Skip to main content


The Department of World Languages & Literatures Wins the 2022 Provost Award for Excellence in Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

2022 provost awards
The World Languages and Literatures Department was very honored to receive the 2022 Provost Award for Excellence in Student Learning Outcomes Assessment in recognition for its work on assessment processes and practices in its French, German, Japanese and Spanish programs. This would not have been possible without the hard work of the WLL Assessment Committee, whose members are Andrea Fieler (Assessment Committee Chair and German Program Assessment Coordinator), Gisèle Loriot-Raymer (French Program Assessment Coordinator), Junko Agnew (Japanese Program Assessment Coordinator), and Kevin Corea (Spanish Program Assessment Coordinator). During the review of the award application, the Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff Honors and Awards selection committee noted that the WLL program had demonstrated excellence and best practices in student learning outcomes assessment for continuous improvement. More specifically, the committee noted: · The integration of assessment across the different languages builds consistency that benefits the department and students. · A demonstrated use of assessment results to continually improve the program · Exemplary analysis of results as one reviewer noted: “The thorough evaluation of the data is impressive.” The department was recognized at the annual Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff Honors and Awards event held on April 14, 2022 in the University Center Ballroom. Assessment Committee members Andrea Fieler and Kevin Corea also gave a presentation on WLL’s award-winning program assessment on September 27, 2022. In addition to the recognition, the department received a plaque and $3000 to use towards future WLL assessment programming.

Dra. Connelly goes to Spain; returning to the city and university where she completed her undergraduate study abroad

This past summer Dr. Caryn Connelly, chair of the Department of World Languages and Literatures, traveled with her daughter Kiara to Spain to present at the Twenty-ninth International Conference on Learning that was held at the University of Valencia. This was the first time she had travelled back to Spain since completing a study abroad at the university in Spring of 1988! At the conference, she and Luis Guadaño, a colleague from her graduate school days at the University of Minnesota and now Associate Professor of Spanish at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, led a focused discussion on the topic of experiential learning in the foreign language classroom and its impact on language proficiency.  

When not attending conference sessions, Dr. Connelly explored historic sites in the Ciutat Vella and El Poble-sec neighborhood of Barcelona including a hike up to Montjuïc Park located on the second highest hill in Barcelona and a visit to the Castell de Montjuïc, a military fortress with a long and fascinating history and beautiful views of the Mediterranean. Other highlights of Barcelona included a day on the beach and lots of delicious Spanish food, including a seafood paella, and various meals of tapas (small plates).

Barcelona was fantastic, but the highpoint of the trip was her time in Valencia. She stayed in an old apartment in a building near the iconic Valencia Cathedral and its Torre de Micalet (the bell tower of the cathedral, called El Miguelete in Spanish). Besides spending time at the university and in the Ciutat Vella (old city) where she stayed, she took a day trip to the El Saler beach which is near the Parque Natural de la Albufera (the albufera is a large freshwater lagoon south of the city of Valencia), visited the Estació del Nord (Valencia’s main railway station opened in 1862), and enjoyed more tapas! The crowning moment of her time there was her return to the apartment building where she lived during her study abroad in the late 1980s.

Dr. Connelly 1988
Cañas en la Albufera
Barcelona: Castell de Montjüic
mother and daughter at the Castell
una cena de tapas
stairs on Montjüic
Estació del nord

WLL Students Abroad/FLAIS recipients

In fall 2021 we ran our fourth NKU IMPACT campaign to raise funds for FLAIS (Foreign Language Award for International Study). Our fundraising goal was $1500, which we greatly surpassed by raising $7395. This was due in large part to the fact that the campaign was in honor of Ian Olson Gunter (2013 French major/International Studies minor) who passed away in November 2020 and a very generous donation made by his mother, Alice Olson.


The following WLL students received FLAIS funding to support their study abroad experiences in AY 2021-22, including Summer 2022:


  • Cayla Cowans, Spanish major and Anthropology minor (Universidad Autónoma “Benito Juárez” de Oaxaca, Mexico in Fall 2021/Spring 2022)
  • Samantha Lohner, Spanish and Political Science major (Universidad de León, Spain in Spring 2022)
  • Kylie Hoerth, Spanish and Secondary Education major (KIIS Spain in Summer 2022)
  • Megan Taylor, Spanish major and Art & Design minor (KIIS Spain in Summer 2022)
  • Adam Wiley, German and History major (KIIS Austria in Summer 2022)

Here are some of stories of their experiences abroad with lots of great pics!

