Baylor Students Place in Dallas Regional Japanese Speech Contest

February 24, 2012

Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMediaCom

Three Baylor students were named finalists in the 15th annual Dallas Japanese Speech Contest, hosted by the Dallas Japanese Association and the Japanese Teachers Association of Texas, this month.

Ryan Smith, junior language and linguistics major from Temple, was awarded first place; Gus Holdrich, sophomore university scholar major from Bethesda, Md., was awarded second; and Miki Wang, freshman biology major from El Paso, was named third at the Feb. 11 contest in Carrollton, Texas. Smith and Holdrich will participate in the 23rd annual Texas State Japanese Language Speech Contest on March 10 at Rice University in Houston.

In preparation for the contest, the students met with Yuko Prefume, lecturer in Japanese at Baylor, and Yoshiko Fujii Gaines, lecturer in Japanese at Baylor, and decided on speech topics. They also worked with Fumiko Ezoe, wife of Noriaki Ezoe, visiting professor of economics at Baylor from Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan.

"After drafting and revising several times, they memorized their speeches," Prefume said. "Then, they practiced their speech delivery, including intonation and pronunciation."

Other students who participated in the contest are: Emma Perry, senior mathematics major from Paris, Texas; Jonathan Tingle, junior university scholar major from Whitfield, Miss.; and Blake Yanez, junior international studies major from Richardson, Texas.

"I am very proud of all six of them," Prefume said. "In addition to their already demanding schoolwork, they went above and beyond to challenge themselves. I want to commend every one of them for their dedication and hard work."

For more information, contact Yuko Prefume at (254) 710-4283.

by Katy McDowall, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805