Past Events & News

French Teaching Assistantship

Congratulations to our 2020 French grads: majors Omar Mora, Artie Pomerenke, Sophia Modea, and Sidney Christopherson, and Cannes study abroad participant, Quinn Hynes-Marquette, for having been accepted into TAPIF for 2020-2021. 

Felicitations à toutes! Et, bon courage!!

Go to our TAPIF page to learn more.

Artie in Charleville
An alum's TAPIF blog from Charleville-Mézières, France.

Changing With the Times

With the pandemic, flexibility and change became our watchwords. Class projects had to be adapted to fit the new normal… in that spirit, FREN312 created publicity videos using Zoom, instead of conducting an in-person project, as originally planned. Here are the results! For our class, creativity and innovation also became watchwords! Qu’en pensez-vous?

Vitamines énergétiques:
Bic Bigoudi Miraculeux:
Bonnes Vues:

German Major, Amanda Bjerke '20, Receives Future Language Educator Award

Congratulations to Amanda Bjerke for receiving the Future Language Educator award, given by the Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures (MCTLC). The award was given based on merit and interest in teaching world languages. Those who were selected for the award have demonstrated in their respective world language field their passion and intent for becoming an educator of world language and further the teaching of language and culture to future generations.

Amanda is working to teach German and English as a second language in the secondary setting. She recently applied for a Fulbright to teach English in Germany within the next year. Regardless of the outcome, she plans to pursue a teaching position in Minnesota following graduation. She would like to also pursue graduate work in World Language Pedagogy, German, or Linguistics and eventually one day, a doctorate in the Philosophy of Education. Says Amanda, "It is my belief that our students should have the opportunity to learn about cultures that differ from their own and learning the language of that culture is one of the most authentic ways to do so, as language and culture are intensely intertwined."

Check Out These Video Projects from Fall 2019's FREN 352!

Deux Chefs Un Monde - Omar Mora and Jake Debes
Guillotiné - Emma Murphy, Sidney Christopherson, and Sara Wall 
Le Café - Tessa Weir and Julia Carlone

Japanese Studies welcomes exchange students from Bunkyo Gakuin University

On February 3rd Monday, we welcomed 10 short term exchange students from Bunkyo Gakuin University and just said our good byes at the farewell dinner on 19th Wednesday.

BGU has been a collaborative partner of CSB/SJU for nearly 30 years and is the host institution for the CSB/SJU study abroad program in Japan. The BGU students joined various courses including our Japanese language classes, Japanese languages labs, and Japanese Corner. Our CSB/SJU students in language classes had the opportunity to not only speak with native speakers but also develop a great friendship. Thank you, Bunkyo students, and we look forward to see you next year again!

Information on Bunkyo Gakuin University:

Making Crepes

On Dec. 5, FREN352A students prepared crêpes with various toppings to accompany the screening of their final video projects and to thank the help of Joshua Akkerman, Instructional Technology Specialist; Annie Larson, Access Services Associate – Circulation/ILL; and Molly Ewing, Humanities Librarian.

Japanese New Year Celebration

Eight CSB/SJU students of Japanese along with instructor, Masami Limpert, attended and volunteered at the Japanese New Year Celebration organized by the Japan America Society of Minnesota on January 26th in St. Paul. This “Shinnenkai” is an annual event which endeavors to bring Japanese style New Year traditions to Minnesota. Guests were able to participate in cultural exchange, meet others from Japanese-related organizations like JASM, and enjoy new things in a fun environment with performances, delicious food, and other interesting activities.


Our Japanese program booth hosted a craft activity in which guests made a paper Ema--a Japanese wooden plaque used to make wishes, and decorated it with an Origami rat (2020 is year of the rat).

Photos by Masami Limpert.
French students learn to digitize class projects

On Tuesday, November 19th, students of FREN352 had class in the Creative Lab of Clemens Library to work on their final video projects for the class. Projects range from historical documentaries to cooking shows!

Local chefs visit class on French cuisine

On November 7th, Chef Mateo Mackbee and Chef Erin Lucas visited Prof. Ana Conboy's FREN352: “Bon app! La Culture gastronomique francophone » and shared insights on Creole cuisine, their own background in cooking and… of course, shared a couple of treats with students ! Beignets and Jambalaya! As the French would say, “Miam miam!” (we thank Jayne Byrne and the Nutrition department for allowing us to use their Food Safety Lab).

Chef Mateo Mackbee and Chef Erin Lucas visit FREN 352.


Students of German celebrate Oktoberfest in the Great Hall, SJU on October 25.

German Studies Program receives grant for German Fußballfest 2019 at CSB/SJU

A group of CSB/SJU students from Dr. Kurt Hollender's German classes visited Allianz Field, the new home of Minnesota United Football Club, on Sept. 7th. Students, Prof. Hollender, and Fulbright TA Matthias Milchrahm toured the stadium, the newest in Major League Soccer whose design includes elements from the stadiums of the German soccer clubs FC Bayern München and FC Saint Pauli. They went on to watch the soccer game between MN United and CF Pachuca (Mexico) and cheer on the United to victory! The visit was funded through the generous support of a Netzwerk Deutsch "Deutsch macht Spaß" grant funded by the German government and administered by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG).

Congratulations to German minor, Valerie Doze '21, for receiving a Jackson Fellowship for Summer 2019. The fellowship is one of three that funds the pursuit of summer internships – including leadership and professional development – working toward civic engagement and the common good in the non-profit and government sectors.

