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The Japanese Program hosted the Induction Ceremony into the Japanese National Honors Society on February 21, 2018. The Japanese National Honor Society – College Chapter (JNHS–CC) recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement and excellence in the study of the Japanese language. Academic criteria for student membership in JNHS–CC are as follows: Completion of 5 semesters of Japanese language courses is required.  This means that at UVa, in most cases, students must have completed JAPN 3010.  (Transfer credits of up to 2 courses can be considered.)   

• a GPA of 3.5 in JAPN courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 are the minimum requirement.  

• Inductees’ names are recognized on the AATJ website and in its newsletter. In 2017, 251 students from 56 universities were inducted into JNHS.  

The inductee’s names for this year: 

  • Yuang Cao (ユアン・ツァオ)
  • Josephine (Yueh-Jay) Chiao (ジョズィー・チャオ)
  • Yuning Dong (ユニン・ドン)
  • Jackson Ekis (ジャクソン・イキス)
  • Myliyah Hanna (マイリア・ハンナ)
  • Tessa Short (テッサ・ショート) 
2018 Japanese Honors
2018 Japanese Honors



Dear Professors of the Japanese Department,

I am writing to express my gratitude for all the opportunities and resources you have provided for us students. Personally, the last 4 years of my academic work would not have been as fun or stimulating if it were not for the Japanese department. Many people often wonder why I chose to take on such divergent paths majoring in both electrical engineering and Japanese language and literature. Some have even discounted the valuable knowledge learning a new language and studying literature has to offer. Although it has been one heck of a challenge, I am certain that I am acquiring knowledge and new perspectives from your courses that will assist me in my long-term goals.

Watching the department gather with its students yesterday clearly shows the magnitude and strength of the Japanese program at UVA, as Professor Laughlin had said, and I am inspired by the number of students drawn to this program despite the limited staff for JAPN/JPTR. It was an honor and pleasure to have been invited, see past and current professors, and congratulate and recognize the accomplishments of my fellow peers. I had to leave early for a competition and could not express my gratitude in person, but thank you for having organized a successful celebration for us.


Kenny Nguyen

Electrical Engineering, Japanese Language & Literature


On February 21, 2018, I attended the Japanese Department’s first ever Japanese Program Celebration, where students from all skill levels got together to catch up, hang out, and celebrate the achievements of the Department’s best and brightest. Although it was the Japanese professors’ first time hosting the event, the celebration was successful beyond imagination. The Language Common in New Cabell Hall was packed with a diverse group of students.  

The celebration was so crowded that many had to stand around the perimeter of the seating area. Students shared seats, hugged, and rejoiced in an opportunity to relax with peers that they have collaborated with for several semesters. While the event allowed students to hang out and have fun, it was a time for meaningful reflection, as Professor Wilson taught us about the importance of applying classroom lessons to our daily language usage and the continuation of learning in the future. Josie Chiao, this year’s recipient of the Michiko N. Wilson Award, shared her experience and advice to younger students, emphasizing the importance of making the most of your time at UVA by getting to know your classmates, since you learn just as much from peers as you learn from faculties. The beauty of the event lied in the personal connections that instilled academic motivation and a sense of community in the students.

Like many of my fellow students, going to college is a liberating experience but at times it evokes a feeling of loneliness as you are away from your home and family. I found a similar feeling of warmth while participating in the event. The Japanese program is like one big family. Seeing the smiles and hearing the constant laughter, one could only assimilate the scene with a family gathering. This is definitely one of the traits that make the Japanese program so special. Students receive the opportunity to learn but it’s also a network for friendship and mentorship.

Sarah Tran

University of Virginia | Class of 2018

Double majoring in Biology and History