Modern Language Events: In the News
On the 18th of April, Dr. Robert Lesman hosted a poetry evening titled United in Verse. Several members of the campus community, students and faculty alike, read poems that are important to them. They explained the meaning of the poems, read them in the original languages and followed with a translation. Dr. Lesman had introduced the event by saying that it was designed to highlight our common humanity and common interests. Among the many languages represented were Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Hebrew, Tshibula, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese. Refreshments were offered afterwards, allowing the participants to answer questions on their presentations and continue the discussion on the poems.
The French Program accomplished again its goals in Gros Mangle this January 2017 ( see link "Haiti Project" for more information). The students of the double seminar on Haiti (Paige Arensmeyer, ,Andrew Hutchinson, Stephanie Smith and Angelina Stewart), with Drs. Mitaut and Ragone as well as Mr. Jonas Celius, the Haitian facilitator, guide and translator for the Haiti Project, continued helping with the construction of the dispensary. The roof was raised this year and the terrain around the dispensary was leveled. The students also enjoyed Haitian life, learned to cook cal dishes, had fresh coconuts, swam and visited important historical landmarks. THANK YOU all for keeping a sunny disposition under difficult conditions. THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE OF GROS MANGLE for making us feel welcome!!!
High School Contest
On the 19th of November, the Modern Languages Department hosted its 7th annual High School Contest, chaired by Dr. Ragone. The participants competed in German, French and Spanish. Drs. Lesman, Mitaut, Pineda-Volk and Wildermuth led the contestants in the game of Jeopardy, judged the poetry presentations and, with Mr. Tim Long, evaluated the Karaoke performances. Drs. Mitaut, Lesman and Wildermuth evaluated as well some of the contestants for their languages skills though an Oral Proficiency Interview or OPI. Thanks to the Office of Admissions, the participants were treated for lunch at the Reisner Cafeteria. Student Ambassadors Karen Rundquist, Zsofia Kandrot, Sarah Kistner, Mitch Nickerson, Ben Hubler and Nate Powles made sure that all the visitors felt comfortable and gave them a tour of campus.
For each event, winners receives a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place medal. The High Point Trophy for the school with the most wins went to Carlisle High School. Congratulations and job well done!!!
The tradition of the Immersion Afternoon, initiated several years ago and hosted in the context of the International Education Week, continued this year. Drs. Mitaut, Wildermuth, Bagués, Ricardo and Ragone had their students present a variety of cultural aspects pertaining to the countries where French, German and Spanish are taught. As the event coordinator, Dr. Moraña distributed to the visitors treasure-hunt sheets compiled by the participating professors. Professor Ning as well as the Saudi Club also participated in this fun event. Here is a sample of the activities: (photos will soon appear here)
France, presented by Dr. Mitaut and her students
Dr. Mitaut welcomed students interested in the presentations of the participants in her study-abroad program in France.
Germany, presented by Dr. Wildermuth and his students
Dr. Wildermuth's students had prepared trifolds about Germany and German culture.
Hispanic foods, presented by Dr. Bagués and her students
The students of Dr. Bagués had presentations about and prepared flan and arroz con leche.
International Karaoke, organized by Dr. Ricardo
There was a lot of enthusiasm for singing in all languages!
French-speaking African countries, presented by Dr. Ragone and her students
Students representing Cameroon (Angela and Coretta Sime) and Niger Alima Gbaguidi) came wearing their beautiful dresses. Dr. Ragone wore a caftan while Erin Doherty demonstrated how to wear a veil in the Sahara.
The Photo Exhibit: In the Garden of the Hesperides: The Marvels of Morocco
Dr. Agnes Ragone presents a series of photos taken in Morocco with Dr. Chantana Charoenpanitkul. The photos are displayed at the Shippensburg University Ezra Lehman Memorial Library (lower gallery) during the first two weeks of November. The exhibit features as well artifacts and books from Morocco belonging to Dr. Ragone's personal collections. The event is part of a series celebrating International Studies Week.
Visit of our St. Jo partners
As has been happening for several years now, we had a fall visit of the St. Jo community college in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, accompanied by their professor, Géraldine Rénier. This followed the visit in early summer of Shippensburg students, under the guidance of Dr. Blandine Mitaut who established the partnership between Shippensburg University and the college.
To read more about the visit, please click below on the link for an article published in the Slate.
ST. JO article
German minor garners a Fulbright scholarship!!
Please read his statement:
Shippensburg to Neumünster: Curtis Rabe
Beginning in October 2016, Curtis Rabe ’16 will be spending 9 months in Neumünster, Germany as a Fulbright teaching assistant. This national, highly-competitive program offers American college graduates the opportunity to spend a school year working in German high schools, teaching
German students about the United States in their native English while developing their own fluency in the German language and culture. Curtis had the following answers for SHIP students interested in such an opportunity:
What was your primary motivation to become a German Studies minor?
