University of Mississippi

Japanese Speech Contest

Japanese Speech Contest

Japanese Speech Contest Student Winners and Faculty

UM students won six prizes at the Japanese speech contest on April 5, 2014 at Tougaloo College in Jackson, MS.

13 Japanese language students competed: 1st year-8 students, 2nd year-3 students, 3rd year-2 students

1st year

2nd prize: Alex Wilson ($200)
3rd prize: Jacob Waalk ($100)

2nd year

2nd prize: Zhen Guo ($200)
Consul General Award: Daniel Griffin

3rd year

1st prize: Nick Denette ($500)
3rd prize: Taylor Miller ($100)

Japanese Speech Contest Winners

Japanese Speech Contest

Japanese Speech Contest Winners and Faculty

Jean Steinwinder’s Korean Studies

Namdaemun, one of eight gates in the fortress wall of Seoul, South Korea

Namdaemun, one of eight gates in the fortress wall of Seoul, South Korea

On her first trip outside the South, Jean Steinwinder headed to South Korea for six months before her graduation from the University of Mississippi.

“I’ve had a great interest in Korean culture and language for years and wanted to study there before graduating,” she said. “I plan to teach English in Korea, so this was the perfect opportunity to see the country while taking classes for my major.”

Steinwinder enrolled in Korea University’s Summer Intensive Korean Program and spent her fall semester as an exchange student at the university.

After completing an associate’s degree at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, the Wesson, Miss., native learned about something special at UM. “Ole Miss offered a linguistics degree and Korean classes, and I was determined to go,” she said, adding that she found additional opportunities through the Study Abroad Office. To help defray study expenses in Korea, she secured a Gilman Scholarship and a Freeman-ASIA Award.

Steinwinder took full advantage of the Department of Modern Languages offerings. “During the first semester of Korean classes, our teacher arranged many social events like Korean Fun Time and Korean Language Table, where we mingled with Korean students and I made a lot of friends,” said Steinwinder.

The department is committed to developing very high language proficiencies in its students, said Donald Dyer, professor and department chair. “Jean is emblematic of that success.”

VIDEO-I am a Global Rebel: William Bumpas

William Bumpas

William Bumpas

What I really want to do is to be able to talk to people, and with the Chinese language skills that I have gained at Ole Miss, I am getting the opportunity to do that.—William Bumpas, student in the Chinese Language Flagship Program at the University of Mississippi 

Chinese Flagship Program
UM is home to the only Arabic and Chinese language programs in the state.

Digital platforms and economic growth are shortening the divide between America and China, and the university is giving some of the students in the international studies program a competitive edge through the Chinese Language Flagship Program. The University of Mississippi is one of only nine universities in the United States to offer this program in partnership with two centers in Nanjing and Tianjin, China. This intensive program is designed to help students develop an extremely high proficiency in Chinese language skills, along with a deep understanding of history and culture.

See how three trips to China changed William’s perspective as a student and as a future international leader.

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Student Fills Position with FedEx Express Upon Graduation

After Kennedy Horton graduated in May 2011 from the University of Mississippi, he didn’t look for a job. That’s because the M.B.A. student had already secured a prominent position with FedEx Express.

Horton, who previously earned bachelor’s degrees from UM in international studies and Mandarin Chinese, worked in finance. Since entering the M.B.A. program, he has immersed himself in learning how the individual areas of finance, accounting and technology management are integrated to support business strategy. He also got to know his new employer through its Ole Miss connections.

“I was paired up with an executive at FedEx Express through the M.B.A. mentor program,” Horton said. “He was very generous to give me his time and helped me learn a great deal about the company and business in Asia. There are also many great friends of the university at FedEx who visit campus and were key in helping me develop a better understanding of that firm and contributed to my desire to work for it.”

A Mississippi native and the son of disaster relief workers, Horton grew up in Pakistan and Thailand. He decided to attend UM to take advantage of programs in the Croft Institute for International Studies, Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the Chinese Language Flagship Program.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in each,” he said. “Croft taught me how to think critically and pull meaning out of quantitative and qualitative information. The (national flagship language program) allowed me to learn Chinese and about China through high-quality, intensive courses on campus, as well as through multiple semesters studying in China.”

The university’s M.B.A. program taught Horton to use all his skills in a business environment. “It introduced me to the systematic development of business strategy and management,” he said.

Faculty members in Horton’s majors boast of his achievements.

“Kennedy Horton’s background of living for long periods in Pakistan and Thailand as a child provided him with perspectives on life that are exceptional for a U.S. student,” said Michael Metcalf, associate provost for international affairs and co-director of CLFP. “His participation in the Chinese Language Flagship Program here at the university wedded to his MBA studies are sure to have prepared him to make important contributions to his employers.”

“His passion in study made him most different from the others,” said Yi Lin, assistant professor of Chinese and CLFP director of curriculum and instruction. “It seems like yesterday that he said to me, ‘I am addicted to Chinese and can’t help it.’ I am always amused by that line, even though it was three years ago.”

Horton also has helped strengthen the MBA program for fellow students, said Bethany Cooper, director of corporate relations and MBA services.

“His global experiences and language skills have added an interesting perspective to the class,” Cooper said. “What is truly delightful about Kennedy is that he is here at Ole Miss to learn, he asked challenging questions and took his studies seriously. I look forward to watching his career trajectory and expect great things from him in the years to come.”

Horton credits his wife, Caitlin, along with his father, grandfather, mentors Walt Demoss and Michael Ducker and UM’s Career Center for the support that contributed to his success.