Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | April 26, 2009

¿Qué Pasa? Quoi De Neuf? Department News Abounds (6.2)

Our new online format

This newsletter, Lingua Franca, is now more than a paper newsletter. Since January, and starting with the Fall issue, it is also a Web publication (blog style). This allows Lingua Franca to be easier to reach by the wider public (the whole world!) and to be more interactive with its readers, since visitors can now leave replies to each article, subscribe to the articles (and to the replies) by using their favorite newsfeed reader (such as Google Reader). We strongly encourage you to visit Lingua Franca Web Publication and leave your comments for whatever articles touch you the most. Also, you may want to share these articles with your friends and family so that they too can see all the wonderful things happening in the Foreign Languages Department.

Congratulations Graduates!

The Department would like to congratulate all of our graduating majors and minors. This year, there are 13 students graduating with a BA in Spanish and 23 students graduating with minors (13 Spanish, 4 French, 2 Italian, and 4 Foreign Languages). We also have 10 students completing the MAT in Spanish. Please keep in touch with us in the future, and let us know about all of the wonderful things you will do with your language skills! Also, join us to celebrate at our Spring Fling party on Monday, April 27 in the Dining Commons Mezzanine from 4-6pm!

Program Development

The Department of Foreign Languages has been busy this year planning to expand of all of its programs. This year, two new courses were added to the undergraduate Spanish curriculum: The Spanish-Speaking World Through Film (SPN 405) and US Latino Literature in Spanish (SPN 420). Look for SPN 420 in Fall 2009!

The French and Italian programs have also added new courses, including Topics in Literature and Topics in Culture in each language (FRE 380/ITL 380, FRE 381/ITL 381). The Department is also exploring the possibility of creating interdisciplinary majors in French Studies and Italian Studies next year.

In addition, we are proposing new courses in Arabic. The third-year sequence (Advanced Arabic I and Advanced Arabic II) will allow our Arabic students to continue their studies and possibly prepare for study abroad in an Arabic-speaking country.

Finally, the Department is in the process of developing new courses for a Mandarin Chinese language sequence. The Chinese courses will be reviewed by the faculty and submitted to the College’s Curriculum Committee this year. If all goes well, we may be able to begin offering Chinese in 2010-2011.

MAT News

The MAT in Spanish program is growing at such a phenomenal rate that the Department will start to offer summer graduate courses, beginning with the Seminar in Latin American and US Latino Literatures (SPN 705) and the Seminar in the Cultures of Spain (SPN 710) this summer! The courses are open to North Shore Spanish teachers for professional development, as well as to students enrolled in our MAT program.

Club News

This spring, the French Club competed with other campus groups and clubs through the Program Council to raise money for Heifer International, a non-profit organization that donates livestock to families in impoverished areas in Africa. The Club’s bake sale raised $122, enough to purchase an entire goat! The French Club also hosted several successful movie nights and is in the process of renewing its official club status for next year. Anyone interested in joining the club should sign up at:

The Italian and Spanish Clubs have also hosted movie nights this year, and the Italian Club will be touring the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum collection on Saturday, April 25th. Both clubs are seeking new members, particularly those who would be willing to take on a leadership position in the club. Sign up at Italian Club (www. or Spanish Club (

Photo Contest

The results are out. For more information, see p. 5. See the pictures online and buy a calendar .

Need $100? (Hope Award)

The Department of Foreign Languages is seeking essay submissions from students for its annual HOPE Award. The award is designed to both encourage you to develop your writing skills, as well as provide the opportunity to profile the importance of community service, education, and leadership. Beyond the $100 reward, the winning essay will also enjoy the recognition of having been vetted by departmental professors. This year’s edition invites you to respond to the following quote from Mahatma Ghandi: “you must be the change you want to see in the world”. Participation is open to all majors and minors in the Department of Foreign Languages and the submission deadline is May 1st, 2009.

Bocce vs. Pétanque

news1The French and Italian Programs will co-sponsor the annual spring “Pétanque/Bocce Picnic” on Wednesday, April 29th on the lawn behind Sullivan Building from 11:30am-2:30pm. Italian students will compete against French students for bragging rights again this year! Everyone is welcome to join us. No experience necessary.

Community Outreach

This year, our faculty has continued its tradition of working with the community to promote foreign languages and to assist community agencies working with Salem residents who speak foreign languages.

