University of South Florida

Department of World Languages


News & Events

More Student Achievements - 2018 and prior


Rida Mughal, an Accounting student in Japanese V, has been selected as one of the top 3 finalists in Category I (intermediate low to intermediate-mid level speaking proficiency) to compete at the J.Live (Japanese Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement) Talk 2018, a TED talk-style speech competition that emphasizes a comprehensive range of learned communication skills, held at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. on November 11, 2018. Another student in Japanese V, Paige Livingston (an International Studies major and Linguistics minor student) was selected as one of the 6 semi-finalists for the same competition and is currently one of the alternates of the Category I finalists.

Congratulations, Rida-san and Paige-san for your accomplishments! The Japanese section wishes Rida-san all the best at the competition in November!


John Klumpp has completed USF's third year Chinese courses and has participated in USF's Chinese Learning in the Culture summer study abroad program in China. He began preparing to participate in the Chinese Bridge International Proficiency Competition last summer and this past spring won the competition held by USF's Confucius Institute. On July 10th, John finished first in the competitions quarterfinals and successfully moved on to the nationally televised semifinals. The semifinals concluded 7/26 with John finishing first in the Americas group and moving on to the finals. There John will compete as one of the top 15 participants from around the world. Congratulations John!

Hayley Jayson, French MA student and TA, has enrolled in Brown University’s PhD in French Studies program.

Her offer of admission includes five years of full funding support and opportunities to teach or research in France.


The Classics section congratulates our students Eric Carson, Michael Mortellaro, Somiyah Mughni, and Melanie Trump for their award –winning performances in the CAMWS International Latin Translation Contest ( The contest, which measures Latin attainment across diverse institutions, textbooks, and teaching methods in the United States and Canada, placed our students among the top 10% of participants.

Kudos also goes to Dr. Robert (Buddy) Hedrick, our Latin magister, for training such a great group of scholars. Another strong year for Classics!

Jessica Giovanni, LALS Ph.D. student, has been selected to be a 2018 A.W. Mellon Fellow in Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL)

She received a $1,500 award to attend a summer workshop at Carnegie Mellon University to explore various technologies used for language learning and the skills required to apply them in order to achieve better learning outcomes. Congratulations Jessica!

Addie Sayers successfully defends her dissertation

On March 29, 2018, Addie Sayers China successfully defended her dissertation, “Beyoncé as a Semiotic Resource: Visual and Linguistic Meaning Making and Gender in Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest.” Addie’s committee included Dr. Nicole Tracy-Ventura, Dr. Camilla Vásquez (chair), Dr. Amy Thompson, and Dr. Michelle Hughes Miller. In August, Dr. Sayers China will begin her new position as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. We wish her all the best!

yunhyun lee successfully defends his dissertation

On Oct 24, 2017 Yunhyun Lee successfully defended his dissertation, “Lexical Stress Features Affecting the Recognition of English Loanwords in Korean by Native English Hearers”. The committee included Dr. Amanda Huensch (chair), Dr. Sanghoon Park, Dr. Amy Thompson, and Dr. Nicole Tracy-Ventura. Congratulations Yunhyun

Ph.D. student, judith bridges, publishes first solo-authored article

The LALS doctoral faculty congratulate Ph.D. student, Judith Bridges, on the publication of her first solo-authored article! Judith's article, which appears in the journal, Discourse, Context and Media, explores gendered metapragmatics on Twitter. (Coincidentally, an article about humorous Chat posts on Tumblr, co-authored by MA Alumni, Samantha Creel, and Applied Linguistics professor, Dr. Camilla Vásquez, also appears in the same issue of the journal.

Ph.D. student, Ramona Kreism, publishes two solo-authored articles

LALS Ph.D. student, Ramona Kreis, recently published two solo-authored articles: one in the Journal of Language and Politics and the other in Discourse & Communication. Ramona's research addresses political discourse in social media. Great work Ramona!

Samantha Creel is a recipient of a Critical Languages Scholarship as well as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowship!

Samantha will continue her intensive study of Arabic in Oman this summer, and will begin her ETA assignment in Bahrain in the fall. Congratulations to both!

Kira Harding & Phillip Hurley Rresent At the Undergraduate Research & Arts Colloquium - April 6th, 2017

Kira Harding and Phillip Hurley presented their work on the long-term benefits of study abroad at the Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium. Kira and Phillip worked with Dr. Nicole Tracy-Ventura as part of a year-long research mentorship through the Office of Undergraduate Research. Excellent work Kira and Phillip!

Students from the LIN 4721 CREATTE class also presented their work on the perception of second language fluency at the Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium. They worked with Dr. Huensch and Addie Sayers-China on this project. Congrats Javier Benitez, Ennis Cruz Gonzalez, Ivan Herenchak-Jones, Chelsea Lo, Kara Marin, Daniel Sarmiento, Tyler Sponder, and Patricia Claire Tate!


The French faculty is pleased to announce that two advanced students of French have received TAPIF awards (Teaching Assistant Program) from the French government. Melissa Ortiz and Chris Ogando will be teaching English in France for 7 months beginning in October. These are paid teaching positions with insurance. Melissa will be in Toulouse and Chris in Lille. Congratulations!

2015 Chinese Bridge Competition Southern US finals!

Two USF Chinese program students represented USF by participating in the 2015 Chinese Bridge Competition Southern US finals in Dallas, TX on April 26th. Nabil Smith finished in second place overall while Lindsey O'Brien finished in third place. These are outstanding achievements for two students who are currently only in second year Chinese. Nabil Smith will be going to the finals in China in July as the top runner up from the southern US region. Click HERE for more (in Chinese). Congratulations!


French MA student Claudine Buell went with Advertising Studies students in Paris and Cannes, on a four-week odyssey from June 3rd in central Paris to June 29th, 2015 at the world renowned Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. Working in tandem with Program Director Debra Smith, Claudine's roles included translator, interpreter, travel agent, Paris Metro and airport coordinator, EMS liaison, as well as working closely with the various hotel, museum, and advertising agency staffs.


French major Kevie Defranc writes of his successful semester abroad at the ESC Rennes School of Business Program in Rennes, France, that he studied Human Resource Management, European Geopolitics, French Culture, French Language, and Business. He graduates in December and is applying to pursue a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning.

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About World Languages News & Events

Department of World Languages students, alumni, and faculty can submit news of accomplishments and events for our News section. We welcome announcements of publications, works presented, jobs procured, awards garnered, scholarships awarded, graduate school placements, and upcoming events.