|Alpha Mu Gamma Inducts Students, Professor|
On Sunday, Nov. 18, nine students and one professor were inducted into Alpha Mu Gamma, a foreign-language honor society. The ceremony took place in front of an intimate gathering of family, friends and colleagues in the Academic Center auditorium.
The student inductees were honored for their excellence in studying Spanish, German or French. The 2012 Alpha Mu Gamma class consists of Alma Butts (Spanish), Sarah Carman (Spanish), Aubrey Conard (French), Allison Harper (Spanish), Ted Maldonado (German), Paula Rodriguez (Spanish), Marie Stump (Spanish), Matthew Suderman (Spanish) and Natalie Szymkowski (Spanish).
According to Alpha Mu Gamma faculty advisor Lynne Margolies, the new members were selected based on three criteria: AMG members must be serious students of language, with a high GPA and a letter of recommendation from a language professor.
In addition to the student inductees, professor of English Beate Gilliar was inducted as an honorary member of Alpha Mu Gamma. Gilliar was honored for her help in creating the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) minor at Manchester.
The impact Gilliar had on students studying foreign language at Manchester was apparent from the moment students began reading testimonials. Both current and former students lavishly praised her as they talked about the profound impact she had on their studies and life after college.
Chris Hindsley, a French teacher in Warsaw, described Gilliar in three words –“energy, enthusiasm, and exuberance” – and detailed how her unique teaching style shaped his own method of instruction.
Nicole Brubaker, the current Spanish teacher at Manchester High School, said that Gilliar “sees students as individuals” –advice that she used to shape her own teaching style.
Sarah Plew, a 2012 graduate, lauded Gilliar by calling her “selflessly generous” and “fervently kind.”
Plew then read the prepared testimonials from former students who could not be in attendance. Natalie Collar, who is teaching English in Japan, said that she was “eternally grateful” for her experiences with Gilliar. Colleen Hamilton and Kate Brelje, graduate students in Wisconsin and Colorado, also praised Gilliar from a distance. How fitting that these students could not attend because their foreign language studies have taken them as far away as Japan.
In the middle of all the praise, Gilliar stopped the adulations to say, “If I didn’t know any better, I would think I’d died.” Her comment was greeted to a warm round of applause from those in attendance; it truly was a special occasion.
Gilliar and the student inductees join the nationwide AMG family. A foreign language honor society founded in 1931, today, Alpha Mu Gamma has more than 300 collegiate chapters, each operating under the belief, according to its website, that “foreign language is the key to unlocking doors to other literatures and cultures.”
Manchester’s own Nu Gamma Chapter was founded in 2001, with, according to Margolies, the goal of “providing scholarship and promoting peace and understanding through language.”
Current Alpha Mu Gamma officers at Manchester University are ShaNell Brazo, President; Hayley Weagant, Vice President; Taylor Daggett, Secretary; and Kayla Wiseman, Treasurer.