It’s been an active year; below are just some of our highlights! Keep scrolling to see what your colleagues got up to in May.

Year-End Roundup

Reviews & Promotions

  • Tong Chen, AC Kemp, and Cathy Culot successfully completed their Lecturer II renewal reviews in November. Eric Grunwald was successfully promoted to Lecturer II in January. Amah Edoh, Javier Barroso, Panpan Gao, and   Wakana Maekawa successfully completed their second-year reviews in April.
  • Bettina Stoetzer will be promoted to Associate Professor (without tenure) effective July 1. Bruno Perreau will be promoted to Full Professor on July 1.
  • The section completed two Lecturer searches and will bring two excellent teachers to join the section next fall: Dr. Anh Nguyen as Lecturer I in German, and Dr. Helena Belio Apaolaza as Lecturer I in Spanish.
  • Carrie O’Connor has accepted a position at Boston University. We will miss her perennial contributions to the French group and her great work with the students, but wish her the best!

Teaching Awards

  • The exceptional teaching in the section was recognized on several occasions this year: Margarita Ribas Groeger received the Kapp Alpha Theta Outstanding Faculty Award, and  Amah Edoh and Panpan Gao both received Levitan Teaching Awards.

Research Awards

  • Amah Edoh received an award from the MISTI Global Seed Fund for her proposed research on return migration to Africa.
  • Bettina Stoetzer received funding from the SHASS Research Fund for her proposed work on the resilience and variety of non-human life in urbanized areas, such as Chicago and Berlin. She also received a six-month fellowship to conduct research at the Rachel Carson Center for the Environment and Society at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich.
  • Haohsiang Liao has received support from MITx and Taiwan’s Ministry of Education for the development of three MOOC modules for introductory Mandarin.
  • AC Kemp and Kang Zhou have received G&D Awards to support materials development. AC will develop video tutorials to aid writing and research practices that can be challenging for ESL students; Kang will develop new digital reading materials to accompany lessons in low-intermediate level Chinese.

Section Activities

  • In October, the English Language Studies group hosted this year’s Ivy-Plus Symposium on International Teaching Assistant Development.
  • In December, the Japanese group organized GSL’s hosting of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, drawing Japanese learners from around the Institute and the Boston area.
  • The French group led a successful January Scholars in France program, with the theme “côté coulisses,” or Paris Behind the Scenes.
  • The Spanish group continued Madrid in IAP, with Margarita leading instruction and cultural activities during IAP, including a paella cooking class!
  • Joyce conceived and organized GSL’s inaugural student research showcase.

Student Activities

  • GSL had the privilege of recognizing some stellar students in a variety of categories:
  • Four GSL concentrators were awarded Fulbright Fellowships. Abby Bertics (Russian) will conduct research in Yekaterinburg, Russia; Alexis D’Alessandro (Portuguese) will work to promote water safety awareness for young children in Aracaju, Brazil; Samira Okudo (Spanish, Chinese) will assist English language instruction in Brazil; and Catherine Wu (Spanish) will assist English language instruction in Brazil.

May 2019


Talks & Research Presentations

  • On May 23, 2019, Kurt Fendt gave a talk entitled “Archives in Motion – Rethinking Digital Archives and Memory” at the International Communications Association’s 2019 Annual Conference as part of the Pre-Conference “Beyond Germany: German Media Theory in a Global Context” in Washington, D.C.
  • Panpan Gao and Kang Zhou presented at  the 17th annual International Conference on Teaching Chinese, in New York City. Panpan presented on “Practical Approaches to Improve Students’ Writing Skills in Upper-Level Chinese Classes” and Kang on “Exploration of Effective Classroom Instruction for Elementary Chinese Courses.”
  • On May 16, Sabine Levet delivered “Lessons Learned from the Cultura Project” at the International Conference on Innovative Teaching at Harvard University.
  • On May 17-18, Dagmar Jaeger participated in “Bauhaus in the German Language Classroom,” a workshop organized by the Goethe Institute in Lincoln, MA.
  • On May 27, Bettina Stoetzer gave an invited lecture, “Urban Worlds at the Edges of Habitability,” at the Worlds at the End of the City colloquium series for European Ethnology at Humboldt University in Berlin.

Class Activities & Student Events

  • Jane Dunphy organized and hosted a symposium for her students of Communicating in American Cultures (21G.221). On May 14, students had the opportunity to present their research projects to members of the International Students Office, complete with White Papers and an oral presentation. Students honed their presentation skills for a US audience, and were able to present and communicate their international student experience to Institute administrators.
  • Leanna Rezvani and her students enjoyed a French meal at Ma Maison.
  • On May 7, the Chinese group held a year-end party for Chinese language students. Tong Chen MC’ed, with Panpan Gao and Kang Zhou creating games and puzzles for the party. Students presented a song/dance routine and enjoyed the fun and games along with some delicious Chinese cuisine.
  • On May 10, Dagmar Jaeger’s German IV (21G.404) class visited “Arresting Fragments: Object Photography at the Bauhaus,” an exhibition being held at the MIT Museum.

Students of Chinese show off a song and dance routine.

Leanna Rezvani enjoys lunch with her students.

GSL in The Community

  • On May 4, Tong Chen and the New England Chinese Language Teachers’ Organization organized a professional development workshop for New England area K-12 Chinese teachers at Tufts University; about 50 teachers attended.
  • Nilma Dominique hosted a screening of One Day We Arrived in Japan, a film co-directed by part-time Lecturer in Portuguese Ana Paula Hirano documenting the Brazilian migrant experience in Japan. Ian Condry led a panel discussion following the film.
  • Emma Teng delivered a K-12 outreach lecture, “Perpetual Foreigner?: Struggles for Asian American Citizenship,” at a local school.
  • Haohsiang Liao and Emma Teng attended the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning executive board meeting at Columbia University.
  • To round out the year, on June 3-4, GSL hosted a language workshop led by Dr. Catherine Baumann (University of Chicago Language Center) and attended by 21 section members.
  • Bettina Stoetzer was awarded the Class of ’48 Career Development Chair.

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful summer!