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MCLLC Alumni News

Joshua Morris (Arabic)

After graduation Joshua headed to the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a Masters of Public Diplomacy - the examination of how governments and international actors communicate with foreign publics. At the moment he is also an associate editor for the Journal of Public and International Affairs. As an associate editor he travels to Princeton once a year and works with the faculty and staff there to select articles for publishing. Then he works with authors throughout the year to get their pieces ready for print. He is also working as editorial intern for the Center on Public Diplomacy where he is selecting works for their virtual library, managing social media, and editing their blog. On top of that, he is also a staff writer of Public Diplomacy Magazine, although he was just tapped to take over as Editor-in-Chief next year!

Here he is in his own words:

"While the world may be turning upside-down, it has still been a pretty great year for me. On top of getting to work on some really cool projects and build my resume, I’ve gotten to meet executives of Fortune 500s, top government officials, and some really brilliant minds in international relations. If there is one thing I have learned about success it's that it’s not enough to just be professional and studious; you have to be passionate. That’s the one thing all the super successful people I’ve met seem to have in common. It’s how I got all of my opportunities. Never be afraid to show people that you are crazy about certain subjects or issues. It’s better to seem overly excited than muted and professional. I’ve been really interested in relationship building between the Middle East and the rest of the world. When I talk about it people can see how animated I get and that leaves an impression. Remember why you're passionate about what you do and embrace it!"

Ellie Johnson (Chinese)

Ellie was accepted to participate in the Critical Language Scholarship program to study Chinese during Summer 2021. Although the program was virtual that year she was able to study through Changchun University.

Shelley Zhou (Chinese)

Shelley received her BA and MA in History from UK with an MA thesis on Chinese children's illustrated story books from the Mao Era, and is interning at the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. Here is the link to her first blog post for the Wilson Center:

Rachel Sebourn (Classics)

Rachel Sebourn will be going on to teach classical Greek and Latin at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, where she received her undergraduate degree. While initially she will be dividing time equally between both languages, the long-term plan is to for her to oversee the development of a more rigorous Greek program at the school which is already philologically strong on Latin and Hebrew. One goal Rachel and the other classics faculty have for this Greek program is that it implement a mixture of immersive and more conventional methods of instruction; thus, she will be calling on her experience with the distinctive Living Latin program at UK as well as Living Greek courses taken with Polis. The UK Classics legacy is strong at New Saint Andrews, as she will be working alongside another alumnus of the program, Tim Griffith. In addition to building up the program at NSA, her goal is to develop teaching methods and curricula for the spoken approach to Attic Greek. Although opportunities to pursue a doctorate in Classics while teaching at the school are limited, she intends to continue her education in whatever capacity she is able; she hopes that at some point that continued pursuit will result in a degree.

Erika Bucchianti (Classics)

Erika Buccianti has been named to the The Montgomery College Smithsonian Faculty Fellows 2022 cohort under the auspices of the Paul Peck Humanities Institute. The title of her project is "Demystifying SPQR: Expanding Access and Challenging Perception."

Anthony Thomas (Classics)

Anthony Thomas (Classics) has earned his PhD in Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota with his dissertation,
"Ambrose of Milan Combats the 'Crooked Interpreter': Forming Nicene Identity through Old Testament Exegesis." (2021)

Laura Manning (Classics)

Laura Manning has earned her PhD in Education Sciences from UKY with her dissertation, "'How Sweet That I Am the One to Whisper These Things': A Comparative Case Study of Active Latin Teaching and Learning." (2021)

Bridget Klein (German)

Bridget Klein, organizer of the Louisville German Conversation Group and steward of the Louisville German Little Free Library, hosted a small grand-opening celebration for the new little library on Sunday, November 29, 2020.

This Little Free Library will be unique not only in that it is the only one with a German focus but also in that it will house, just like a public library, DVD and VHS movies, music CDs, newspapers, magazines, and a variety of books -- such as fiction, textbooks,
cookbooks, history, travel, culture, dictionaries, etc. Materials will be primarily in German but English is welcome, too.

Here is what Bridget said about the project:

“The pandemic has taught us that we are all much more connected than we ever realized. As so many of us stayed home over the lockdown, we naturally started spring cleaning. People were offering me German books that they didn’t want any longer, and I was trying to think of how to get them to the others in the group since we weren’t meeting in person at the moment -- and maybe not for a while to come. A German-focused Little Free Library seemed just the ticket! I wracked my brain trying to come up with a design that would be a statement that this was about all things German. When Gralehaus owners Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter graciously offered us a location here and Lori told me the original house had been owned by a German family, it just seemed to make sense to create a replica of the house as the LFL book box. My fellow choir member Ken Tench from the Bellarmine Oratorio Society is a genius with wood and generously donated not just his time, energy and skill but all the materials, too!

I have seen our little local German Conversation Group blossom during these times of social distancing to a virtual event attended by fellow German speakers from not just the USA but all
over the world -- New York, California, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington state, Brazil, India, and Mexico, just to name a few places -- thanks to being a Duolingo Event. I have realized what a deep personal connection a shared language can create with others. I hope that in these times when so many of us are trying to reconnect to our ancestry or discover new pastimes while we
social distance at home, more people will endeavor to learn this fascinating language and discover the beautiful countries in which it is spoken.”

Sarah McCurrach (German)

Sarah McCurrach, one of the recipients of the Heidelberg Scholarship for AY 2019-20, was offered a spot at The London Academy of Music and Drama! She is currently pursuing an MA in Classical Acting. Here is what she says about the Heidelberg Scholarship: 

"I truly believe that the Heidelberg Scholarship made me a competitive candidate. It opened so many doors for me within the theater world, unique things that I will forever be grateful for. On top of that, it has allowed me to grow and mature in a way that is critical to the person I am now."

Abigail Edwards (Japanese)

Recent University of Kentucky graduate Abigail Edwards will travel to Japan this fall to serve as an assistant language teacher through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Read more about her story here.

Victor Montgomery (Russian)

MCLLC Russian Studies alumnus Victor Montgomery, currently a student in the UK Patterson School of Diplomacy, has been awarded the prestigious Boren Scholarship to pursue intensive language study and training in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Phil Stosberg (Russian)

The Russian Studies faculty is delighted to share the wonderful news that our former student Phil Stosberg has won the 2020 AATSEEL Awards for Teaching, Service, and Scholarship ​in the Excellence in Teaching (Secondary) category. AATSEEL is the American Association for Teachers of Slavic & East European Languages and is one of the two major organizations for the Slavic field in the US. Phil is sharing the award with two other secondary school teachers.

Phil teaches Russian at the Pritzker Charter School in Chicago and is also one of the contest managers for the American Council of Teachers of Russian National Russian Essay Contest.

Paul Tillier (Russian)

The KWLA's Amici Linguarum award goes to the team that has brought information to the citizens of Kentucky during the pandemic. All communications on public health guidelines and state policies needed to reach the entire populace. Enter the Team Kentucky Language Access Team, mainly composed of volunteers. They provided daily translations of the governor's press conferences in over 20 languages. The awarded was accepted by Paul Tillier, MCL/Russian Studies alumnus, a member of the Language Access Team. Поздравляем (Congratulations) to Paul and the whole team!