William & Mary

Michael Finn and John Kamensky win East Asian Studies Awards

Congratulations to Michael Finn and John Kamensky, who have won the EAS Best Senior Project Award and Excellence in Chinese Awards, respectively.

Michael Finn did a research project on Chinese first and only empress: Wu Zetian for the course Chinese 428: Advanced Seminar offered in spring 2009. In the paper culminating from a substantial research, Michael discussed how Empress Wu came to power, her achievements, her blunders as well as her impact on the course of Chinese history. The paper was written in Chinese, although the students had the option of writing their papersin English. Michael used authentic expressions and rather complicated sentence structures. Not only was the composition largely free of errors, but the ideas were also nuanced and insightful. Ranking the top of all the 24 senior projects conducted this year by the graduating Chinese majors, Michael received the award of EAS Prize for the Best Senior Project.

Recipient of the 2009 Chinese Government Scholarship to W&M, John (Jack) Kamensky also received an EAS Prize for Excellence in Chinese this spring. Every so often the Chinese program at W&M would produce a "wonder student," so called because of the student's exceptional command of Chinese mastered during the four years of study at W&M. John is such a "wonder" student this year. He came to the College 4 years ago without knowing even one Chinese word, and yet after 4 assiduous years of practice, during which he studied and worked in China for two summers, he speaks and writes at a level that constantly amazes his teachers. He received the EAS Price for Excellence in Chinese for both his advanced language ability and his hard work.