News and Achievements-Modern Languages - Carnegie Mellon University

News and Achievements

Congratulations to our recent recipients of research grants, professional recognition, teaching awards and other acheivements!

Research Grants

Stanley Haomin Zhang received the 2015 Jiede Empirical Research Grant from the Chinese Language Teachers Association. The grant supports empirical research in Chinese pedagogy and applied linguistics that contributes to the building of a sound understanding of the teaching and learning of Chinese as a Foreign Language.

Professor Yoshihiro Yasuhara has received a 2015 Falk grant to support his research project "Rethinking Jun Ishikawa and the Experimental Novels from the 1920's to the 1950's."

Feng Xiao is recipient of the 2014-15 Barbara F. Freed Award for Research on Language Learning in a Study Abroad Context to support his work on his dissertation project, “Proficiency, Learning Context and Pragmatic Development in L2 Chinese Study Abroad.”

Professor Kenya Dworkin has received a Metro21 grant to support work on the creation, implementation, analysis, and reporting of a survey instrument that would facilitate more accurate counting of the rapidly growing low-income Latino immigrant community in the area, and help assess existing and needed services for this community.

Professor Felipe Gómez has received a 2014-15 Berkman Faculty Development Grant to support his project "Towards a Comprehensive Analytic Panorama of Colombian Comics: 1960s to the Present."

Professor Sue-mei Wu has received a 2014-2015 Berkman Faculty Development Grant to support her research project "Weathering the Storm: Hand Puppet Theater and Taiwanese Opera amid Social Change in Taiwan."

Professor Stephen Brockmann has been given a Fulbright award to work on his project "The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy in the German Democratic Republic 1945-1965" in Leipzig, Germany during the fall semester of 2014.  He will be in Leipzig for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the revolution in East Germany, which began in Leipzig, and which ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany."

Professor Candace Skibba has received a 2013-14 Berkman Faculty Development Committee to support her research project, "The Spanish Body: Enigma, Abnormality and Change" and also a 2013-14 Falk grant to support her work on "Spain: Everything Under the Sun —Texbook Project for the 300 level Spanish Course."

Professor Gang Liu has received a 2013-14 Falk grant to support field work in China on his research on literati miscellanies or biji composed by Chinese loyalists after the fall of Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279).

Professor Yoshihiro Yasuhara has received a 2013-14 Falk grant to support his research project "The Changing Dynamics of the Zainichi in Traditional Japan."

Professional Recognition

María del Mar Rosa Rodríguez is the recipient of funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in the NEH Summer 2015 Institute "The Alhambra and Spain's Islamic Past" in Granada, Spain.

Professor Sue-mei Wu is the founder, president, and a board member of The Chinese Language Teachers Association of Western Pennsylvania (CLTA-WPA), which aims to provide a forum for exchanging information, expertise, and ideas related to teaching and learning Chinese. At the CLTA/ACTFL 2014 conference, Professor Wu was nationally recognized by winning an award for Innovative Excellence in the Teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language.

MLRC Manager Marc Siskin has been elected president of NEALLT, the regional chapter of the International Association of Language Learning Technology for the 2014-16 term.

Professor Elisabeth Kaske has received a Taiwan Fellowship to conduct research at the Institute of Modern History of Academia Sinica during 2014 on her book project Deploying Symbolic Capital: The Economy of Office Selling in Late Qing China.

Professor Gabi Eichmanns has been elected president of the local chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German for the 2013-14 term.

Teaching Awards

Professor Yasufumi Iwasaki is the winner of the 2015 Elliot Dunlap Smith Award for Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Dan Walter is the 2015 recipient of the Graduate Student Teaching Award in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Undergraduate Highlights

Recent graduate Natalie Giannangeli, a double major in Hispanic Studies and Global Studies, was the first student to receive the G. Richard Tucker Award for Scholarship and Leadership. The newly established award honors the legacy of Dr. G. Richard Tucker, Paul Mellon University Professor of Applied Linguistics, who retired in 2015. The award will be given annually to a student in recognition of scholarly excellence in Modern Languages, and for leadership and dedication to the university.

Erin Kiekhaefer, also a double major in Hispanic Studies and Global Studies, was one of two recent graduates from the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences to receive a Fulbright Award. Kiekhaefer will work on a community project involving sports and working with children—her two passions—while completing an English Teaching Assistantship in Mexico.

Chloe Thompson, a double major in Global Studies and Hispanic Studies, was one of eight students named a Dietrich College Senior Honors Fellow in 2015. Two of the other fellows—Kaytie Nielson and Lucy Pei—are being advised by Modern Languages faculty members. Mame-Fatou Niang, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies, is advising Kaytie Nielson, while Sue-Mei Wu, Teaching Professor of Chinese Studies, is advising Lucy Pei.

Congratulations to students who participated in Meeting of the Minds, a university-wide undergraduate research symposium held each year at Carnegie Mellon. Also, special thanks to the Modern Languages faculty members who served as advisors for Meeting of the Minds participants from various departments. Below, a list of participants and projects connected to the Modern Languages department:

#InstaCuba: Viewing Cuban Identity Through the Tourist Filter

Natalie Giannangeli (Hispanic Studies and Global Studies)
Advised by Therese Tardio (Associate Teaching Professor of Hispanic Studies)

90s Nostalgia—Developing an Original Television Animated Series

Vanessa Branch (Bachelor of Humanities and Arts Program)
Advised by Sharon Dilworth (Associate Professor of English) and Kenya Dworkin (Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies)

Le Théâtre de la Teranga: The Evolution of Theatrical Performance in Modern Senegal

Kaytie Nielsen (Bachelor of Humanities and Arts Program)
Advised by Mame-Fatou Niang (Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies)

Otaku: A Digital Manga

Tyler Porten (Bachelor of Humanities and Arts Program; Human-Computer Interaction)
Advised by Yasufumi Iwasaki (Associate Teaching Professor of Japanese)

The Comparative Analysis of the Circumstances of Internationally Displaced Refugees in Kenya and Internally Displaced Peoples in Haiti, and the Net Effect of Non-Governmental Organizations on Both Scenarios

Arsema Thomas (Biological Sciences)
Advised by Michael West (Teaching Professor of French and Francophone Studies)

Translucently, the Orange Sleeps Again

Laura Berry (English)
Advised by Yasufumi Iwasaki (Associate Teaching Professor of Japanese) and Anthony Stanton (Teaching Professor, Tepper School of Business)