Atlanta Campus to Host 11th Annual Japan Academic Challenge and 25th Annual Japanese Speech Contest


ATLANTA – Mercer University will host high school and college students from across the Southeast for the 11th annual Japan Academic Challenge and 25th Annual Japanese Speech Contest March 5 on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta.

The two events, which will take place in Day Hall, are co-organized by the Japan-America Society of Georgia, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia, the Georgia Association of Teachers of Japanese and the Consulate General of Japan.

“We are honored to have been asked to co-host this event. It's a pleasure to witness firsthand the amazing talent and learning that is taking place in the state of Georgia and to be a part of the continued relationship development between the U.S. and Japan,” said Julie Strecker, director of international programs at Mercer.

The Japan Academic Challenge is a quiz-show style competition that tests high school students' knowledge of Japanese culture, history, grammar and language. The final round will be open to the public and take place from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The Japanese Speech Contest, which will occur from 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m., involves high school and college students presenting memorized presentations entirely in Japanese. There are two divisions of competition.

In Category I, students who have taken first- or second-year college-level Japanese courses are required to deliver a three-minute speech on the topic of their choosing.

In Category II, students who have completed or are currently enrolled in a third-year college-level Japanese course are required to deliver a five-minute speech on the topic of their choosing. The grand prize for the winner of Category II is round-trip airfare to and from Japan.

A closing ceremony for both events will take place from 1:30-2 p.m.

In addition to the co-organizers, support for this year's events was provided by Mercer; The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles; Nagoya University; Baker Donelson; and Interesse International.

For more information, contact the Japan-America Society of Georgia at (404) 842-1400 or

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.