Skip to main content

2021-2022 Faculty Achievements

| Alaina Guns

During the 2021-2022 academic year, the Languages faculty were hard at work with many projects and publications.

Dr. Joshua Brown, professor of German and linguistics, is UW-Eau Claire’s recipient of the UW System’s 2021 Dr. P.B. Poorman Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of LGBTQ+ People, an annual honor given to LGBTQ+ people or their allies who have helped to create a safer and more inclusive climate for LGBTQ+ people. The award recipients were honored Nov. 4 in Madison.

Dr. Brown and alumni Tristan Devick and Connor Zielinski had their article “A Culturally Relevant Approach to Food Customs in the German Curriculum” published Nov. 29 in Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German journal. In the article, the authors share how language classrooms can be excellent sites for EDI learning and engagement.

Dr. Brown co-edited the Selected Proceedings of the 11th Annual Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas, which is available with open access.

Dr. Brown delivered the plenary address “Murder Most Multilingual: At the Crossroads of Forensic Linguistics and Historical Sociolinguistics” at the Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference, held March 31-April 2 at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Brown gave a presentation, titled “Local Immigrant Church Records,” with Angela Hoffman (Uppsala University) as part of the panel “Language Maintenance, Shift and Postvernacularity: Exploring Sources across Time” at the Historical Sociolinguistics Network annual conference, held June 1-3 at the University of Murcia in Spain. The presentation focused primarily on immigrant Swedish church records in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Kansas.

Dr. Brown edited the book “The Verticalization Model of Language Shift: The Great Change in American Communities,” which recently was published by Oxford University Press.

Dr. Elena Casey, assistant professor of languages, was invited to present details of her work with Hispanic and Latinx populations in the Chippewa Valley during a Sept. 8 roundtable concerning Latinx community health care. The roundtable was hosted by the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

Congratulations Dr. Casey who completed Tier 3 of the EDI professional development program. Dr. Casey completed 10 or more Tier 2 sessions and a project within her scope of duties to help improve EDI on our campuses.

Dr. Kelly Wonder, director of the Ronald E. McNair Program, and Ami Christensen, Intensive English Program coordinator and senior lecturer in languages, had their article “Using Inquiry Notebooks to Assess Critical Thinking and Writing Among Chinese English Language Learners” published in Vol. 9 of Double Helix: A Journal of Critical Thinking and Writing.

Ami Christensen presented “Wordplay: Exploring Creativity and Collaboration through Music” at the 2022 TESOL International Convention. This presentation was conducted live over Zoom, and a recording can be found here.

Dr. Marcela Depiante, associate professor of languages, and Dr. Adolfo Ausín (Michigan State University) on Nov. 18 presented a paper titled “Partial Agreement in Spanish” at the VARINT21: Workshop on Linguistic Variation at the Interfaces II at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Depiante and Dr. Adolfo Ausín (Michigan State University) presented a paper, titled “Predication vs. Hyper-Raising in Spanish,” June 3 at the 31st Colloquium on Generative Grammar at the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Dr. Derek Drake, visiting assistant professor of German, and Dr. Josh Brown presented their paper “Linguistic and Cultural Contact among Eau Claire’s (WI) Germans” at the 46th Annual Symposium of the Society for German-American Studies, held April 21-23 at the University of Iowa. Drake and Germán Zárate-Sández (Western Michigan University) served as section and discussion leaders for the linguistics section at the (virtual) 2022 annual conference of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters on March 11. In addition, Drake will have an entry, titled “Bilingualism, Aging, and Dementia,” published in the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Critical Perspectives on Mental Health, which will be available this summer.

Dr. Anne Cummings Hlas, professor of languages, presented “Best of Punto com: Silver and Gold Edition,” with UW-Eau Claire alumni Trisha Koch and Pamela Larson at the Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers Virtual Conference Nov. 5-6. Hlas, Koch and Larson also manage the website Punto com, which provides activity suggestions and helps organize resources and websites for language teachers. Hlas also co-presented “Teacher’s Toolbox: Engaging Learners in a Virtual World” with Kelly Conroy (Metropolitan State University of Denver) at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Virtual Conference, held Nov. 19-21.

