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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
September 19, 2005

Carnegie Mellon Re-appoints Dick Tucker Head of the Department of Modern Languages

G. Richard Tucker
PITTSBURGH—G. Richard Tucker, the Paul Mellon Professor of Applied Linguistics and a world-renowned language researcher, has been re-appointed to a third term as head of the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University.

Tucker joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1992 and has been the head of the Modern Languages Department since 1995. Under his leadership, the department has cultivated a well-earned reputation as one of the university's strongest teaching units and has developed cutting-edge languagelearning technology and curricula. Forty-three percent of the university's students are enrolled in language courses even though Carnegie Mellon has no university-wide language requirement, and the department's enrollment has grown substantially over the past several years. Tucker also leads the department's second language-acquisition Ph.D. program.

"I have been pleased to serve as head of a wonderful group of colleagues—staff, full-time faculty, part-time faculty and graduate students—and to participate in some small way in helping Modern Languages play a prominent role in the internationalization of our university," Tucker said.

Tucker earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Williams College in Massachusetts and master's and doctoral degrees in psycholinguistics from McGill University in Montreal. He is one of the world's leading experts on second-language learning, and he has established effective language instruction programs across the globe. He is the co-author of the seminal monograph "The Bilingual Education of Children," which described a 12-year longitudinal study of a French language immersion program Tucker had designed for English-speaking children in Quebec. The program served as a blueprint for other successful language education programs throughout North America. Tucker also has developed language education programs in the Philippines, Africa and the Middle East.

For 13 years, Tucker was president of the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C. He is the only person to have been honored by all four major North American language education associations: the American Association for Applied Linguistics; the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages; the National Association for Bilingual Education; and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. He has received the Elliott Dunlap Smith Award, given by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for excellent undergraduate teaching. Tucker has served on numerous university committees and has been one of the university's most devoted advocates of increasing campus diversity and promoting international education. He has agreed to serve as department head for two more years despite planning a sabbatical leave during the 2007-08 academic year.

"Dick Tucker has been an outstanding head of the Modern Languages Department for 10 years, and I am delighted to appoint him for a third term. Not only has Dick created a wonderfully supportive departmental environment and inspired his colleagues to achieve the highest standards of research and teaching, but he has also been a university statesman who has made major contributions to Carnegie Mellon policies and strategies for internationalization," said John Lehoczky, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Modern Languages is one of eight departments in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, which is the second-largest academic unit at Carnegie Mellon and offers more than 60 majors and minors. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary study in a technologically rich environment, with an open and forward-thinking stance toward the arts and sciences.


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