Each year, the Department of Modern Languages hosts an undergraduate and graduate student research forum.
Inspired by the “Signatures” lecture series introducing faculty of Modern Languages and their research to the larger university community, “Initials” seeks to introduce student researchers to the university and provide them with an opportunity to share their work with the academic community. Students are nominated by faculty members who serve as mentors for their research presentations.
This was the largest year ever for Initials, both in terms of the number of presentations and in terms of the languages and departments represented at the research forum. Undergraduates and graduate students from French, German, Spanish, and Japanese as well as International Studies and Area Studies all presented thoughtful and fascinating research. Presentations included Danielle Jones, “Translating the Tres: Exploring Traditional Cuban Music”; Trish Reid, “Behind the Veil: Middle Eastern Women and the Media”; Elizabeth Chevalier, “Construct Validity and the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)” and Rachel Loder, “Collaborative Community Construction: A Grassroots Success in Guatemala.” This year, due to the generous support of the Department of Modern Languages, the students’ posters were printed professionally by the K-State Copy Center.
The high quality of undergraduate research in Modern Languages has also been recognized by the University. French major Logan Jones’s project “Found in Translation: Bringing Sartre’s Huis clos to a Modern American Audience” (which he presented at “Initials”) was selected as a grand prize winner in the individual non-freshman category of the Kirmser Undergraduate Research Award.
The Department of Modern Languages is a unique department in that we bring together faculty and students with diverse interests in a common goal—to learn about languages, cultures, and literatures. The name “Initials” has a dual meaning—not only is it indicative of the traces upon the page that designate authorship, but it is also evocative of the beginning, underscoring our hope that this is but the start of our students’ lifelong interaction with the language and the pursuit of knowledge.
If you are interested in learning more about undergraduate research in Modern Languages at K-State, please join us for the next “Initials” research forum next Spring!
Kathleen Antonioli, Laura Kanost, Melinda Cro