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K-State Today

May 21, 2019

K-Staters win collegiate division awards in Japanese Language contest

Submitted by Stephanie Jacques

From the left:Naoki Ito, Consul General of Japanese at Chicago; Robert Ault, and Coleman Adams

Kansas State University students Robert Ault, junior in computer science, Shawnee, won the grand prize and Coleman Adams, senior in computer science, Wichita, won second place at the 33rd annual Japanese Language Speech Contest hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago on March 23. 

"To write and deliver a speech in another language is no easy task so this award is a remarkable achievement," said Naoki Ito, consul-general of Japan in Chicago. "Their success in this contest is the result of their hard work and dedication to their studies. This experience will surely lead to new opportunities in the future."

The contest aims to promote Japanese language education in the Midwest and deepen mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and the United States. Kumiko Nakamura, instructor of modern languages, helped the students prepare for the competition.

"The students in Japanese Language Program have won the top prizes at Chicago the last three years, which makes such a strong statement about our students' commitment toward their Japanese language studies," Nakamura said. "I cannot be prouder of my students for their accomplishment."

Ault presented "Chatterbox Ryan" about his brother Ryan, who has autism, describing what life was like living with him, and how life can be difficult for people with autism due to the negative stigmas and conditions placed on them by society.

"I could not have made it to this point without the help of Professor Nakamura, who helped me to write and rewrite my speech until it was whittled down to something presentable," Ault said. "I also want to thank the professor, as well as my classmates, for letting me practice in front of them time and time again during the weeks leading up to the event. I truly believe the experience I gained from participating in an event such as this will stick with me very closely for the rest of my life."

Adams presented "Homeless College Student" about the hardships he faced as a freshman in college, and how he eventually found his way to Kansas State.

"I can confidently say that my time studying Japanese has been among the most satisfying of my college experiences," Adams said. "I'm grateful for both the friendships I've made therein, as well as Professor Nakamura's diligent instruction."