Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Archives: 2006 News

BlackBoardIT Help DeskPirateIDIndexEmail and PhoneOneStopCalendarAccessibility
Old Fountain in front of Wright Auditorium


Frank Romer



The Department of cs-cas/foreign Languages and Literatures is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Frank Romer as Department Chair and Professor of Classics. Dr. Romer comes to us from the University of Arizona as an ancient historian and professor of classical history, religion, and literature. His research focuses on Greek and Roman geography and ethnography, and he has published on the Roman geographer Pomponius Mela. Dr. Romer is currently studying Roman and Romanized communities in North Africa and Spain, and analyzes historical evidence that helps to interpret archaeological excavations in Italy. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. at Stanford University, and his B.A. at New York University. Dr. Romer has taught previously at the University of Vermont, Ohio State, and Johns Hopkins, and has received awards and recognition for both scholarship and teaching. Dr. Romer joins the faculty on August 1.

Pieces of Eight story »»

Summer 2005 in Cordoba Argentina


Prof. Susanna Castaño-Schultz took a group of students to Córdoba, Argentina in Summer 2005. The program included traditional cuisine and dancing lessons, visits to historical and cultural sites, such as the Jesuit Route, with a stay at an estancia to watch gauchos do their work and enjoy a traditional asado (barbecue). There were visits to the high sierras with a stay in an alpine cabin, mountain hiking, and an optional weekend tour of Buenos Aires. She will be taking a group again this summer.

Informational flier »»

Peter Standish
2005-2006 Summer Spanish Institute


Professor Peter Standish is offering a summer Spanish Translation Institute on campus (despite the sign at left) for those interested in becoming proficient in the translation of written materials to and from Spanish. The intensive four course sequence (prerequisite SPAN 3330), offered in the two summer sessions, consists of SPAN 3340, 4340, 5340, and 5940. Those who complete the program with a high standard of performance may be evaluated for the Department's Certificate in Spanish Translation.

Brochure »»

Modified Presentation


Professors Carol Christian, left, and Ann Borisoff-Rodgers, right, were invited to Wayne, N.J., where they met with Dr. Octavio DelaSuaree, center, chair of the department of cs-cas/foreign languages at William Paterson University. Christian and Borisoff-Rodgers spoke with faculty and administrators at the university, sharing their experiences in developing ECU's modified cs-cas/foreign language program for students with learning disabilities. William Paterson officials are planning a similar offering, modeled on the ECU program. (Contributed photo)

Pieces of Eight story »»

Jill Twark

Professor Jill Twark, President of Friends of Greenville Greenways, a companion organization of Uptown Greenville, discussed the details for a five-year priority plan. This plan would include building a boardwalk to run from Charles Boulevard to Evans Street. Twark said their goal is to eventually have sidewalks on each side of Charles Boulevard as an extension of the greenway system in preparation for an Evans Street connection.

Sonia Chinn

Sonia Chinn, a program assistant in ECU's Department of Physics, earned a full fellowship to pursue a master's degree in history at Harvard University. She graduated from ECU this month with a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in Russian studies. In Cambridge, Chinn plans to study Russia and Central Asia, and focus on the social and cultural history of Muslims in Azerbaijan.

Katie Hill

Katie Hill received a Phi Kappa Phi Award of Excellence for 2004-2005. These awards of $2000 are made to outstanding undergraduates from chapters around the country and may be used to fund the first year of postgraduate study. Katie graduated from East Carolina University with honors in the spring of 2004 with a double major in English and Russian Studies and a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Prof. John Given, Dept. Foreign Languages as Neptune 2006
John Given

John Given produced the American Philological Association staged reading and singing of Gilbert and Sullivan's first collaboration, Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old (1871), with new music composed by Alan Riley Jones of the Durham, NC Savoyards. The cast of 28 singers, drawn from high schools, colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, performed the story of the aged Olympians' desire to examine their status among mortals and trade places for a year with Thespis' company of comedians. In addition to producing, Prof. Given also trident his hand as Neptune, looking the very model of a modern major admiral?

