Message from the Chair
Dr. Erin Collopy
Associate Professor, Russian
The value of learning languages is much on my mind these days. Hardly a day passes without an article popping up in social or print media on the professional and personal benefits of language learning. Yet, the United States lags in this vital area of study. A recent article in Forbes states that "[...] only 18% of Americans report speaking a language other than English, while 53% of Europeans (and increasing numbers in other parts of the world) can converse in a second language."1 If you are reading our newsletter, you are already well aware of the importance of language study and have already experienced the opportunities that language study allows. The five alumni featured in the section Alumni Connect in this edition of our newsletter are excellent examples of the interesting and varied careers that our graduates have or had. And even if you never use your language professionally, the benefits that you have gained intellectually and culturally will remain with you forever.
Thanks to all of you who made our 1st Annual Alumni Connect Tailgate such a success! We raised $1705 for the Lorum Stratton Study Abroad Scholarship. It was great to see old friends and, if just for a day, to make use of our courtyards. I hope to see all of you at the next tailgate in the fall.
Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Deen who successfully defended his dissertation last fall. And congratulations to our 11 MA and 17 BA graduates! We are proud of you.
1Altschuler, Glenn, and David Skorton. America's Foreign Language Deficit. 27 August 2012. Web. 21 January 2015.