Polyglot is a newsletter published twice-yearly by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. With Polyglot we strive to create a forum for exchange with our supporters and alumni and to provide information on departmental developments.
In each issue you can expect to find news of the major language programs and of those in our many lesser-taught languages. We’ll keep you posted on new endeavors and department achievements. The department is a wonderful and dynamic place to study and work. We’re honored by the devotion and expertise of our faculty. We’re proud of our students, and we miss you once you’ve graduated.
Get us up-to-date with what is going on with you. If you know of classmates who have not received the Polyglot newsletter, encourage them to let us know where they are and what they are doing.We want to hear from them, too. This link will take you to our all purpose form which can add you to our email list,
Keep in touch!
|Fall 2013||Fall 2012||Fall 2011|
|Nataliya Pirumova - BA 2009: After graduating from the Russian Flagship Program, Nataliya attended UCLA and earned a Master's Degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures in 2013. She now works as a linguist at Disney Interactive developing Russian language support for children's video games.|
|Jan Underwood completed her MA in Spanish and French at PSU in 1998. She has been using her experiences in the PSU language classroom as inspiration for her writing. Her second novel, entitled Utterly Heartless, was published in September 2013. It is a tongue-in-cheek murder mystery and academic satire in which a college language professor gets done in. It takes place on a fictitious college campus in the Pacific Northwest--and in Hades. Visit www.funnylittlenovels.com for more information.|
|Michelia Kramer - 2011: Michelia graduated PSU in 2011 with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Turkish, having studied abroad in Istanbul during her second year and having earned a prestigious Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship during her last year. After graduating, Michelia was accepted into the Visual Design and Communication MA program at Sabanci University in Istanbul, and was offered a full scholarship to cover tuition and living expenses. The picture is of her presenting her graduate photography thesis entitled “Confronting Assumptions” at a gallery in Turkey. She credits the Turkish program at PSU with playing a major role in what she calls “the fantastic trajectory of my life.”|
Diane Hofland - 2010: Diane earned a post-Baccalaureate degree in Russian in 2010. She writes, “Initially, I became interested in studying Russian because of my love of travel, and I spent three summers in Russia doing long-distance bicycle touring (and a month-long canoe trip in Siberia). During my last summer there, I was hired by the Russian Cycle Touring Club to be an assistant leader for a ride from Moscow to St. Petersburg.” Diane went on to explain, “But it’s not only about bicycling. My professional background is in publication design, and I produced several anthologies of student work in Russian while I was taking classes at both PSU and Reed College. I also worked as an intern at IRCO (Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization) in Portland doing desktop publishing in a wide range of foreign languages, and I designed some curriculum material for the Russian immersion program at Kelly Elementary School in Portland.” For the past four years, Diane has also produced Polyglot, the WLL newsletter, and she continues to work occasionally as a volunteer photographer for our Russian Flagship program. Diane wrote us and said, “I feel very strongly about the need to give back to both the Russian program and to the Department of World Languages at PSU, and this year my husband and I made our first financial donation to the Department of World Languages. I realized the time had come to do this. A lot of interesting doors have opened up to me because of my experience at PSU, and I am grateful for that. I want to encourage others to think about the importance of their language studies at PSU, and consider making a donation to the department.”
|Neyssa Hays - BA 2008: “I have found my degree in Russian to be an invaluable asset in the job market. In fact, I was told that having Russian on my application was what gave me the extra appeal needed to land the job!” During her work as a park ranger for Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Neyssa has used her language skills to assist park visitors, to diffuse negative situations, and in nature presentations to Russian speaking families. In addition to using Russian as a park ranger, Neyssa has worked as the recruitment coordinator for the Russian Flagship Program at PSU, and as a teaching assistant in the Russian Immersion Program at Kelly Elementary. She is currently the Chair of the parent group for the immersion program, Vmestye, and is finishing a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences with hopes of working as a biologist on both coasts of the Pacific Ocean.|
|Ryan Goodwin - BA 2009: Ryan studied Ancient Greek, Turkish, Russian, and a little French while at PSU, and graduated with a double major in Russian and Applied Linguistics and a Turkish minor in 2009. He sent an email and said, “After PSU, I spent three months studying Turkish in Istanbul, and went on to study Kazakh at the University of Wisconsin at Madison where I earned my MA in 2011.” In addition to two internships abroad, Ryan has worked at Georgetown University and elsewhere as a foreign media analyst and translator, mostly doing Russian and French, but also Turkish, Azeri, and Kazakh.|
|Dr. David Johnson, BA in History with minor in German (1995), is Associate Professor of German and Director of the Global Studies Program at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He teaches courses in both Global Studies and German and also administers study abroad courses and programs for UAH students. Dr. Johnson has published in a number of areas of inquiry, including representations of masculinity, leisure, consumer culture, and immigration. His current research focuses on literary depictions of German-Polish encounters and what these interactions reveal about the complexities of German-Polish relations from the early nineteenth century to the present. In May 2011, Dr. Johnson was selected as the Outstanding Faculty Member in the College of Liberal Arts at UAH.|
Selina Hickman: As of August I have been employed at ROSS as a Youth Development Specialist. ROSS, in partnership with LCSNW, received at 3-year grant from United Way to implement New Youth Perspectives, a youth mentoring program, for Eastern European youth ages 12-18. 99% of the kids are Russian-speakers, and each one is set up with an adult volunteer with whom they meet 1 ½ hours a week. I work as a case manager for the youth and their families, provide support to volunteers, do cross-cultural presentations for organizations that work with Eastern Europeans, organize various activities and trainings for mentors and mentees as well as trouble shooting anything else that might pop up.
This is a great opportunity for those students who have the time and want hands on experience. Mentoring involves not only academic tutoring and support, but the chance to develop a deeper relationship, to be a role model, to offer emotional and social support to kids that are adapting to a new culture at the same time that they are experiencing the normal travails of being a teenager.
Youth Development Specialist
Russian Oregon Social Services