The Department announces with sadness the death of Jesus Leonardo Gonzalez Jr., 23, on Saturday, July 23, 2005 of complications from diabetes. He was a Spanish major, class of '03, a Phi Sigma Iota nominee, and winner of the Fleming-Perry Scholarship in 2002. Faculty and fellow students remember him as a favorite of the department, and his sudden death came as a shock to all.



David Smith

David Smith joins the German faculty this fall as Assistant Professor. Originally from South Carolina, Prof. Smith's background in German includes studies at four institutions of higher learning (two German and two American); a Fulbright grant to study the Lutheran Church's support of East German dissidents during the 1980s; customer service experience in a Black Forest hotel; and shift-work in an aluminum factory in the Rhine-Ruhr industrial region. Though he remains fascinated by contemporary and twentieth-century German literature, Prof. Smith specializes in Early Modern and Enlightenment culture and thought. In his dissertation, for example, he analyzes writings on the German language from the founding of the most prominent language societies in the early 1600s through J. G. Herder (1744-1803) to determine if and how the language is perceived to transmit or even construct German identity. Currently at work on an article on J. C. Gottsched and the printing press, Prof. Smith will focus his future research on orality, literacy and the gendering of language in the eighteenth century.

Oniankpo Akindjo
Tatjana Goodman

Oniankpo Akindjo (left) joins the faculty in French as a Visiting Assistant Professor. A native of Togo, Akindjo is completing a Ph.D. in French from Ohio State University.

Tatjana Goodman (right) joins the German faculty part-time as Lecturer. She holds a profesorica from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in the teaching of German and English.

Sharon Peterson and Brenton Leanhardt

Sharon Peterson, a native of Greenville, takes over the second most difficult job in the department as our new receptionist. She brings a welcome enthusiasm and professionalism to the task, and is new enough to still be able to muster a hearty "Go PIRATES!".

Brenton Leanhardt
at right takes over as director of the language lab. He is currently finishing his BA in Computer Science and Spanish from ECU. His professional interests include translation, web development, databases, and open source operating systems. He brings a knowledge of technology to the lab, including ways of connecting our students by audio and or video to students abroad. In his spare time, he can be found writing music.



Clause Structure Typology

Javier Rivas. Clause Structure Typology: Grammatical Relations in Cross-Linguistic Perspective. (Tris Tram 2004)
The traditional assumption that subject and direct object are two universal grammatical relations is based on the structure of a very reduced number of languages, all of them genetically and geographically close. The acquaintance with real linguistic diversity shows that there are many languages whose clause structure cannot be analyzed in these terms. The purpose of this book is to overhaul the grammatical metalanguage by studying the different typological patterns that are attested in the world's languages and by providing a set of cross-linguistic grammatical relations that can be used to account for the clause structure of any language whatsoever.

Ventura de la Vega, Poemas

Michael Schinasi. Ventura de la Vega, Poemas. Grupo de Estudios del Siglo XVIII. Universidad de Salamanca.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1807, Ventura de la Vega came to Spain at 11 and lived there the rest of his life. He was one of the founders of El Parnasillo, an influential circle in Spanish romanticism, and he participated in revolutionary activities of the period. After moderating his politics and renouncing romanticism, he became one of the most important men of letters of mid 19th c. Spain. Vega is best known for the zarzuela (Spanish operetta) and for El hombre de mundo (The Worldly Man), which in 1845 initiated the vogue of "high comedy" in Spain. His poems are at times intimate, sometimes civic, often composed for the albums of wealthy women. They show his delight in poetic form, rhetoric, the classics of Spain's Golden Age, cultural refinement and wordplay. They also contribute to our understanding of Spanish romanticism, neoclassicism, and national identity, as well as of the social and propagandistic functions of poetry. This edition, the most comprehensive to date, includes all of his published poems, others previously unpublished, and some pornographic poems of dubious attribution.



Steve Cerutti, Words of the Day

Steven Cerutti. Words of the Day. The Unlikely Evolution of Common English. (Rampant Tech Press 2005).
Inspired by his popular class on Greek and Latin for Vocabulary Building (CLAS 1300), Dr. Cerutti examines the surprisingly innocuous origins of profane vocabulary in their classical Greek and Latin roots. Professor Cerutti is currently at work on a second edition of his text and commentary on Cicero's Pro Archia for the Advanced Placement curriculum and other projects.




