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College of Liberal and Fine Arts


Bridging Scholarship Recipient Wins $2,500 to Study Abroad in Japan

February 5, 2018

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, J’ayla Vicks’ love for the Japanese language and culture has earned him a scholarship with the U. S-Japan Bridging Foundation. As the only Texas recipient amongst twenty-six undergraduate students across the United States, Vicks will be attending a Study Abroad in Japan during Spring 2018.  

“Growing up, I really enjoyed watching Toonami or One Piece anime shows that would premiere on Cartoon Network,” Vicks said. “I liked it so much that I would go online to watch the rest of the untranslated episodes that did not air on television, so I made it my goal to be able to watch and understand Japanese-only anime shows just as I watch and understand any other show in English.”

In 2015, Vicks formally began studying Japanese with Dr. Makiko Fukuda, Senior Lecturer of Japanese at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, who became a mentor and essay editor during the application process.

“J’ayla has always been a very determined and hardworking student whose creativity truly translated into his essay,” Fukuda said. “I believe this opportunity will allow him to use the Japanese perspective in future business ideas. J’ayla possess traditional Japanese values which are evident in his respect for the customs.”

Administered by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ), the Bridging Scholarship program has supported more than 1,600 students studying abroad in Japan since 1999. AATJ strives to,  "foster professional development, the promotion of Japanese and foreign language education, and the exchange of research, and seeks to coordinate its activities with related organizations to promote Japanese studies, including a network of state and regional affiliate organizations."

Along with the help of the Hazelwood Act financial program, Vicks will not only will gain an unforgettable experience as defined by AATJ, but hopes to understand the Japanese business structures and models well enough to influence and incorporate into American business culture.

The Psychology major and double minor in East Asian Studies with a focus in Japanese, is set to graduate in the Fall of 2018 and intends on pursuing a career in international business.


-Andrea Avalos

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