Carnegie Mellon University

Fall 2016 Events

On September 8, the Career & Professional Development Center will host an event designed specifically for students in the Dietrich College about how to transition into a career. Topics discussed will include networking, conducting targeted job research, and ways to stand out from the competition when applying for jobs.

College 2 Careers
September 8, 2016
Cohon University Center
5:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

View the event program for more information on session topics, times, and locations.

The Modern Languages Student Advisory Council (MLSAC) will host Polyglot Café, an annual event where students and faculty have a chance to mingle and explore topics related to studying modern languages and cultures. This year, the event will focus on studying abroad in Japan and China. Beverages and snacks will be provided.

Polyglot Café
October 7, 2016
4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Baker Hall Coffee Lounge and Steinberg Auditorium



On Tuesday, October 11, the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences will host a fall fest on the CFA lawn. Students can enjoy games, pumpkin decorating, a DIY apple dessert bar, and apple cider and hot chocolate. The fest will also feature caricature artists, and students will have a chance to win raffle prizes.

Dietrich Fall Fest 2016
October 11, 2016
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
CFA Lawn

The 2016 Chinese Language Teachers Association of Western Pennsylvania (CLTA-WPA) and Foreign Language Teaching Symposium will take place at Carnegie Mellon on Sunday, October 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The event will be held in Baker Hall in the Giant Eagle Auditorium (BH A-51) and Steinberg Auditorium (BH A-53).

Language educators from the area will gather to discuss topics related to innovative practices in language teaching, professional development for teachers of foreign languages, and the strengthening of foreign language education at schools in Western Pennsylvania. Attendees will have an opportunity to share ideas, experiences, and instructional materials. 

CLTA-WPA was established in May of 2014 to give teachers and researchers of Chinese language and culture a space to connect, communicate, and collaborate. So far the organization has recruited over 250 members. They participate in field trips and exchange information and ideas at symposia and workshops.

CLTA-WPA & Foreign Language Teaching Symposium
October 16, 2016
Baker Hall
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Symposium Program

On Wednesday, October 26, Kenya Dworkin and Michael West will each give a talk on service learning as part of the Department of Modern Languages’ Informal Conversations on Research series.

Kenya Dworkin will present a brief overview of several different models employed by faculty members in the department’s Hispanic Studies program to engage graduate and undergraduate students and community members in service learning and community-based research. Michael West will talk about a multi-year initiative involving service and learning in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where CMU students visit schools, women's groups, an orphanage, and a pop-up clinic to learn firsthand about the realities of life that millions of Haitians face daily.

Kenya Dworkin has been a professor of Hispanic Studies at CMU since 1993. Her research interests include Cuban, U.S. Latino, and Latin American Jewish and U.S. Sephardic literary and cultural studies. She is also an active translator. In Pittsburgh, she is currently executive director of Coro Latinoamericano and its CORITO children’s choir, vice president of the Latin American Cultural Union, and also co-founded and has co-directed a Hispanic children’s outreach program, El Círculo Juvenil de Cultura, with two CMU colleagues, Felipe Gómez and Mariana Achugar, since 2007. 

Michael West is a teaching professor of French and Francophone Studies. Since joining the Department of Modern Languages, he has taught language and culture courses including Cultural Constructions of National Identity and French in Social Context. He also occasionally offers a seminar on the history and culture of Haiti.

Informal Conversations on Research
October 26, 2016
Wean Hall 4625
4:30 p.m.

Carnegie Mellon University welcomes renowned Taiwanese film director Wei Te-Sheng, ranked the #1 Mandarin director in 2014 for his blockbuster hits such as “Cape No. 7,” “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale” and “Kano,” which he produced and co-wrote. From October 29 to November 21, Wei’s newest movie, “52 Hz I Love You,” will screen in 50+ locations in North America. On Saturday, November 5, it will be screened in Pittsburgh at CMU.

Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. At 2:00 p.m., Sue-mei Wu, teaching professor of Chinese Studies, will give a talk and share some short documentary films she produced with Estelle Tian (Dietrich College 2016). “52 Hz I Love You” will be screened at 3:00 p.m., and a discussion will follow.

I See Taiwan Film Festival
November 5, 2016
Giant Eagle Auditorium (Baker Hall A51)
2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


On Wednesday, November 16, Rémi A. van Compernolle and Khaled Al Masaeed will each give a talk about first language use in second language learning as part of the Department of Modern Languages’ Informal Conversations on Research series.

Rémi A. van Compernolle will discuss debates around using the first language in second language teaching. A common argument is that learners just need a lot of exposure to and practice in the second language, so we should limit, if not ban, the use of the first language. This talk will focus on a critique of this view and offer recommendations for how the first language can be used to enhance second language learning in the classroom.

Van Compernolle is Assistant Professor of Second Language Acquisition and French and Francophone Studies. His research focuses on the relationship between language and cognition in second language learning, instruction, and assessment. He is best known for his work on concept-based language instruction, dynamic assessment, and classroom discourse and interaction.

Khaled Al Masaeed will present and discuss examples that show contexts in which the use of first language (L1) in the second language (L2) environment is helpful. Khaled will specifically show how judicious use of students’ L1 for certain purposes does indeed work as an interactional resource that contributes to enhancing the development of L2 by operating as a mediating tool to cultivate communication and L2 learning.

Al Masaeed is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Arabic Studies. His current research in the field of second language acquisition and teaching contributes to the areas of code-switching and interlanguage pragmatics in Arabic as a foreign/second language.

Informal Conversations on Research
November 16, 2016
4:30 p.m.
Wean 4625

Dietrich College alumni working in a variety of fields will return to Carnegie Mellon on November 19 to participate in Under Construction: Building Your Future, an event where current Dietrich College students will have a chance to meet alums and explore career options. The event will feature networking opportunities, panel sessions and remarks by Dietrich College Dean Richard Scheines. Sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in attending are encouraged to register by November 15.

Under Construction: Building Your Future
November 19, 2016
Cohon University Center
11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Students taking the course Chinese Calligraphy: Culture and Skills will share calligraphy work and paintings at a showcase taking place on Tuesday, December 6, in Baker Hall 154R. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Calligraphy Showcase
December 6, 2016
4:30 p.m. to 5:20 p.m.
BH 154R (Dean’s Conference Room)