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Two Freshmen Win Japan Center Essay Contest

Eric andrew engoronjapan center 1
Eric Andrew EngoronJapan Center
Eric Andrew Engoron with (from left to right) Yasuhisa Kawamura, Consulate General of Japan in New York; Mark Aronoff, Senior Advisor to Provost; Dr. Iwao Ojima, President JCSB; James Sharp, Senior Vice-President, Canon USA.

Eric Andrew Engoron, a Stony Brook freshman majoring in computer science, won the Special Award in the College Division of the Japan Center’s Sixth Annual Essay Competition sponsored by Canon USA. His award-winning essay, “Doumo Arigaotu Mr. Roboto,” was very moving and inspirational, enlightening readers with the humane aspects of the utilization of robots to help disabled people like him live normal lives.

One of Engoron’s aspirations is to join the Japanese team that has been developing robots for home use, which mainly helps disabled people. The second Special Award was given to Manami Ogami, a Stony Brook freshman who is interested in journalism, for her essay, “Finding Japan on an Island.”

Engoron and Ogami were presented with an Award Certificate of $1,000, $500 cash, and a Canon camera each at the Award Ceremony held on April 2 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 280 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 Jessica Goldman from North Shore Hebrew Academy.

To view all the winning essays and detailed information on other Japan Center programs, visit the JCSB site at

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