Jill Twark

Prof. Jill Twark won the College Research Award for Spring 2006 for her project to investigate how ten Eastern German authors employ satire to come to terms with their experiences in the German Democratic Republic (former East Germany) and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. As sophisticated attempts to make sense of the failure of the East German socialist experiment and a complicated reunification process that has been plagued with economic, social, and legal difficulties, these critical texts help define Germany today from a specific, Eastern German perspective.

Jennifer Valko

Prof. Jennifer Valko was awarded a Research & Creative Activity Grant for summer 2006 to work on "Marketing, Journalism, and Nation Building: The Role of the Argentinisches Tageblatt in the Argentine Immigration Industry (1874-1908)." She will be doing archival research in Buenos Aires to examine the narrative construction of Argentine Patagonia between 1890-1935 by Germanic immigrants and Argentine urban intellectuals. She will focus on the narratives of Swiss journalists Johann and Moritz Alemann (father and son) recruited by Argentine officials to immigrate there, establish a newspaper, and attract potential entrepreneurs and colonists.

Carol Christian


In recognition of her work with the Modified cs-cas/foreign Language Program and her craft as a teacher, Prof. Carol Christian received the University Award for Outstanding Teaching and the Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award in Spring 2005.

Pieces of Eight Story »»






Joanna Woods Sayblack (BS Hispanic Studies Education 2003) writes that she is now teaching Spanish I and II at Williamston High School. "I am happy to say that I feel like I have finally found the school and the students of my dreams! I really miss everyone in the FL Department and look forward to visiting the department in the near future (that's your warning, HA, HA!)"

Jim O'Donnell (French BS 1984 and BA Anthropology 1983) writes that "Since 1999, I enjoy working at the Supreme Head Quarters for Allied Powers Europe, Belgium. I am currently teaching French II, III, IV in S.H.A.P.E. American High School. My students from 19 countries are a great pleasure. Their eagerness to learn French is refreshing!"

Wendy Mumy (Carey) (BS French 1989) writes that she is teaching at West Craven High School in Craven County. She says, "I fondly remember my days as a student in the FL department with Georgeanne, Dr. Schwarz, Dr. Fladenmuller, Dr. Dock and Dr. Aronson.

Rodolfo Ruiz-Toledo (BS Spanish 1994) writes that he has joined the faculty at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, NC, where he hopes to establish a chapter of the National Spanish Honors Society. "I appreciate all those who have contributed to my present and past successes in education. It brings me great joy to remember how it all began with a small tour of the ECU campus. Former Instructor Manolita Buck welcomed me into what later became like a family to me. Georganne, thank you for all your support! I would like to send you a most sincere thank you, and to Ms. Buck for passing on the love for teaching and caring for our students. Of course, that is not to forget all those great professors still on faculty at ECU whose advice and friendship I will always cherish. Dr. Knickerbocker, thank you for listening and offering very sincere and heartfelt advice when needed. My future plans involve returning to school for an MA."

Sulykeey Palacios (Spanish 2000) writes, "I want to thank everyone who taught me at ECU. I truly miss those carefree days. Thank you Georgeanne!!! Thank you Dr. Knickerboker and Dr. Standish!!! I am now teaching English as a Second Language with Nash-Rocky Mount Schools and working on my ESL certification at Barton College."

Leroy Salazar (Spanish 2001) writes "I miss being a student of Spanish at ECU; Georganne, thank you for everything you do. Being a Spanish teacher at a local high school, J. H. Rose High School, is not easy; Thank you Marcela for all your guidance. Not only am I teaching Spanish at Rose, I also coordinate the National Spanish Exam for North Carolina. Being part of professional organizations like AATSP, ECFLEC, FLANC, etc. is helping me to stay in the field. Teaching Spanish is fun for me, but it is more fun to teach someone to become a Spanish teacher after my third year of teaching! You all in the Literatures and FL Department at ECU are in my heart and will always be!"

Karen Carr (BS Hispanic Studies Education 2002) writes that she is now teaching and instructing classes at Community Christian Church Academy and Pitt Community College. "Thanks to dedicated professors that never gave up on me, I now give back to my community. Thanks Georganne, Puri and Dr. Knickerbocker for your encouragement, love and kindness."