The Japanese language contest was established to encourage students at the college level to enhance their Japanese speaking skills. It is sponsored by the Toyama Prefectural Government and the Japan-America Society of Oregon. Toyama is Oregon's sister state.
Stewart, a business major, placed second in category one among other students who have studied the Japanese language for one year or less at the college level. He was awarded an engraved second place trophy along with an electronic Japanese dictionary.
The competition is open to undergraduates studying Japanese at an Oregon college or university and offers upper and lower division competition. Speeches were four to six minutes in length and covered any topic of the students' choice. Students were evaluated on their general Japanese language ability, speech content and overall presentation.
Stewart prepared and practiced his speech with the help of Christopher Keaveney, assistant professor of modern languages at Linfield, and Eri Imanaka, a Japanese exchange student majoring in Spanish at Linfield who is also a tutor in the modern languages department.
Keaveney said Stewart is a top student who works hard in class.
"It can be overwhelming to prepare for and participate in this competition for students who have never been to Japan, so I give Tim tremendous credit for his work," Keaveney said.