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Senior Wins Special Award in Japan Center Essay Contest

Japan center 2012 1
Japan Center 2012
Shariful Syed (second from left) with (top, left to right) Eriko Sato, Organizing Committee Chair, JCSB; Iwao Ojima, President JCSB; Mason Olds, Vice President, Canon USA; Harsh Bhasin, Chair, Asian and Asian American Studies SBU; and Fumio Iwai, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Japan in New York.

Shariful Syed, a Stony Brook senior majoring in Asian American studies, won the Special Award B in the College Division of the Japan Center’s Seventh Annual Essay Competition sponsored by Canon USA. His special award-winning essay, “Self-discovery through Japanese Harmony” was very inspirational, conveying the significance of understanding the meaning of “harmony” and how it can powerfully enrich many aspects of the human life. To find an adequate balance between juggling with many responsibilities and aspirations and being able to appreciate the value of your surroundings is an important message emphasized in Syed’s essay. Syed has been accepted to a medical school and is interested in the field of psychiatry.  The Special Award A was given to Daniel Xu from Princeton University for his essay, “To Biwa Lake.” Syed and Xu were presented with an award certificate of $1,000 and $500, respectively, and a Canon camera each at the Award Ceremony held on April 14 at the Charles B. Wang Center.

The goal of the essay competition is to promote awareness and understanding of Japan in the United States and to help young Americans broaden their international horizons. This year the contestants were required to write about one or more aspects of Japan in relation to their personal view, experiences and/or future goals.

A total of 260 essays were received and carefully evaluated in two stages by a panel of judges composed of Stony Brook faculty members. The winner in the High School Division was Yumiko Siev from Valley Stream Central High School. To view all the winning essays and detailed information on other Japan Center programs, visit

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