UNC Charlotte Student Wins First Place in 31st Annual Duke University Japanese Speech Contest

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Vanessa Lee won first place in the Level II category of the 31st Annual Duke Speech Contest held on Saturday, March 31st, 2018 on the campus of Duke University. This is the second time that a UNC Charlotte student has received  First Place in the Level 2 category, the first being in 2015.   Level two consisted of six contestants including three students from Duke University, one from UNC Greensboro, one from Wake Forest University, and our own Vanessa Lee from UNC Charlotte. 

Level II includes students who are currently enrolled in a Japanese course, which is comparable to the Duke 2nd year course. Level II at the Duke University covers GENKI II textbook (Ch 18-23) and Tobira textbook (Ch 1-5), which is equivalent to Intermediate Japanese II and Upper Intermediate Japanese I at UNC Charlotte.

The Japanese Studies Program at UNC Charlotte also sent another student, Leilani McGhee, who competed in the Level I category. Leilani McGhee and Vanessa Lee were selected to compete at the Duke Speech Contest as a result of the Annual UNC Charlotte Japanese Speech Contest.

Ms. Yokono Yukiko, Lecturer in the Japanese Studies Program at UNC Charlotte and Ms. Chie Drake, Adjunct Lecturer in the same program, cheered Vanessa and Leilani at the Speech Contest. Ms. Yokono reported that the quality of the speeches was very high and she could witness the hard work of both students and their instructors from all participant universities. Ms. Drake said “Vanessa looked nervous. Despite that, her speech including presentation skills and responses to the questions after the speech were excellent. Her hard work paid off.” The Japanese Studies Program at UNC Charlotte is very proud of our students' achievement!

Vanessa Lee is a Junior at UNC Charlotte with double majors in Japanese and Psychology, as well as a Certificate in Translating Japanese in English. She plans to study abroad in Fall 2018 at Nanzan University in Japan through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).