The 2011 Modern Languages Book Prize in Japanese has been awarded Claire Dranginis, a senior majoring in East Asian Studies and minoring in Management and Organizational Leadership. Claire has studied Japanese through the fourth-year advanced level, and has taken many classes in Japanese studies, including Japanese Cinema and Gross National Cool. Her interest in the Japanese language grew out of a love of contemporary Japanese popular music (read her essay on J-pop here). Claire also spent a semester at Keio University, in Tokyo, perfecting her language skills. Upon graduating this spring, she will be off to China, to teach English there. The prize was announced at the College’s annual Spring Awards Reception on Tuesday, April 12th. Our congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!
The Kinyo Prize for Excellence in Japanese was established through the generous support of Mr. Kazuo Nakamura of Kinyo Virginia, Inc. This prize is given annually to recognize the hard work and achievements of the top student at each level of our Japanese program. This year’s recipients are (from left): Jeffrey Ngare, Katherine Worcester, Jack Brorsen, and Claire Dranginis. Read about them below.
First Year: Jeffrey Ngare
Many students made great efforts and saw great progress in first-year Japanese, but Jeffrey was outstanding in his devotion to study and his passion for the language. He never hesitates to devote extra time to assignments. He has also tried to learn the cultural aspects of Japanese in depth while expanding his knowledge of the linguistic side of the language.
Second Year: Katie Worcester
Katie is an exceptionally diligent and hard working student with an outstanding linguistic sense. She tackles every classroom activity and assignment seriously. This semester, to encourage the people affected by the recent earthquake, she wrote a message that was not only grammatically accurate and well crafted, but that showed her true warmheartedness. We sincerely hope her message will uplift the spirits of the Japanese people.
Third Year: Jack Brorsen
Jack has pushed himself very hard both inside and outside the classroom to improve his Japanese. He continually sets new goals for himself after completing a task. He always tries to elevate his understanding of Japanese. Overall, his performance this year has been stellar and very deserving of this award.
Fourth Year: Claire Dranginis
Since her freshman year, Claire has impressed us as an extremely thorough and diligent student, with a quiet enthusiasm for Japanese language and culture. Last year, she spent one semester as an exchange student at Keio University in Tokyo, where she attained the highest level of language proficiency. This year, in Japanese 402, Claire has shown herself to be witty, gregarious, and fun-loving, helping to relax the atmosphere in class by humorously using Japanese onomatopoeia. Upon graduation, her plan is to teach English in China. She is already looking toward her next goal.
To all the awardees, congratulations on a job well done! Your dedication to language-learning is an inspiration.