Dr. Elizabeth Blood has recently joined the Salem-based Richelieu Club, a club devoted to promoting French language and supporting local charities, such as the St. Joseph Food Pantry. Dr. Blood was one of the judges of the Richelieu Club’s annual “Concours Oratoire” at the Hawthorne Hotel in March. Students from Salem High School, Danvers High School, and St. John’s Prep competed for cash awards by doing an oral presentation in French on the topic of their choice. The contest aims to promote the teaching of French in area high schools. Other judges included Joe Welch, an alumnus of the Salem State College who completed the French major here many years ago!

news2Dr. Kristine Doll expanded the range of agencies participating in the department’s in-service learning experience, SPN385. In addition to volunteer opportunities at the Essex County District Attorney’s office and the office of the Mayor of Salem, Salem’s Council on Aging now provides students the opportunity to enrich both their linguistic skills and their cultural awareness by working with the Hispanic community in Salem. Dr. Doll also serves on the Executive Board of one of the placement site partners, the Family Self-Sufficiency Center, registered in the national Catalogue of Philanthropy.

Dr. Fátima Serra continues to be the Faculty Liaison to the Center for International Education and recently co-organized with the CIE the Study Abroad Fair for the College at large. She also participated in the Cornerstone Project interacting with students at Bowditch on how to become a professor, opportunities for study abroad and how to improve interactions professors-students. This summer Dr. Serra will be taking 15 students to Oviedo, Spain, with the Department’s Spain program.

Dr. Nicole Sherf has been selected for the “Friend of the Salem State Preschool” award for her work creating its Spanish-language preschool program. Students in the Spanish major teach classes at the preschool as part of their internship placement. Dr. Sherf, who is current President of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association ( has also been working with the Department of Education on revising the State’s Spanish MTEL test for public school teachers. Through her efforts, Salem State will become one of a handful of pilot test sites for the new MTEL. To date, twenty students have volunteered to take the sample test.

Faculty Research

Many faculty members were involved in research conferences and publications this year:

Dr. Elizabeth Blood presented a research paper on the Franco-American community and Salem’s French-language newspaper Le Courrier de Salem, published from 1902-1921, at the fall 2008 meeting of the American Council on Quebec Studies in Québec City. The talk was entitled “‘La ville que nous avons adoptée’: Le Courrier de Salem and Franco-American Identity in Salem, Massachusetts in 1908”.

Dr. Michele C. Dávila presented “Syncopated Rhythms: Music in Contemporary Puerto Rican Literature” at Salem State College on April 6, and the Power Point presentation with audio “Latino Literature: Sandra Cisneros,” to Dr. Angélica’s Silva “WC174: Mexicans in America” class in DeSales University, Center Valley, PA, on April 13through the Internet. She will also present the Workshop: “Diversidad y unidad: las múltiples caras del Caribe” on the MaFla May Diversity Day Program at Lasell College, Newton, MA on May 2, and “Pop culture en la literatura puertorriqueña contemporánea” at the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) International Conference in June 11, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dr. Kristine Doll presented at NECTFL in New York, April 18, 2009 with Dr. Nicole Sherf. Their session, “Collaborative Departmental Dialogue,” addressed issues of academic planning, mission statements, curriculum, scheduling and leadership styles for department chairs and supervisors. Dr. Doll has been invited to participate in the annual Dylan Thomas poetry festival in Wales this summer where she will present on the art of translation.

Dr. Anna Rocca presented “Assia Djebar’s Nulle part dans la maison de mon père: When Vertigo Becomes a Scream,” in NEMLA, Boston, MA, in February 2009. She also received a Research Mini-Grant from the Graduate Research Committee at SSC that will help her attending and presenting at the CIEF’s annual conference in New Orleans, LA, in June 2009. Her paper, presented in the panel Être chez-soi nulle part et l’écriture migrante au feminine, deals with the relationship between exile, alienation and feminine writing. In addition, she published “Assia Djebar. La mémoire, le témoin, et l’érotisme: Les Nuits de Strasbourg et La disparition de la langue française” in Mémoire et identité dans les littératures francophones. Eds. Kanaté Dahouda & Sélom Komlan Gbanou, 2008.

Faculty News

The Department will say goodbye this spring to one of its tenured faculty members, Dr. Ana Echevarría-Morales. Dr. Echevarría-Morales has been on leave from the College since Fall 2007, and has recently informed us of her resignation. The Department wishes her all the best in her career and in her new life in Ohio.¦


  1. […] ¿Qué Pasa? Quoi De Neuf? Department News Abounds […]

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