A Note From the Chair I am excited to share this year’s news with all of the alumni, family, and friends of the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics! We truly had an amazing year full of explorations in languages, linguistics, and culture. One of the best ways to get students talking is to engage them in real-world experiences in the language and culture. In this year’s newsletter, I am proud to share with you the many times in which our students and faculty used their language skills for learning, research, service, and fun. I also want to thank you, our alumni, for your support of our academic programs. Your contributions, both financial and in-kind, help us provide our students with the most enriching programs possible. Also, I am
very proud to report that our chair, Laura Vidler, Ph.D., has been promoted to the position of associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences! I will serve as interim chair until January 2018 when Angela Helmer, Ph.D., will become the new chair of the department. We have made significant progress under Vidler’s leadership, and look forward to a bright future led by Helmer.
István Gombocz, Ph.D. Interim Department Chair Modern Languages & Linguistics
USD alumna and Lakota language teacher Waniya Locke speaks to a packed Farber Hall.
Mirzayan Organizes Pipeline Panel
M LL co-sponsored a panel last fall entitled “Language and Activism at Standing Rock: Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.” The panel featured USD faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and was supported by the Native Studies program and the Native American Cultural Center. The panel featured speakers including Lakota teacher, activist, and former USD Lakota student Waniya Locke, MLL Lakota professor Armik Mirzayan, Ph.D., director of the NACC
Gene Thin Elk, USD alumna Alexis Mabel Oskolkoff, and USD students Jessilynn G. Bean and Mekko B. BearKiller. Panel speakers discussed their experiences participating in the recent protests on the Standing Rock reservation against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Remarks focused on the impact of the use of language, images, and social media to communicate the protesters’ message. The panel was organized by Lakota professor Mirzayan.
MO D E R N L A N G UA G E S & L I N G U I S T I C S
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