Cayla Cowans

Cayla at a waterfall
Cayla Cowens standing at ruins
Cayla Cowens at an overlook
My name is Cayla and I studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Oaxaca I had the opportunity to visit several places including Monte Alban, the Sierra Sur Mountains, the beaches of Oaxaca, and so much more. Studying abroad in Oaxaca was my very first time leaving the country and the experience was both eye opening and rewarding. I learned about Mexican culture from firsthand experiences and was able to improve my Spanish tremendously. I learned so much about myself and the world during my study abroad experience. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I hope that other students will be able to have the same opportunities and experiences that I had.

Kylie Hoerth (note: in addition to the FLAIS funding, Kylie also
received a Phi Sigma Iota scholarship to support her study abroad)

Kylie Hoerth in Spain
Hoerth aquaduct
Kylie Hoerth in Spain
Hi! My name is Kylie Hoerth, a Spring recipient of the Foreign Language Award for International Study. During the summer, I had the opportunity to spend a month in Spain! I was part of the KIIS - Spain II Study Abroad, where I stayed in a homestay, with a roommate, and a native Spanish speaker! I also took two Spanish Classes while I was there: Spanish Phonetics and Interpreting Spain’s Space Through Literature & Audiovisual Representations. I would like to say that this scholarship truly helped me reach my goal of studying abroad. For over 6 years, I had dreamed of exploring Spain, and this scholarship truly helped me achieve my dream. The experiences I made abroad were ones I will cherish forever, and never forget. I can confidently say this study abroad experience has improved my Spanish, and allowed me to view cultures, foods, customs, etc that I had never heard of. This whole experience was eye-opening. I would recommend that every student takes the opportunity to study abroad, for the experience is one that will change your life. Again, I could not be more grateful to the FLAIS committee for helping me achieve one of my greatest accomplishments.

Faculty Spotlight with Kathleen Quinn

Kathleen Quinn

Where are you originally from?

I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. My family has deep roots in central Virginia, with my maternal family arriving to ye olde Colony of Virginia in the early 17th century, within a decade or two of the founding of Jamestowne.

Where did you earn your undergraduate and graduate degrees and what were your major(s) and minor(s)?

Having gone to school with the same people since kindergarten, I decided to leave Richmond for my undergraduate degree and “find myself.” I earned a B.A. from the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio, where I double-majored in Latin and archaeology, with minors in Ancient Greek and geology. I had long wanted to be an archaeologist, and so from there I attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where I earned an M.A. in Archaeology with concentrations in historical (American) archaeology and Ancient Mediterranean archaeology. After that I started my Ph.D. program at the University of Cincinnati, where I earned an M.A. in Classics along the way to becoming A.B.D. in Classical Archaeology.

How long have you been teaching, what and where?

I served as a teaching assistant for my first course at Cornell (“Introduction to Archaeology”), but I then taught my own courses for the John S. Wright Institute for Writing in the Disciplines (a course called “Popular Archaeology: Myths and Misconceptions”) while finishing my Master’s degree there. As a graduate student at UC, I taught a variety of Latin courses on my own (Elementary, Intensive, Intermediate), as well as Roman Art and Archaeology. I also spent a number of years as an adjunct at Xavier University (teaching intermediate and advanced Latin courses) and at NKU (teaching College Writing and Western World Literature for the Department of English, Elementary and Intermediate Latin for the Department of World Languages, Principles of Informatics for the College of Informatics, and European and Ancient History for the Department of History). I also did a stint of adjunct and full-time work at St. Ursula Academy, where I taught all levels of Latin, from Latin I through AP. Can you tell I love teaching?


How long have you been teaching at NKU?

I started at NKU as an adjunct in 2003, and I’ve been at the lecturer level since 2011, so I suppose I will be celebrating 20 years at NKU next year! I’m housed in the Department of History (LA 445), but because of my interdisciplinary degrees, I teach three courses in history and one in Latin each semester, which I absolutely love. Because of the generosity of my chairpersons, I’ve been able to live the dream of being a working Classics faculty member on a campus which doesn’t offer a Classics degree but offers courses in my area of specialty within other programs. This allows me to share my love of the ancient world and its continued legacy (good and bad!) with students from a variety of majors and minors. Years ago, I worked with faculty in various social science and humanities departments to create the Ancient Civilizations minor which is now overseen by the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Archaeology. I’m so proud that students today still sign up for and complete that minor!


What do you like about working at NKU?

