This Week's Update...

September 2, 2015 was filled with a variety of events at FIU (MMC) campus.

In the early part of the day the Florida Statewide Japanese Speech Contest took place. Organized by the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ), FIU Asian Studies Program & SEUS/Japan Assoc. Grand Prize sponsored by Wakayama Prefectural Government.

10 students presented and 3 were from FIU. Our very own Gigi Ross won Grand Prize!

Here is the list of WINNERS:

  • First Place with Grand Prize: Free Trip to Wakayama, Japan GiGi Ross (Florida International University)
  • Second Place - Christian Wisneski (Broward Virtual School)
  • Third Place - Chandler Schuetz (University of South Florida)
  • Special Recognition Award - Kay-Ann Linton (FIU)


Next the 12th Annual Florida-Japan Summit took place. There were many wonderful people who addressed the attendees. There was also a Networking Reception that followed.

Here is the list of presenters in the order they spoke:

  • Prof. John F. Stack, Dean Designate, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, Florida International University
  • Mr. Keith Norden, President & CEO, Team Volusia EDC & Chairman, Florida Delegation, Southeast U.S./Japan Association
  • The Honorable Shinji Nagashima, Consul General, Consulate General of Japan in Miami
  • Mr. Dave Woodward, Exec. Director, Southeast U.S./Japan Association
  • Mr. Norikazu Mori, CEO, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
  • Mr. Sean McWilliams, Int’l Relations Manager, Pilot Corporation of America
  • Prof. Tadayuki Hara, Associate Dean for Administration & Finance, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida
  • Prof. Steven Heine, Professor of Religious Studies & History, Director of Asian Studies, Florida International University
  • Prof. Yasuo Uotate, University of Florida, AFTJ President-Elect.
  • Ms. Wendy Lo, Curator of Education, Morikami Japanese Museum and Gardens
  • Ms. Gabriela Romeu, International Program Coordinator, College of Pharmacy, NOVA Southeastern University/ JET Program Alumni
  • Mr. Hiroyuki Tsui, Executive Director, International Affairs, Wakayama Prefecture
  • Mr. Dave Woodward, Exec. Director, Southeast U.S./Japan Association, Inc.

The Day's Agenda

Special Announcement at the Summit

Prof. Steven Heine announced the winner of the Omar K. Carrion Scholarship, which advances FIU’s Asian Studies Program and awards one scholarship to one undergraduate student per academic year. Coincidentally Gigi Ross was also the recipient of this prestigious Scholarship.


Thank you to everyone that helped make this day a success.

For more pictures check out our FB Album.