Missouri State University
Modern and Classical Languages
@ Missouri State University

Alum pursues passion for German culture through Fulbright

NikiKennedy_ParisFor Missouri State University spring 2014 graduate Niki Kennedy, a Fulbright award is not only a prestigious honor, it’s also a chance to follow two passions at once.

“I’ve studied abroad twice in Germany and a chance to work there for a whole year just seemed like a dream come true,” Kennedy said. “For me, receiving a Fulbright grant is an achievement that means I can fully follow my passion of learning German culture and improving my German speaking skills. As the first college graduate in my family, I feel like the Fulbright grant proves that hard work and passion will always be rewarded.”

A passion for German culture

The Marionville, Mo., native, who majored in German and English literature, is one of more than 1,800 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2014-15 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. She will spend her year in Hamburg, Germany, teaching English and American culture to German high school students.

“For me, receiving a Fulbright grant is an achievement that means I can fully follow my passion of learning German culture and improving my German speaking skills,” said Kennedy.

A passion for working with youth

For Kennedy, the Fulbright grant also allows her follow her second passion: working with youth.

“My time working with Harmony House through my sorority Alpha Chi Omega helped me find a strong passion to help my community. Volunteering helped me learn that I have always been passionate about reaching out and working with endangered youth,” said Kennedy. “My Fulbright year will give me an opportunity to help my global community by working with German teenagers, among other things.”

Kennedy plans to attend Washington University in St. Louis to work on a master’s in social work, with an emphasis on international social work, once her Fulbright year concludes.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.

Posted in Student Achievement | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

COAL faculty honored during recognition reception

The Dean of the College of Arts and Letters (COAL) is proud to list the following faculty honored at Missouri State’s All-Faculty Recognition Reception held April 21, 2014:

Faculty Recognition Awards

Stephanie Norander, CommunicationProvost Fellow for Faculty Development – Writing

Stephanie Norander, Communication


Steve Willis, Art and Design

Provost Fellow for Diversity

Steve Willis, Art and Design


Provost Fellows is a program designed to recognize outstanding faculty who have a special area of interest that is related to the mission, priorities and goals of the Office of the Provost. The position provides faculty with the opportunity and support to become engaged in an administrative, research or outreach activity. The term of the appointment varies with the type of assignment.


Excellence in Study Away Programming

Gwen Walstrand, Art and DesignGwen Walstrand, Art and Design

In 2014 the Study Away Advisory Committee created the Excellence in Study Away Programming award to recognize Missouri State faculty members who demonstrate excellence in developing and leading short-term study away programs. The recipient will receive $1,500 in professional development funds and an award.



Honors College Awards for Teaching, Research and Service

Larry George, Modern and Classical LanguagesMarcia Morriset Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education

Larry George, Modern and Classical Languages

The Marcia Morriset Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education recognizes the exceptional service, mentoring and advising accomplishments of MSU’s Honors College faculty and affiliated staff. The award was created in recognition of Marcia Morriset’s many years of service to the Honors College. The award is presented to a faculty or staff member who had contributed broadly to the advancement of Honors education at Missouri State University and has excelled at undergraduate mentorship and advising of Honors College students.



Citizenship and Service-Learning (CASL) Faculty Awards

Emanuelle Wessels, Media, Journalism and Film2013-2014 Research Stipend Award

Emanuelle Wessels, Media, Journalism and Film

The Research Stipend Awards recognizes faculty who have been awarded CASL Research Stipend Funds for direct service to the community, including community-based research involving students. Faculty selected for the CASL Research Stipend Award will present their findings at the FCTL Showcase in August.



Additional Recognitions

Margaret Weaver, EnglishA 2014 Mentoring, Support and Partnerships Program Mentor

Margaret Weaver, English

The University-based Mentoring, Support and Partnerships Program was created to increase the recruitment and retention rates of junior faculty/staff. Overall objectives of the program are for exceptional mentors to provide on-going support for outstanding faculty/staff from historically underrepresented groups to advance their success in the trilogy of scholarship, heighten their professional development and help them establish a sound identity and amiable sense of well-being at Missouri State University and in the Springfield community. Dr. Sabrina Brinson is the program coordinator and Dr. Julie Masterson is the program administrator.


Faculty Service Awards

10 Years of Service

Andrew Cline, Media, Journalism and Film
Marcus Howell, Art and Design
Timothy White, Media, Journalism and Film

15 Years of Service

Tracy Dalton, English
David Hays, Music
Michael Stowe, English
Steve Willis, Art and Design

20 Years of Service

Randy Dillon, Communication
Mary Harges, Modern and Classical Languages
Sarah Perkins, Art and Design
Margaret Weaver, English

25 Years of Service

James Baumlin, English
Mary Baumlin, English
Joel Chaston, English
Randy Hamm, Music
Jane Hoogestraat, English
Vonda Yarberry, Art and Design

35 Years of Service

Kristene Sutliff, English

40 Years of Service

Jerry Hatch, Art and Design

Service Awards honor faculty members who have reached a five-year longevity milestone in their years of service to Missouri State University. To qualify for a service award, employees must have worked full-time at Missouri State and reached a five-year milestone (10, 15, 20, etc.) within the 2013-2014 academic year to be honored at the April 2014 reception.


