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Wittenberg Graduate Named Top 30 In The World After International Language Competition

August 31, 2011  
 Filed in Community, Research

Springfield, Ohio – On the heels of his first-place national win, Bradley Roberts, Wittenberg class of 2011, is now among the Top 30 in the world following the 10th annual “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, July 16 to Aug. 8, in Changsha, the capital of central China’s Hunan Province.

Roberts, a self-designed Chinese major from Hilliard, Ohio, represented the United States in competing with more than 120 students from more than 60 countries in what has been called the “Chinese language Olympics.” As part of the intense competition, students presented a short prepared speech in Chinese accompanied by a cultural performance. Students were allowed to perform anything they wanted provided it was relevant to Chinese culture and/or their own perceptions of the culture.

For the first round, Roberts presented a speech titled “Vinegar” and performed a folk song-and-dance titled “Fengyang Huagu.” He then had to answer a series of questions. For the second round, Roberts wrote an original speech called “Sichuan Embroidery.”

“It is hard for me to comprehend the significance of being in the top 30,” Roberts said.  “The Chinese Bridge competition is an experience fraught with challenges: long hours, constant stress and emotions running high.”

Although tiring at times, Roberts called the competition “a thoroughly rewarding experience. Chinese has been a passion of mine, and I will not take this achievement as an ending, but will instead continue to strive for perfection.”

Following his national win back in April, Roberts learned that he, along with Wittenberg’s junior second-place national winner Erica Davis, class of 2013, would receive a one-year scholarship to study in China in 2012. With the conclusion of the international competition, Roberts said he now hopes to attend Nanjing University or Shandong University, where he will study both translation and art history.

“I entered into the Chinese Bridge competition as both an academic pursuit and a desire to make my professors at Wittenberg proud,” Roberts said. “Speaking honestly, competing at any level would have been impossible without the support of the various departments and faculty at Wittenberg University. I just hope that I will be able to continue making my professors and everyone at Wittenberg proud.”

Wittenberg University is a nationally ranked Lutheran-affiliated liberal arts college with professional studies located in Springfield, Ohio. Reflecting its Lutheran heritage, Wittenberg challenges students to become responsible global citizens, to discover their callings, and to lead personal, professional, and civic lives of creativity, service, compassion, and integrity.

Written By: Karen Gerboth
Photo By: Erin Pence

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