We will post here what our alumni are doing.  We are VERY proud of all their accomplishments.  If you would like to be included in this list of fantastic folks, please contact Drs. Ricardo ( or Ragone (  Hope to hear from you!!


 Female student takes photo

 Alumna Marisa Rhoads, who graduated in December 2017 with a double major in French and International Studies and a minor in German, was awarded in May 2018 the prestigious TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France) by the Centre international d'études pédagogiques (CIEP, an agency of the French Ministry of Education) for the 2018-2019 academic year. She was notified by the French Embassy in Washington D.C. and her assignment will be in the island of Martinique.

Congratulations, Marisa. The department and in particular the French Program, are proud of you. Kudos to Dr. Mitaut who guided you in the application process. GOOD LUCK IN MARTINIQUE!!!

German Studies Minor Garners Fulbright Scholarship

From Shippensburg to Neumünster: Curtis Rabe 

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: 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3.  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.

4. 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.

5. 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, Curtis!!

Graduated from Ship?  Will travel, and be very accomplished: the story of Nate Schell

Nathaniel (Nate) Schell graduated from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in Spanish in May of 2001.  He subsequently enrolled in Middlebury College’s M.A. Spanish program, which consisted of studies in the Vermont and Madrid campuses.  

Upon receiving his M.A. in 2002, Nate worked for one year as a Spanish teacher in the Baltimore County public schools.  In 2003, he embarked on a journey to Ecuador, where he enrolled in a teacher training course and received his TEFL certificate.  During his time in Ecuador, he taught English courses and met his future wife.

Following his experience in Ecuador, Mr. Schell returned to the US where he taught Spanish at Carroll Community College from 2005 – 2014.  He was also the Chair of Foreign Languages and created new courses for languages never previously offered, such as Chinese, German and Italian.

Mr. Schell also participated actively in the college’s learning and civic engagement programs.  He lead student volunteers on many international service learning projects to Jamaica, Puerto Rica and Costa Rica and established the college’s first language immersion program for Spanish; students have had the opportunity to participate in three-week immersion programs in Costa Rica and Panama during the winter break during his tenure. 

In 2013, Mr. Schell received his M.A in TESOL, and he immediately devoted himself to seeking a teaching position abroad; his plan was to teach English as a foreign language.  There are very few opportunities to teach Spanish outside of the Western World, but Nate was fortunate in finding a position in Qatar where he could teach both English and Spanish courses at the Community College of Qatar (CCQ).

Nate has been at CCQ since the fall 2014 semester, and aside from his first semester, has been teaching Spanish exclusively due to the popularity of the course, which is seen as an “exotic language” that students are quite keen to learn. 

In addition to teaching, shortly after arriving in Qatar, Nate was selected to head the college’s new Center for Learning and Civic Engagement (CLCE) which oversees the Honors Program, Study Abroad, Learning Communities, and Service Learning programs.  A crowning achievement of the CLCE was offering the college’s first study abroad program in which six students of Spanish spent one week studying in Salamanca, Spain, at the end of the spring 2016 semester.

Nate is very grateful to the wonderful faculty members of the Department of World Languages at Ship who motivated him to study languages and cultures as well as to study and travel abroad.  Without their sage council and stellar instruction, he certainly would not be where he is today.

Nate,  it was a pleasure to have you in our classes!!!

Nate Wife and Children in Saigon Nate Father and Children in Doha

Nate Schell with his wife and children in Saigon

In Doha with Mr. Schell Sr.

Mishi Schell in Saigon Octavia in Arabian Gulf

Nate's wife is from Ecuador

Octavia, Nate's youngest, in the Arabian Gulf


We are proud of all but...


Spring 2016

Alumna Amber R. Sheffler, Spanish Teacher at South Hagerstown High School and World Language Department Chair was nominated for Teacher of the Year for the state of Maryland through MFLA (Maryland Foreign Language Association).  She had to get a student, parent and supervisor recommendation letter, write a 500-word personal statement about her philosophy of world languages in education and write a curriculum vita.

After that, on May 11th, she made it to the final round, which was the interview round and included 4 candidates total.  The selection committee asked her various questions including how she incorporates the different pedagogical elements in her classroom--90% TL usage, student-centered classroom, world readiness, culture and feedback.

She was surprised with the announcement that she had won on Friday May 27th.  The committee brought her flowers and balloons, and cake for my students.  The local media showed up and interviewed her.

Next Amber R. Sheffler will compete at the regional level – NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).  If she wins, she will compete at the national level – ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching Foreign Languages) against 4 other finalists from their respective regions

Amber Sheffler

                                                          Señora Sheffler congratulated by colleagues

Left to right, Mr. Jeremy Jakoby - principal of South Hagerstown High School; Mrs. Amber Sheffler-Nationally Board-Certified Teacher in languages other than English Department Leader for world languages;  and Mrs. Paula Moore – Supervisor of English-Language Learners and of World Languages.

Here is what Jacob Tout and Bryant Snyder have to say about their experience at Ship and about their careers (Spring 2016):

Jacob Tout in Spanish & English


Bryant Snyder


Here are some of our students now.  We remember them all fondly!

Gregory Éamon Ahlswede. Spanish major and French minor.  He has been teaching in a private high school in Spain and presently works for Quest Global Solutions in Madrid.

Annabelle Buehrle (Meyers). French major.  Presently teaching at Camp Hill Middle/High Schools.  She will also finish in 2017 Master's in French Educationat Shippensburg University.

Amy B. Diehl.  French major.  She went to Frostburg University for her MBA and earned her PhD at Indiana University of PA.  She is presently Associate Vice President and Director of Systems & Applications  at Shippensburg University.

Anthony Jansen. Double minor in Spanish and French. Currently working in small business development in Washington DC.

April Marie Knupp: major in Spanish; went to St. Louis University Madrid campus (MA in Spanish language and literature) worked 6 years in a High school and now at ASU as a teaching associate and PHD student (specialty in Spanish Lit).

Adam Oldham, minor in Spanish; currently working at the East Pennsboro Area High School as a School Counselor; went to grad school at Shippensburg for School Counseling. He formerly worked as a substance abuse counselor and was the only provider for Spanish-speakers in the area (or surrounding counties).

Ashley Oldham. Spanish education major with French and International Studies minors. Received her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction of Modern Languages from Ship. In her 8th year as a high school Spanish teacher at Big Spring High School as of 2016!

Katie McGowan (Kitner).  She was a French minor at Shippensburg and earned an M.A. American Studies/Public History at Penn State Harrisburg.  She is presently Curator at the State Museum of PA, bureau of the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission.

Jamie (McNulty) Smith. Major in French and Education. No grad school experience, but completed a Trinity College London CertTESOL course in 2010. Spent 3 years as an English TA in France. Now living in London and working in Academic/Student Services administration in a college exclusively for international students which a part of Brunel University.

Bryant Lima Snyder, major in French; currently working at American Airlines as a flight attendant; and no grad school just yet. 

Benjamin Woodward. French education and English minor. Currently a middle school French teacher in Baltimore county public schools. Studying masters of special education at Goucher College.