Dr. Hlas; Jesselyn Nadolny, UW-Eau Claire student researcher; and Dr. Christopher Hlas, professor of mathematics, co-authored the chapter “Investigating Creativity in Online K-12 world language classrooms,” Chapter 8 in the book “Handbook of Research on Effective Online Language Teaching in a Disruptive Environment,” edited by J.W. LeLoup and P. Swanson and published by IGI Global; DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7720-2. The work was funded by the Blugold Fellowship Program, and investigates creativity in the classroom during the pandemic.

Dr. Hlas has achieved inter-rater reliability in scoring the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Verbal and Figural Forms from The Torrance Center for Creativity & Talent Development at the University of Georgia.

Congratulations to Dr. Tomomi Kakegawa for completing Tier 3 of the EDI professional development program with her project “Learning to Talk about EDI in Japanese”

Dr. Kaishan Kong, associate professor of Chinese, had her paper “Engaging native speakers in language scaffolding in a Chinese classroom” published in Second Language Research & Practice, a refereed journal supported by the Center for Language & Technology and the National Foreign Language Resource Center at the University of Hawaii.

Dr. Kong presented at a keynote panel (with Dr. Stacey M. Johnson and Regina O’Neal) on the theme of Social Justice in the World Language Classroom Oct. 23 at the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association annual conference. Kong’s section was titled “Intercultural Talk (IT): High-Impact Learning Through Language, Culture and Community.”

Dr. Kong co-presented with Dr. Fanghui Ouyang (Sun Yat-sen University, China) on “A Tale of Two Cities: Fostering intercultural citizenship and learner enjoyment in China and the U.S.” Nov. 6 at the Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures virtual fall conference. Kong also presented a workshop titled “Interweaving Culture into the Language Classroom: Planning, Delivering, Assessing” for the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition on Nov. 13.

Dr. Kong gave a virtual presentation, titled “‘We are unempowered’: Exploring how world language teachers understand and integrate social justice in language classrooms,” Feb. 18 at the Taking Action! Conference on Social Justice in Language Classrooms and Teacher Education hosted by TU Dortmund University in Germany.

Dr. Kong gave the presentation “Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones: Chinese Teachers’ Perspectives and Integration of Social Justice in Teaching” March 1 as part of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition Presentation Series.

Dr. Kong had a chapter, titled “’Zoom’ In and Speak Out: Virtual Exchange in Language Learning,” on the virtual exchange between students in a Chinese class during the pandemic, published in the book “Second Language Teaching and Learning Through Virtual Exchange,” edited by S. Hilliker, De Gruter Mouton, 2022, pages 97-114.

Dr. Kong was invited to give two presentations in April. On April 9, she co-presented with ChinHuei Yeh (Shrewsbury High School, Massachusetts) in the webinar “From culture to interculturality: theories and practices” for the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools. On April 27, she presented the webinar “A Wake-Up Call for World Language Teachers” for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, sponsored by the Critical and Social Justice Approaches special interest group.

Dr. Kong and Ami Christensen had their article “Flipgrid Classroom Conversations: International Virtual Pen Pal Exchange” published in the MinneTESOL Journal. They also presented about their project, which was featured in the article, at the 2022 UW Learning Technology Development Council Virtual Showcase.

Dr. Kong is completing her Fulbright Scholar program in Malaysia this summer. At the recent Fulbright Malaysia’s Summer Soirée event, Kong met Brian McFeeters, the U.S. ambassador to Malaysia, and spoke with him about UW-Eau Claire. Kong also was selected as one of three U.S. Fulbright Scholars to present at a panel discussion during the event, where she shared her research interests, her experiences in Malaysia and her plan to disseminate her learning upon return to the U.S. View photos from the event on the U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur flickr page.

Dr. Jessica Sertling Miller, professor of French, presented “Academic Integrity in the Virtual Language Class” at the virtual conference of the Wisconsin Association For Language Teachers (WAFLT), held Nov. 5-6.

Dr. Miller was invited to participate in a virtual discussion as a guest expert for an event hosted by the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning at the University of Texas at Austin on Nov. 11. The topic of the discussion was “Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning.” See notes from the session.

