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MTSU students talk their way to Japanese contest w...

MTSU students talk their way to Japanese contest win

MTSU students and advisers participating in the fifth annual Tennessee Area Japanese Speech Contest pose for a group photo. (photo submitted)

MTSU students captured two awards in the fifth annual Tennessee Area Japanese Speech Contest on April 7 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Seth Graves, a global-studies major from Thompson’s Station, Tenn., minoring in Japanese language, won the overall Grand Prize for the competition’s best speech. For his work, Graves received two round-trip tickets to Japan courtesy of American Airlines.

Alex Chambers, a non-degree-seeking undergraduate from Smyrna, Tenn., won first prize in Level 2, the intermediate level of the contest.

Other MTSU competitors included Mitchell Plumer, a global-studies major from Murfreesboro; Franklin, Tenn., chemistry major Andrew Witt; Ryan Parrow, a global-studies major from Smyrna; Franklin mass-communication major Preston Nalls; Knoxville English major Shannon Laney; and Tyler Whitaker, a Nashville anthropology major.

“This regional-level contest invited 52 participants from nine universities and offered an invaluable opportunity for the students of Japanese to compete in their language skills,” says Dr. David Schmidt, vice provost for international affairs.

The MTSU contingent was supported by Dr. Priya Ananth, assistant professor of foreign languages and Japanese-language program coordinator; Dr. Noriko Mori, an MTSU foreign-languages instructor; adjunct instructor Chiaki Shima; and graduate teaching assistant Saori Endo.

For more information, contact the MTSU Office of International Affairs at 615-894-8190.

— Gina K. Logue (