University of Pittsburgh
March 16, 2010

Pitt Announces Winners of Annual High School Japanese Speech Contest

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center, in collaboration with Pitt's Japanese Speaking Society and the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, have selected the winners of the annual High School Japanese Speech Contest, held March 5 in the William Pitt Union. Seventy-two students from eight area high schools participated. Special guests were Yuko Suzuki, consul from the Consulate General of Japan in New York, and Richard Scaglion, director of Pitt's Asian Studies Center and professor in the Department of Anthropology.

Students competed on five different levels, including a poster session for first-year students of Japanese and four levels of speeches-corresponding to the number of years of language study. Winners are as follows:

Hannah Hetrick of Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School won the poster-session portion of the contest, under the instruction of Dixie Lipnichan;

Yinping Yu and Helen Kim, both students of Allderdice High School under the instruction of Isabel Espino de Valdivia, tied as first place winners in the beginner portion;

Joshua Burd, a Butler Area High School student under the instruction of Masami Schaper, and Carly O'Conner, a Shaler Area High School student under the instruction of Ritsu Shimizu, tied for first place in the intermediate portion of the contest;

Alexa Little, a Shaler High School student under the instruction of Ritsu Shimizu, won first place in the advanced portion of the contest; and

Kaitlyn Price, a Shaler High School student under the instruction of Ritsu Shimizu, won first place in the advanced-plus category of the contest. Price also received the Consulate Award, which is presented to the student with the best-overall performance.

First place winners received trophies for their respective schools.

Sponsors of the event included Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation of America, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Elliott Company of Jeanette, Pa., the Consulate-General of Japan in New York, and the Japan Foundation in Los Angeles.

The Asian Studies Center is part of the University Center for International Studies.

Judges included faculty from Pitt's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Modern Languages.

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