Student Awards

The East Asian Language and Culture Department gives out four awards annually at the Department Graduation Ceremony to those students who best exemplify scholarly achievement in their target languages. The Department considers the academic performance, variety of Asia-related content courses, and depth of intellectual pursuit as manifested in research projects, such as honors theses and capstone essay. Additionally, the Department considers leadership roles and active participation in program activities, organization and clubs, and study abroad as part of their criteria. For the Liu Family Distinguished Achievement Award, all of the above is taken into account, as well as the student’s exemplary commitment to Asia and Asian Studies within the Department.

Award Recipients for the 2017-2018 school year are as follows:

The Liu Family Distinguished Achievement Award in Asian Studies: Emily Vincent

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Emily is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar and has earned a 3.7/4.0 GPA overall in her pursuit of a double major in Anthropology and Chinese and a double minor in Business Economics and the Glynn Family Honors Program. She holds a 3.85 GPA in her Chinese major and a 3.9 GPA in her Anthropology major. She was inducted to the Phi Beta Kappa National Honors Society as well as the Lambda Alpha National Collegiate Honors Society for Anthropology, and was named a semi-finalist for a Fulbright grant to teach English in Taiwan. Her commitment to broadening her understanding of East Asia is demonstrated not only by the courses in Chinese language, literature, and culture that she has taken at Notre Dame but also by years of extracurricular activities.
Emily volunteered for three summers at a private orphanage in Beijing for abandoned children with disabilities. On her first visit she worked directly with the young children and orphanage staff to learn about the cultural pressures surrounding orphans and healthcare. She later returned to the same orphanage to coordinate the efforts of new volunteers, as well to study more about the effects of the One-Child Policy on child abandonment. A video and article about Emily’s work was featured on the front page of the Notre Dame website. With academic advising through EALC, Emily received the Robertson Undergraduate Research Endowment for East Asian Studies through Notre Dame’s Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement to return to China a third time to conduct a nine-week independent research project on the broader question of foreign NGOs in China and how they operate given recently-passed laws. She has since used this research to author her senior honors thesis.

Emily studied abroad in Spring 2017 at East China Normal University in Shanghai, where she was recognized for her achievement in her Chinese language class and selected to MC the closing ceremony. The following summer Emily interned at the US Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs’ Office of Public Diplomacy in Washington, DC, where she learned more about the United States policy positions toward China and was able to use her Mandarin skills to converse with visiting Chinese officials.
Emily has been very active within the EALC Department. She has worked with faculty to edit and provide student content for a Chinese language textbook. She regularly participates in extracurricular programs organized by the Chinese department, including performing in the Chinese Mid-Autumn and Spring festivals, attending Chinese movie nights, and participating in Celebrate Asia. During her time studying abroad in Shanghai, Emily challenged herself to take a class on China’s International Relations, which was taught entirely in Chinese. Outside of her studies, Emily also works as an English tutor for the children of visiting Chinese professors.

After graduating from Notre Dame, Emily will pursue, with a full scholarship, a Master’s in China Studies with a concentration in law and society at the prestigious Yenching Academy of Peking University.

Distinction in Chinese: Juliana Pellino

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Juliana is a non-heritage student who has taken Chinese each of her semesters at Notre Dame. She is triple majoring in Chinese, Spanish, and Finance with a 3.7 GPA overall and a 4.0 GPA in her Chinese major. After taking Elementary Chinese at Notre Dame, she spent the summer after her freshman year studying first year Chinese at the Middlebury Chinese Language Academy. Upon returning to Notre Dame for her sophomore year, she was actively involved in the Chinese department, serving as the MC for the various festivals as well as participating in the annual Chinese Speech Contest. The following summer, she attended the Notre Dame in Beijing program. She continued her study of Chinese independently the first semester of her junior year when she studied abroad in Spain, allowing her to return to fourth and fifth year Chinese at Notre Dame and participate in the various Chinese departmental activities. In addition, she has taken a variety of courses in Chinese literature and culture.

After graduation, Juliana will join Deloitte Consulting Chicago in their Strategy and Operations division where she will be able to travel internationally and use her language skills for her projects. Before she begins her job in August, she plans to serve as a resident assistant through the Chinese Middlebury Interactive Languages Academy, a language immersion program in Vermont for high school students. 

Excellence in Japanese: Joshua Kuiper

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Joshua majors in English, with a Supplementary Major in Japanese. After completing his First Year Japanese study at Notre Dame, he participated in the Princeton in Ishikawa Summer Program to study Japanese language for two months during the summer of 2015. He stayed in Japan during the Fall 2015 semester at Nanzan University as an exchange student. His Japanese language skill has dramatically improved after his study in Japan.

In addition, Joshua has been actively involved in the Japanese program. For 2017–2018, he served as one of the Japanese peer tutors at CSLC and proved to be quite popular among beginning level tutees. He was truly responsible, cooperative, and eager to help others. He always volunteered on various occasions and was an excellent role model for other students in the program. 

Joshua is interested in teaching, and has taught Japanese high school students at the Keio Academy of New York in Summer 2017. He has been accepted by the JET Program to teach English in Japan from Fall 2018 after graduating from Notre Dame. He prefers to be assigned in rural community in Japan, which will give him even more opportunities to learn the language and culture.


Distinction in Korean: Sherri McIntee

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Sherri has a 4.0 GPA in her Korean minor, and her overall GPA is a 3.822. Over the years, she has demonstrated great passion for the study of Korean language and culture. She has consistently received perfect scores on not only tests but also here presentations and papers. She is always able to grasp new linguistic concepts quickly, analyze clearly the difference between English and Korean, and comprehends thoroughly Korean language through contextual knowledge of Korean culture and society. She thinks critically about the reading materials on Korean history and society and offers incisive analysis.

In addition, Sherri has participated enthusiastically in the various events of the Korean program. She has also been very active in the Korean Student Association (KSA) at Notre Dame.