I have always loved the small campus feel of NKU. I attended a small liberal arts college for my undergraduate degree and I always thought I’d return to a place like that to teach. But NKU has the small class size and intimate feel of a small college with the advantages of being a regional university. Plus, I get to be in two amazing departments (History and World Languages) where I can keep connected to my love for history, language, and archaeology! I’ve had great opportunities at NKU, like teaching on study abroad programs to Greece and Turkey (both places I worked for many summers as an archaeologist), as well as other Mediterranean countries like Egypt and Italy, as well as southern Spain and Morocco. My fellow faculty have been wonderful mentors and friends over the years. And the students constantly challenge me to grow and expand my own ideas and course topics that connect to their lives, like my “Death and Dying in the Ancient World” or “Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World” courses.


What is an interesting fact about yourself that people might not know?

Well, since this is for World Languages, I should say that I’ve had to study a lot of languages in my time. Latin and Ancient Greek are requirements for being a Classics professor in most places, but you also have to be somewhat fluent in modern languages for the countries where you work and for scholarship produced by other archaeologists. So, I have also studied Italian, French, and German (mostly for reading) as well as Modern Greek and Turkish (for talking to people on digs I worked on and towns I lived in while abroad). I haven’t worked on digs abroad in many years now so I’m sure I’ve lost a lot of my skills, but ordering food and counting to ten in various languages sticks with you—even years later!


Alumni Spotlight with Kassi Bourne

Kassi Bourne

At Seton Hall University Graduate School, Kassi studied Diplomacy and International Relations. She specialized in Asia, foreign policy analysis, and global negotiation and conflict management. She graduated with her Master of Arts and a final GPA of 3.88 and membership in Sigma Iota Rho, the Honor Society for International Studies, as one of the top students in her class.  

Kassi now works at Aon Cyber Solutions, formally known as Stroz Friedberg where she is an Intelligence Analyst in the Due Diligence Services area of her firm. Her job involves corporate intelligence on a global scale and has her tracking down records on subjects with a footprint in a multiple countries. Kassi is the only Japanese speaker on her team, and she recently had to learn how to search and read Japanese litigation, as well as how to obtain Japanese corporate filings.  

Kassi has plans to continue learning international intelligence techniques. She has had the ability to search in the US and Japan, but she now has the expertise to search in a variety of continents, including subjects based in African countries. Her current goal is to start learning Chinese and also further improve her proficiency in Japanese so that she can expand her expertise of Asian intelligence gathering techniques and progress in the intelligence sector. Prior to obtaining the position at Aon, Kassi worked at Toyota Tsusho America, where she was able to utilize her Japanese language skills.

French faculty participate in professional language workshops

French flag

To support our plans for developing professions tracks in our major programs, French faculty participated in workshops offered by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce in May 2022. Read on to learn more about what the workshops entailed.

Dr. Iliana Rosales Figueroa participated in the workshop: Enseigner le français des affaires organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Boston University. This workshop took place May 2 – 19 in a hybrid format which included 3 online sessions via Zoom of two hours each, 7 days of guided individual work and 3 days in-person at Boston University. In this 13-day professional training workshop in French, Dr. Rosales Figueroa learned different methods, materials, and assessments to effectively support the teaching of French as a professional language.

Dr. Gisèle Loriot-Raymer participated in a 3-week training workshop (May 2-20, 2022) on the topic of “Enseigner le français des relations internationales” / “Teaching French for International Relations.” The workshop was designed by the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry and subsidized by the Cultural Services of the Embassy of France in the U.S. Eighteen applicants were selected from US universities interested in developing a curriculum in professional French. The workshop combined theory on FOS (Français sur Objectifs Spécifiques - French for Specific Purposes) and training in designing a framework for a French for International Relations / Diplomacy course.

Recipes from Around the World

International recipie
International recipie

This recipe comes from French professor Gisèle Loriot-Raymer and is adapted from a recipe for Boeuf Mode her mother wrote in the recipe book that she kept as a newlywed. The images that accompany this recipe are from the recipe book.

Beef Stew

2 lbs. lean stewing beef cut into cubes

5 oz bacon, diced (optional)

3-4 tablespoons butter

2 onions, finely diced

4-5 carrots, cut into medium chunks

3 cups of wine (my mother always used white)

Mushrooms (fresh or canned)

In a skillet, cook the bacon (if using) in 1 tablespoon of butter until browned then transfer to a plate. Sauté the beef in 2 tablespoons of butter until browned. In a heavy-bottomed pot (or a pressure cooker), sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon butter, add the mushrooms and stir. Add the beef (and bacon if using) and carrots. Season with salt, pepper, minced garlic, thyme and laurel (I often substitute the last two ingredients with herbes de Provence). Stir in the wine so the meat is covered and mix all ingredients. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook until meat is very tender: one hour in a pressure cooker or about two hours in a pot. Top with chopped parsley to serve.