Thursday, September 7, 2017

EML major Cami Pendleton featured in Western Magazine

France: Cami PendletonCami Pendleton had such a great experience when she studied in France last year, she decided to make a video about Missouri Western’s Study Away Office as an assignment in her Multimedia Authoring class last spring.
“I could have made it about anything, but I’m so passionate about study away,” said the St. Joseph, Missouri native. “France was an incredible life-changing adventure.”
The English technical writing major with minors in general business, literature and French studied in Saint-√Čtienne, France for a month during the summer of 2016. She lived with a host family and took French classes at Jean Monnet University.
“Everything I learned in the classroom came to life over there,” Pendleton said.
She said she learned a tremendous amount about French culture, but also about other cultures by studying together and taking weekend trips with students in her class that were from around the world. In fact, a student from South Korea stayed with the same host family as she did.
Although Pendleton says the food was incredible (“The French take their food seriously”), her most memorable takeaway was meeting new friends and learning about their cultures.
For her video, which now resides on Missouri Western’s Study Away page, she interviewed two other students who had studied overseas and Tammy (Glise) Norris ’79, who coordinates the University’s study away and exchange programs. She also asked professors to give advice for travelers in the language they teach on the video.
And her advice to fellow students who are considering foreign travel? Keep an open mind and take a lot of photos. “Don’t be ashamed of having a selfie stick,” she added with a laugh.
Pendleton says her French trip gave her the travel bug, and this past summer, she traveled to Norway and Italy to visit friends. “All I want to do now is travel.”

Two Visiting Faculty Arrive in EML

This year we welcome two new visiting faculty to EML. One is a Fulbrighter who is here to help us deliver our French curriculum, and the other is a visiting professor from Xidian University who will teach Chinese.
Welcome Professors Jin Peng (left) and Juliette Papadopoulous (right)!

Jin Peng has been teaching at Xidian University, China for 15 years.  She taught various courses in college English and won the first prize in Shaanxi State Level College English Teaching Competition. Jin obtained her bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics in Foreign Languages from Xidian University.

Juliette Papadopoulos comes to us from Paris. Her interest in languages comes from her childhood, as she was raised in a multicultural family that had two native languages (French and Greek). “I’m also very interested in history and cultural studies, so I have worked as a Museum educator in different countries for four years before coming to the US. I’m now starting to teach French abroad, thanks to the Fulbright FLTA program!”

Welcome to Missouri Western and the department of English and Modern Languages!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Stacia Studer Named Regional Teacher of the Year

The St. Joseph School District has announced that Stacia Studer has been named a Missouri Regional Teacher of the Year. Stacia, an alumna of our BSE program, teaches English at Bode Middle School and has worked in the St. Joseph School District for 15 years.
Stacia will be considered for Missouri Teacher of the Year. The winner an finalists will be honored at a banquet this fall in Jefferson City.

Congratulations, Stacia!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bill Church helps publish local stories

The following is an article from the St. Joseph News-Press by Jessica Kopp (July 29, 2017).

Local African Americans tell their stories in recently published history book

Community members interested in learning about local African-American history were invited to attend the book release party of the recently published “In Their Own Words: An Oral History of African Americans in St. Joseph, MO” by Dr. William Church at the Black Archives Museum on Saturday.

The book aims to record the stories of people who lived through history and can give a personal account.
“We wanted to reach our youth, really, and let them hear it from the elders, how things used to be, rather than just read it in a book,” Alonzo Weston, a contributor and interviewee, said.
Weston was the one to first set out and try to preserve as many voices as he could; however, he was afraid he would not be able to interview as many seniors as he wanted to — simply because of their advanced age.
After publicly lamenting his dilemma in the St. Joseph News-Press, where Weston works as a columnist, Missouri Western’s Dr. William Church got in touch and offered help.
“So I contacted him and said, ‘Do you need help? I’ve got some students and we could form a team and we could help you with this,’” Church said.
The students and Church worked for an entire summer to interview 14 people. The book is the last part of a two-step project, which involved creating a short film first.
“Step one was to get it all on film, and to get everyone in their own natural setting if we could. So, many people were interviewed in their home, as you can see on the film,” Church said.
Afterward, Church sat down and transcribed all the interviews.
“Then it was a project of moving things around a little bit. Because, as we speak, we tend to roam and not always stay on task,” Church said.
The stories span a wide range of topics.
“It’s really heartwarming to hear the stories in there and hear what people have gone through, and the themes emerge of education and sacrifice, hard work, family,” Church said.
Church and Weston weren’t the only ones signing books: some of the storytellers made their way to the archives as well, like 88-year-old Moses Hicks.
“At my age, I thought I had a lot to give. And past history makes future history,” Hicks said.
Laraine Jones attended the event in honor of her late father, who told his story in the book.
“My dad used to tell me stories about St. Joseph and the history and all those things that are kind of lost. So, this oral history will tell us a little more about the things that have come and gone and the buildings that are torn down and no longer here,” Jones said.
The book is available in the museum’s gift shop and on Amazon. The film can be viewed on YouTube.
Jessica Kopp can be reached at or you can follow her on Twitter: @NPNOWKopp

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Four win Departmental Awards

English and Modern Languages congratulates its outstanding graduates!

Garrett Durbin is the winner of the Mary Lee Doherty Award for outstanding BSE in English.

Gage Williams is the winner of the Outstanding Spanish graduate.

Nicole Bradley and Taylor McGrath are co-winners of the Louise Lacey Award for outstanding BA in English.

Congratulations to our outstanding graduates!

Cake? Nobody said there would be cake!

Nicole and Taylor about to dig in

EML Celebrates Spring Graduates

English and Modern Languages celebrates the graduates who marched on May 6, 2017. 

Tracey Anne Whorton received the Master of Applied Arts in Written Communication (Technical Communication)
EML chairperson Dr. Stacia Bensyl completed her post-baccalaureate certificate in TESOL

Amanda Taylor Baker, BA in Spanish
Meranda Dawn Dennis, BA in English
Samantha Duryee, BA in English
Kai Zayn King, BA in Modern Languages
Taylor Brianne McGrath, BA in English
Christopher Anthony Pankiewicz, BA in English
Rebecca Lynn Pettegrew, BA in English 

Congratulations, Class of 2017!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Canvas Launch 2017

On Thursday, April 27, the Canvas staff at Missouri Western hosted a launch of its 2017 issue. 

Taylor McGrath reads from her story in Canvas
Canvas editor-in-chief Arniecea Johnson opened the event, welcoming contributors, staff, family, and friends, and then Canvas staff members Sam Duryee and Stephaney Ferguson presented the traditional genre awards: Mariam Riddle won for her poem "Bounce" in Canvas, Britne Misner won for her story "Sweet Margaret," and Shiloh Laxson won for her art "Hold your Breath." (Canvas thanks MWSU professors Kay Siebler, Mike Cadden, and Kathy Liao for judging the awards.) The program then continued with readings by Canvas contributors and closed with a spoken-word tribute to the issue by Kansas City poet Terrance Sanders.

Terrance Sanders performs his spoken word artistry

It was a wonderful event, and Canvas wishes to thank the MWSU Foundation for making this terrific publication possible!