Kansas State University


Modern Languages

Introducing the Kirmser Language Center

Dean Peter Dorhout, Sheila Walker and Sandy Chastan at the dedication ceremony.
Dean Peter Dorhout, Sheila Walker and Sandy Chastan at the dedication ceremony.

In Fall 2014 the Department of Modern Languages dedicated the newly remodeled 001 Eisenhower, now known as the Kirmser Language Center. Thanks to the generosity of Jeune and Philip Kirmser, faculty, staff and students of Modern Languages have a high-tech language center that can support distance learning and multimedia classes.

Professors, graduate students and undergraduates praise the new space as one that is comfortable, accessible, and versatile. Dr. Janice McGregor (German) and Dr. Earl Brown (Spanish) co-taught their first class in the center in Fall 2014. McGregor praised the modular furniture and portable white boards: “We were able to have students work together in different groups every session, and use the small white board tablets to collaborate during group work.” Brown has been able to use the camera and ceiling microphones to video conference during class with the authors that the students are reading. According to Brown, his students’ responses have been positive, “Several students have said that being able to ask questions directly to authors about their articles and the corresponding results have made the articles more interesting.”

Students in Modern Languages have also enjoyed using the new space. Sara Brady (M.A., 2016) discussed how helpful it has been to her as a student to have a room with new, reliable and diverse technology. In addition to her experience as a student, she added that she appreciated the benefit it has for her undergraduate students. “I really appreciate that there is a place for my students to complete voice recordings for our online workbook that we utilize in the German sequence and also [for] projects involving recorded dialog between two students.” When asked about the atmosphere, she described it as “fresh” and “modern” concluding that “any interior design on the K-State campus that utilizes purple is sure to be a hit!”

Chris Seidler (M.A., 2015) echoed Brady’s comments, also commenting on the usefulness of the space for graduate student collaboration. “My favorite aspect about the Kirmser Learning Center is its versatility and practicality” he comments, “It functions as a modern classroom, language lab, study center, conference room. The new equipment […] and knowledgeable staff have solved many headaches for me as a graduate student and teaching assistant.” For Hannah Rogers (German, 2015), the learning lab offers a place to meet with other students outside of class: “the open setting has created a sense of community with not only students who are studying the same language I am, but also students from other languages.” Next time you are in Eisenhower Hall, make sure to stop by and check out the Kirmser Language Center!

Dedication ceremony with a glimpse at the new center
Dedication ceremony with a glimpse at the new center.

To learn how you can support the people, places and programs of K-State’s Department of Modern Languages, please contact the KSU Foundation Arts & Sciences development team at (800) 432-1578.


One thought on “Introducing the Kirmser Language Center
  1. I am happy hearing about it. When I was a student of Modern Languages, I used computer lab in ELP.
    Go KSU!

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