Dear Friends of RCS,
We welcome this opportunity and venue for contacting you and reestablishing what we hope is an ongoing connection. Whatever language you studied, we hope that you remember the excitement and discovery that come with speaking, reading, and writing in a different language and the identification you gained with the rich culture and history of the peoples who developed that language. I’m now finishing my tenth month as Interim Chairperson and my 15th year as a chairperson of three different departments. Now in my mid-70s, I find this work exciting and energizing for three reasons: the students, the faculty, and the Wells Hall support staff.
The energy and enthusiasm of students are a constant of academic and social life, and professors rely on it to propel studies forward. The RCS language clubs are active organizations with lively leadership planning and staging interactive events that bring the French, Spanish, and Italian clubs together and separate club events that foster the identity and solidarity of a group committed to a second language. The Graduate Student Association and TROPOS united together under a new constitution in 2015 so as to better coordinate activities and events and to provide for unified leadership. The 16th TROPOS Graduate Conference In October 2016 promises to be an exciting intellectual and social event. Other GSA/TROPOS events have included a live drama with RCS graduate students as the actors and a film series and discussion symposium. With some level of revenues coming to the department from its online courses, RCS is able to support the language clubs and the graduate student organization with more funds, and it has been a pleasure to see them respond with activities and events that have enriched the experiences of their members and the department.
Keeping up with the publications, honors, professional activities, awards and recognition of the RCS faculty is one of the great pleasures of being a chairperson. Department faculty are active and visible in many countries as they carry out research and creative projects and are recognized for their contributions to other cultures and cultural enterprises. I encourage you to check the department website regularly to follow the stories involving faculty and students. The website is kept up-to-date and current, and the department is justly proud of it as a window on our world and a documentation of what we celebrate and acknowledge as important to our vital growth. I encourage you to also read the Vision Statement on the website as it articulates the directions and goals for the future.