Wednesday, January 2, 2019

LCI staff honored at Outreach and International Affairs banquet

Vice President Guru Ghosh (third from right) salutes LCI Director Donald Back (right) and other LCI staff members at the annual OIA Celebrate Success event.
Faculty and staff from the Language and Culture Institute were recognized last month at the annual Outreach and International Affairs Celebrate Success event.

The LCI's AdvantageVT and Hokies in the Middle East teams were recognized with the Hokie Stone team award, and Diana Martens, program coordinator in Northern Virginia, was honored with the Ut Prosim Award.

The Hokie Stone award is given to:
  • Members of a team who have come together to make an exceptional effort and impact on their own organization or across units.
  • Team‐members exhibit superior communication, supporting collaborative relationships, or innovative approaches to conducting our work.

Andrea Todd (left) and Rita Rowand (right) present the Ut Prosim Award to Diana Martens.
The Ut Prosim Award is given to someone who:
  • Exhibits superior stakeholder service ‐ internal and/or external. 
  • Achieves cost savings and efficiently uses scarce resources in a challenging environment with no reduction to service levels. 
  • Demonstrates care and support of colleagues and community. 
Diana's nominator wrote:
Diana Martens began the year as the Program Coordinator for a special program run by the LCI in Fairfax. At the same time, she competently contributed to the smooth function of the Intensive English Program. After our other Program Coordinator left in the summer, Diana became responsible for all the duties related to both programs in addition to fulfilling the role of full-time cheerful face at the front desk.

Diana is always ready and willing to assist with any extra requests from administration, faculty, and students. She is warm and friendly and exceedingly patient!

Diana Martens is a true Hokie team player dedicated to the program and everyone connected to it. She has definitely gone above and beyond this year.
Congratulations to all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Alumni networking event in Dubai proves strength of Hokie connections

Alumna Katherine Lelia Hall has learned that no matter how far from Blacksburg her career takes her, she’s never far from a fellow Hokie.

That sense of global community was reaffirmed recently at the first Hokies in the Middle East alumni networking event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. An initiative of the Language and Culture Institute, with support from Alumni Relations and the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, the event brought together more than 85 alumni, students, and supporters from the region.

“The connections we made in Blacksburg and continue to make all over the world are the reason that we chose Virginia Tech in the first place,” said Hall, who earned a master’s degree in English in 1998 and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction in 2001 and now teaches at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. “It is very exciting to know that we alumni can still keep our connection with Virginia Tech even when we live far away.”

Read more at VT News.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Entomologist from Vietnam gains global perspective at Virginia Tech

Tran Thi My Hanh and Muni Muniappan host a booth at Hokie BugFest.
Tran Thi My Hanh hoped the semester she is spending in Blacksburg improving her English at the Language and Culture Institute's Intensive English Program and studying entomology would help her combat the pests and pesticides that keep her native Vietnam from thriving in global markets.

She is finding, however, that her semesterlong stay is teaching her even more.

“Coming from Vietnam, I can really say that Virginia Tech is known around the world,” said Hahn, who is the deputy head of plant protection at the Southern Horticultural Research Institute in Vietnam. “While here, I have improved my listening, speaking, and writing skills. I have also gained access to new books and can read entomology articles much easier now, which will benefit my work helping smallholder farmers manage their crop threats.”

Read more about Hanh's journey.

Friday, November 30, 2018

See photos from the Hokies in the Middle East alumni event in Dubai

More than 85 Virginia Tech alumni, students, and friends gathered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Nov. 16, 2018, for the first Hokies in the Middle East alumni networking event.

The event was an initiative of the Language and Culture Institute, with support from Alumni Relations, the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, and Virginia Alumni in the UAE.


See more photos on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

LCI students tour largest library in the world

Students and staff from the LCI in Northern Virginia recently visited the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, and it serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with more than 162 million items. The collections include books, sound recordings, motion pictures, photographs, maps, and manuscripts.

Read students' accounts of their field trip below.

Friday, November 9, 2018

LCI welcomes UAE Scholarships Office representatives

From left: Ms. Maha Saeed Al Dhabari, chief academic adviser; Mr. Juma Bin Aati Alrumaithi, director of the Scholarships Office; Dr. Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs; Ms. Ayesha Juma AlKhateri, head of academic section; and Dr. Donald Back, director of the LCI.
The Language and Culture Institute on Friday welcomed representatives from the Scholarships Office (SCO) of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MOPA).

Making the trip from Abu Dhabi were Mr. Juma Bin Aati Alrumaithi, the director of the Scholarships Office; Ms. Ayesha Juma AlKhateri, head of the academic section of the study abroad division; and Ms. Maha Saeed Al Dhabari, chief academic adviser of the internal scholarships department.

Mr. Al Rumaithi was appointed acting director of the Scholarships Office in February. He currently oversees MOPA's Internal and External scholarship departments. He holds master's degrees in business administration and strategic and security studies.

Ms. Ayesha joined MOPA in 2006.  She holds a wealth of knowledge of the education system in the UAE, having worked in education for the past 12 years. She has a master's degree in international business and a bachelor's in computer engineering.

Ms. Maha joined MOPA as a scholarship coordinator in 2009. She currently advises sponsored students at private universities in the UAE and liaises with these universities. She has a degree in business and a higher diploma in banking and financial services.

During their time on campus, they met with representatives from across Virginia Tech, including Vice President for Outreach and International Affairs Guru Ghosh; Luisa Havens Gerardo, vice provost for enrollment; Juan Espinooza, associate vice provost for enrollment management; Lia Kelinsky-Jones, interim associate director at the Cranwell International Center; and Glenda Scales, associate dean for global engagement and chief technology officer at the College of Engineering.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Instructors' VATESOL presentation could help ESL teachers in Pakistan

Instructors Mary Freday and Becky Etzler present at the VATESOL Conference.
Several instructors from the Language and Culture Institute gave presentations at the VATESOL Conference on Oct. 19 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Caitlin Capone discussed "Using PowerPoint to Inculcate Complex Grammatical Structures and Engage Students." Pinar Gurdal facilitated a discussion regarding "How Well Do Truly Multilevel English as a Second Language Classes Work?" Shelly Stoddard introduced "Guided Reading and Comprehension Strategies in the Adult ELL Classroom." Inge McKenney, from Northern Virginia, presented on "How a Stroll Through History Influences U.S. Academic Culture Today." And Mary Freday and Becky Etzler presented ideas for encouraging "Extended Oral Discourse in the ESL Classroom."

Freday and Etzler's presentation was one of a series selected to be livestreamed, and the video has also been proposed for use in a Teaching Excellence Achievement grant project in Pakistan.

Neelo Fer Anwar, an ESL teacher from Pakistan who had previously attended teacher training at the LCI through a TEA scholarship, is proposing to transfer skills learned at the LCI to teachers in the semirural Gujar Khan region.

If Anwar's grant proposal is accepted, this video will be shared with an audience that has "no exposure to activity-based learning and use of technology in the classroom."