- Information courtesy Missouri State University’s 2014 All-Faculty Recognition Reception program

Additional faculty/staff/student accomplishments are featured throughout the year in COAL and departmental blogs.

Posted in Faculty Achievement, News | Comments Off

Proficient in Spanish? Earn a minor faster with the accelerated pathway

The department of modern and classical languages (MCL) has established an accelerated pathway for the completion of a Spanish minor. MCL recognizes that many students have acquired proficiency in Spanish as a result of previous exposure to and experience with the language.

Who is eligible?

Learners from the following groups may be eligible for the accelerated pathway, pending verification of their language proficiency:

  • Heritage speakers — Students raised in Spanish-speaking households who completed secondary education in the United States.
  • Native speakers — Students who completed secondary education in countries where Spanish is the primary language.
  • Other speakers with advanced proficiency — Students who have developed high degrees of functional language ability because of intensive study or long-term residency in Spanish-speaking countries.

How to apply

Visit the accelerated pathway page to find out more information about the program. Students interested in pursuing the accelerated pathway should call the MCL office at (417) 836-5122 and request an appointment with the department head for an eligibility assessment.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Comments Off

MCL and Global Studies offer Study Away to Greece program

Missouri State Study AwayStudents, don’t miss an opportunity to visit Greece! Apply by March 3rd for this Study Away program sponsored by Global Studies and the Department of Modern & Classical Languages.

In this study away course “Ancient Athens and Aigina: Cult Centers and Coastal Connections” students will study and visit three of the key sites in an ancient network of religious centers that shaped the culture of ancient Greece. In the 5th century BC, the new democracy at Athens led an alliance of Greek states against the Persian invasion and then translated that leadership into a broader hegemony, political and cultural. The religious centers in Athens, devoted to the titular goddess Athena and other local figures, exploited their relationship with Dionysos, Demeter, and the Mystery center at Eleusis, in partnership with financial interests of the empire.

Interested in going?

Additional program information is available online.

Contact the Program Directors,
Edwin Carawan, Professor, Modern & Classical Languages
Dané Wallace, Instructor, Global Studies

Posted in Study Away | Tagged , , | Comments Off

MSU celebrates Chinese New Year Feb. 3-8

year_of_the_horse_papercutUshering in the Year of the Horse, Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 31. To celebrate this year’s Chinese New Year and to enhance Asian cultural awareness on campus, the modern and classical languages department, the China office and the College of  Humanities and Public Affairs, and the MSU Chinese Faculty and Staff Club have joined together to sponsor a series of Chinese cultural activities to be held Feb. 3-8.

Events to celebrate Chinese culture

Featured events in this year’s celebration include:

  • Chinese arts
  • Handicrafts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting exhibitions
  • Talks on the Chinese culture related to the Chinese New Year celebration

Demonstrations will be given on the Chinese tea ceremony, how to make dumplings, Chinese Taiji and calligraphy. Performances will be given on Chinese music and dance, including the traditional Lion Dance. Symbolic snacks and Chinese tea and dumplings will be provided during most events.

Download the event flyer for the complete schedule of events. And to get an exclusive sneak peek of what the events will look like, check out the Chinese New Year video.

Posted in Festivals, News | Tagged , | Comments Off

Languages for fun at FLI

MSU's Foreign Language InstituteThe Foreign Language Institute is currently offering an array of foreign language non-credit courses to students and the community. Introductory courses in Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, German and Korean will be held in the spring and fall of 2014.

Who can enroll?

Anyone may enroll in these courses on a non-credit basis through the Foreign Language Institute website. Classes will be held in the Jim D. Morris Center in downtown Springfield on the corner of McDaniel and Jefferson.

Why should I learn a new language?

The goal of these introductory language courses are to provide qualified education to prepare culturally competent individuals for life and work in the world where communication with people of other cultures and languages is becoming increasingly important.


Posted in Foreign Language Institute, Languages for Fun | Tagged , | Comments Off

Day of the Dead festivities a success

MSU-MCL-DayOfDeadCelebration2013The Day of the Dead isn’t a holiday dedicated to worshiping the dead. El Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is dedicated to celebrating the lives of loved ones. Day of the Dead occurs on November 1 each year. The tradition has been happening on campus for years, but it has gained a lot of popularity recently due to the hard work of Dr. Robert Norton, Profesora Judith Martínez, and the Missouri State Spanish Club.

Throughout the day this year, the Spanish club gave educational tours of their traditional set-up and provide Pan de Muertos (the typical food for Day of the Dead) and Jarritos, a popular Mexican soda to guests.

Taylor Juenger, president of the Spanish club, says she always encourages students to attend events like Day of the Dead because it decreases the amount of ignorance and general assumptions made about other cultures.


Posted in Festivals | Tagged , | Comments Off