Active Students (as of April 2023)
Undergrad majors: 72
Undergrad minors: 375
Undergrad certificates: 221
Graduate students: 40
Graduate certificates: 16
2022-23 Student Credit Hours: 35,059
This year, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) welcomed several new faculty members, explored new technologies and celebrated a gratifying number of student and faculty successes. In the process, we continued to advance our mission to help prepare our students for the future in an increasingly complex global landscape.
For faculty and staff, this year has seen growth, awards and promotions. Fall 2022 marked the arrival of a new tenure-earning faculty member in Spanish and six new instructors of Japanese, Spanish and TESOL. We also welcomed a new full-time administrative assistant. The long-term contributions of two faculty members were recognized by promotion to Full Professor, while a third earned Emeritus status as he transitions to retirement. Faculty teaching and research successes were commemorated by two UCF Teaching Incentive Program awards, a UCF Research Incentive Award and a College of Arts and Humanities award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Another faculty member was honored with a coveted Reach for the Stars award, given to outstanding early-career scholars for research and creative activities with exceptional national and international impact. Faculty have shared their research at over two dozen regional, national and international conferences and numerous publications, and have been active in grant-funded projects. In addition to continued work with multi-year grants from external entities such as the National Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Education, faculty have also been awarded more than $2,000,000 in new funding from the U.S. Department of Education and the Florida Humanities Council this year. The funds will contribute to projects such as lectures in Latin American studies and research on teaching English to speakers of other languages.
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures […] continued to advance our mission to help prepare our students for the future in an increasingly complex global landscape.
We are also pleased to highlight continued advances in curriculum and pedagogy. MLL faculty have remained at the forefront of initiatives to enhance teaching and learning through technology, including work with Personal Adaptive Learning and virtual study abroad, in partnership with UCF’s Pegasus Innovation Lab. The initiatives stand to benefit students not only with enhanced opportunities for learning, but also lower costs for course materials. Eight online and blended courses earned Quality or High Quality designations from UCF’s Center for Distributive Learning, and six courses were certified as High Impact for their Research Intensive or Global Learning-related content.
Students, too, seized opportunities to shine. One MLL double major was inducted into Order of Pegasus, the university’s highest student honor. A Spanish graduate student was awarded a Fulbright, a Russian student took first prize in a poetry recital contest and a student in Japanese won second place in a regional speech contest. Other students were able to expand their horizons through summer study abroad programs in Italy, France, Germany and Spain, and one of our graduate students in TESOL earned a Fulbright to teach in Taiwan. Former students have shared their experiences actively this year, largely thanks to MLL’s alumni podcast, “Futures in Languages,” and TESOL gatherings featuring graduates sharing their experiences teaching abroad and as Fulbright scholars.
The story of one of our TESOL students, Virginia Perwin, exemplifies what made this a great year for our unit. In August 2022, Perwin graduated with her second master’s degree at age 85, some 60 years after having earned her bachelor’s degree. She was named by WESH2 news as a CommUNITY Champion for her service to others and commitment to lifelong learning. Her dedication, engagement and positivity remind us all of the significance of our educational mission. We look forward to a similarly inspirational year in 2023-24.
— Geri Smith, department chair