I had taken 5 years of German before coming to Shippensburg, but initially did not focus on keeping up with the language. After hearing about opportunities to study abroad or apply for the Fulbright Program, I decided to continue learning German and learning about the German culture.
How do you feel your German Studies minor complimented your major?
The German Studies minor complimented my Computer Science major by giving me access to non-technical material. I could be creative in and outside of class and learn to communicate with others using a different language. It complemented my major by contrasting with it, providing me an opportunity to thrive in both
technical and cultural environments.
How has the minor program provided you with opportunities to develop marketable
language and cultural skills?
The German Studies minor program not only taught me about the language and culture of Germany and Austria (and sometimes Switzerland), but it has also given me the opportunity to teach what I have learned by reaching out to the community through opportunities such as presenting to local schools and dining at German
restaurants. The program provided me with opportunities to speak with native German speakers and practice the material learned from class. As a result I became comfortable in the language and learned the ability to express my thoughts in alternate ways.
How do you feel your German Studies minor prepares you for your Fulbright
teaching assistantship to Germany?
To start, the German Studies minor is what made me a competitive candidate for the program. Additionally, the skills learned in the minor program helped me effectively communicate with people in Germany such as my mentor at Theodor-Litt Schule and realtors in an effort to secure an apartment. I am also
prepared to speak with respect and familiarity to the various groups of people I will encounter while abroad.
What advice would you give other students interested in applying for the
Fulbright teaching assistantship?
My advice would be to seek out opportunities to use whatever language you choose to learn. Shippensburg partners with international universities, so there are often international students at Ship. Befriending these students gives you a chance to network and practice
your language skills. Also when applying for programs such as the Fulbright Program, always be sure to use your resources. The professors at Shippensburg want to see you succeed, and in my experience, they are always happy to help improve your application.
Congratulations to Dr. David Wildermuth who was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor of German.
Please check the link to read about this summer experiences in France and Morocco!!
Sixth Biennial Modern Languages Conference
The Modern Languages Department hosted its Sixth Biennial conference on 04/30/16. Over fifty papers on the topic of immigration were presented by local, regional and national researchers. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Abdourahman Waberi, professor at The George Washington University, and explored issues of immigration as seen in his novel Transit. In the department, Drs. Mitaut, Lesman, Wildermuth and Ricardo were instrumental in making the conference a success. Dr. Agnès Ragone was the chair of the conference. The first conference award was also given during the event to the best paper delivered by a student. This award was won this year by Mikaela McElfresh. Congratulations to Mikaela and her sponsor, Dr. Lesman.
Mikaela McElfresh with her award for the best student paper. The award comes with a $300.00 monetary compensation for study abroad. Mikaela is going to Spain this summer.
Sponsored by Dr. Lesman, Spanish major Janis Martinez presented her research project “El impacto negativo de exámenes de alto riesgo” at the Minds@Work Conference this April. In her excellent work, she took an international approach to studying the negative effects of high-stakes testing in schools and demonstrated that the practice can do academic, emotional and social harm.
The annual newsletter of the department is now available by clicking
Mardi Gras Event
The French Club and the Klub Kreyol hosted a Mardi Gras party on the 1st of March to raise funds for a dispensary in Haiti. The participants received beads and doubloons as well as a recipe for King Cake, the traditional sweet of Mardi Gras in Louisiana. There were in fact King Cakes and beignets--buns--for all to sample. Drs. Mitaut and Ragone were faculty sponsors for the event and explained the traditions of the festivities. The students had a great time with Dr. Ricardo who led led the participants in a zouk (Caribbean dance) contest. The winner for the mask contest was Karen Lundquist; for the best dancers, Jenny Keller and Tim Usher. The Queen and King of Mardi Gras were also crowned, Ali Mowers and James Jean, respectively.
The event raised $200.00 for Haiti!!!! MESI ANPIL!!!
Service Learning in Haiti
The French Program commitment to Haiti continued this January 2016. Drs. Mitaut and Ragone offered their double seminar to prepare students for their trip to the island nation. Ali Mowers, Laura Hilliard, Angela Davis Nana Sime, Fallon Finnegan and Andrew Hutchinson went then to the village of Gros Mangles where, under very harsh conditions, they help build the much needed dispensary. Kudos for these dedicated students as the goal of raising the walls was indeed reached (last year had been dedicated to building the foundation). Mr. Jonas Celius and Dr. Ragone led this very successful trip.
French Program Study Abroad Trip to France
Ship In France Blog
The French Program led in May a study-abroad program that took students to Boulogne-St. Martin in the North of France and to Paris. The students were offered 3 courses to choose from, with the possibility to garner 6 credits. Dr. Mitaut, who organized the trip, offered the FRN 204 course on ideas and Cultures of the French speaking world. Dr. Ragone taught the FRN 103 Intermediate French course and FRN 300, the Advanced Conversation course.FOR PHOTOS AND FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO THE STUDY-ABROAD LINK.