Dr. Miller and Liliana LaValle, assistant professor/digital learning and instruction librarian in McIntyre Library, presented “It Takes a Village: A Collaborative Model to Promote OER Across Campus” on March 5 at the virtual 2022 Language OER Conference, co-hosted by the Open Language Resource Center at the University of Kansas and the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Miller and Erin Anderson, partnership coordinator at Putnam Heights Elementary, coordinated short French lessons taught in five classes at Putnam Heights on Friday, April 1. UW-Eau Claire students in FREN 401, “Contemporary Societal Issues,” designed and delivered lessons on French vocabulary and culture. See related photo.

Dr. Miller shares that, based on attendee reviews, her presentation “Academic Integrity in the Virtual Language Class” has been selected as the “Best of Wisconsin” from the 2021 Wisconsin Association For Language Teachers (WAFLT) fall conference. Miller has been invited to represent WAFLT at the 2023 Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Dr. Miller was invited to join a panel of presenters for an American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) webinar, titled “AATF Exemplary Programs Webinar,” on Sept. 22. Eileen Walvoord, president of the national group, led the panel that included teachers whose French programs received the distinction of AATF Exemplary Program. Audience members attended from all over the country. Miller described her experience with the application process and what she and the French program gained from it. The UW-Eau Claire French program received the AATF Exemplary Program Award in 2017 and 2020. This prestigious award recognizes the outstanding quality of the French curriculum and its instructors.

Dr. Miller had “Les Rivières,” a pedagogical toolkit, published to go along the documentary film “Les Rivières” by French director Mai Hua. The film shows the journey into Hua’s matriarchal family story and Vietnamese roots. The toolkit includes a vocabulary list, activities, projects, resources, and oral and written assessments. It also includes a synopsis of the film and its major themes; cultural, historical and linguistic connections; and a personal reflection from the author. It is published in “Allons au cinéma: Promoting French Through Film,” Vol. 4, pages 163-170, in a handbook created by the American Association of Teachers of French that include articles by various authors about French-language movies along the theme of family and community.

Congratulations to Vickie Schafer, academic department associate in languages, who received the University Staff Council Employee Appreciation Committee’s Thank a Blugold prize for the month of August. Schafer was nominated by Dr. Analisa DeGrave, professor of languages, Latin American and Latinx studies and women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

Dr. Johannes Strohschänk, professor emeritus of German, had his article “In praise of liquid bread” published in the Sept. 22 issue of Volume One.

Dr. José Valero, professor of languages, had his review of Jesús Astigarraga’s “A Unifying Enlightenment: Institutions of Political Economy in Eighteenth-Century Spain (1700-1808),” (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2021) published in Dieciocho, Vol. 45, No. 1, spring 2022, pages 179-184. The review can be accessed online.

Dr. Fabiola Varela-García, associate professor of languages and Latin American and Latinx studies, had her peer-reviewed article “El español de los Estados Unidos:la velarización de la nasal alveolar final en el español isleño de Luisiana” (“Spanish of the United States: the velarization of the final alveolar nasal in Louisiana”) published in “Estudios de variación lingüística: Homenaje a Juan Andrés Villena Ponsoda,” Linred (Linguistica en la red), Monográfico Núm. XIX (June 2022), Universidad Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Matt Waters, professor of languages and history, recently had two articles published: “Ashurbanipal’s Legacy: Cyrus the Great and The Achaemenid Empire” in “Iran and Its Histories: From the Beginnings through the Achaemenid Empire,” ed. T. Daryaee and R. Rollinger, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2021, pages 149-162; and “The Far Side of the Long Sixth Century: Mesopotamian Political Influences on Early Achaemenid Persia,” in “In the Shadow of Empire: Israel and Judah in the Long Sixth Century BCE,” eds. M. Hamilton and P. Barmash, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature Press, 2021, pages 139-160.

Dr. Waters had his book “King of the World: The Life of Cyrus the Great” (Oxford University Press, 2022) reviewed by James Romm in the article “Kings of the Universe” in the July 21 issue of The New York Review of Books.