August 2019
Languages & Cultures welcomes new Classics faculty member, Morgan King, and Austrian Fulbright TA, Matthias Milchrahm

Dr. Morgan King earned a PhD in Classics from UC Berkeley in 2019. Her dissertation, "Social Navigation in Elegiac Worlds: Travel, Immobility, and Identity in Roman Love Poetry," explores how Roman love poets used spatial imagery to think about questions of identity and community. Her research interests include Roman poetry, genre and intertextuality, and Late Antique Christian reception of Augustan era poetry. As a graduate of Carleton College and a Chicagoan, she's excited to return to Minnesota and the Liberal Arts tradition.

Matthias Milchrahm is this year’s Austrian Fulbright Teaching Assistant at the German department. He assists mostly under the supervision of Prof. Hollender in the instruction of German but also teaches his own class as a trained educator and native speaker. What’s more, he represents Austria as a cultural ambassador and organizes events and extracurricular activities for students. Matthias majored in English and Geography/Economics at the University of Graz, Austria. He specialized in American literature and investigated the role of nature and man in two American short stories in his thesis. After his studies, he worked one year as a secondary school teacher at a public school in Eastern Austria before going to the United States, where he’s gained invaluable experience in teaching methodology and pedagogy. Matthias is known for his love of sports, especially skiing and weightlifting and he’s also very enthusiastic about reading and connecting with nature. You can reach Matthias at [email protected]

German Students visit Paisley Park

Dr. Kurt Hollender and students from GERM 342, Poetry in the German Tradition, visited pop star Prince’s Paisley Park studio and museum in Chanhassen, MN on Saturday, April 13. The philosophers Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy argue that the theory and practice of avant-garde communal living and the collaborative creation of art stems from Jena, Germany and the practices of the Romantics from around 1800. They further argue that these practices and theories remain our form of the artistic avant-garde to this day, even, as the GERM 342 students found, right here in Minnesota through Prince's championing of the artist’s autonomy and his collaboration with others. 

April 25, 2019

The French Studies Program held their annual Festival Lyrique on April 25 in the Haehn Campus Center Alum Hall. Students, faculty, staff and community members were invited to sing, recite or perform any piece in French.

Pictured left to right are CSB students: Ashley Dalbec '22, Sophia Modeas '20, and Steffi Tapsoba '21.

April 2019

French students and faculty from CSB/SJU attended the Guthrie Theater's production of Cyrano de Bergerac.

Spring 2019     Inclusion and German Studies at CSB/SJU

Dr. Kurt Hollender has earned the Mellon Foundation Becoming Community Professional Development Workshop Practitioner Certificate. The Mellon Grant Becoming Community program at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aims to strengthen the ongoing process of creating an inclusive community and a space for all to be heard and in which all can thrive. Read more here...

March 2019     Language Scholarships for 2019-2020

Congratulations to the following students who applied for and received language scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year:

S. Margretta Nathe Scholarship for CSB Majors
Amanda Bjerke '20

Otmar Drekonja German Cultural Scholarship
Julia Petron '20
Ilyse Putz '20

Gaida Family Scholarship for CSB French Majors
Ashley Dalbec '21
Maggie Pomerenke '20

Pictured: Maggie Pomerenke and Ashley Dalbec
(Photo by Elena Lozano '22)

March 2019     French Liturgy

On March 23rd, Saturday, at 4:30pm, we will celebrate a mass in the French language--please join us! Fr. William Skudlarek, OSB, will preside and students of French will use their gifts in liturgical and music ministries. All are welcome! Venez nombreux!

November 2018     German and French Students Attend "Silent Night" at the Ordway

Almost 50 CSB/SJU students from the French Studies and German Studies programs attended the MN Opera production of “Silent Night” on November 18.

November 2018     German Studies Joins National Honor Society 

The German Studies Program at CSB/SJU has been accepted as a new chapter in Delta Phi Alpha National German Honorary Society.

DPA’s goal is to seek “to recognize excellence in the study of German and to provide an incentive for higher scholarship. The Society aims to promote the study of the German language, literature and civilization and endeavors to emphasize those aspects of German life and culture which are of universal value and which contribute to humanity's eternal search for peace and truth.” It began with the founding of the Alpha chapter at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC in 1929 and has constituent chapters at 273 colleges and universities throughout the United States including Georgetown, Columbia, Middlebury, Stanford, Brigham Young, Purdue, Notre Dame, George Washington, Cornell and Rutgers.

November 2018     Classics attends McCarthy Center lunch and discussion on foreign policy through the lens of Ancient Greece 

Have you ever wondered why people choose to study Classics? Why should we study documents and events that occurred thousands of years ago? What can we learn from these ancient sources, and how can we apply lessons from antiquity to today’s modern world?

To answer these questions, The McCarthy Center hosted a free lunch and open discussion on Thursday, November 15th that was facilitated by Classics Professors Jason Schlude and Scott Richardson. 

Sparta, Athens, and America: U.S. Foreign Policy through the Lens of Thucydides 

The recent opening of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly should give us pause. Speeches by Secretary-General Guterres and President Trump offered very different visions and strategies for the role of the U.S. in global engagement. Ancient Greece offers us a key for understanding both—and suggests possible consequences. Thucydides, perhaps the greatest ancient Greek historian, can help us to understand modern America at a pivotal moment.

November 2018     Jason Schlude Publishes on U.S. Foreign Policy in The Activist History Review

Classics Professor Jason Schlude published an article on "Global Engagement at the United Nations: Lessons from Ancient Greece for Our Modern Times" in The Activist History Review. The article discusses speeches recently delivered by U.N. Secretary-General Guterres and U.S. President Trump at the opening of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

August 2018     German Studies and Languages & Cultures Welcomes New Austrian Fulbright 

We welcome Katharina Huetthaler, the 2018-2019 Austrian Fulbright Teaching Assistant. Katharina is a native of Austria where she earned her BA in German Studies at University of Graz in 2012. She will be finishing her Master's in German Studies back in Austria. Learn more about Katharina here.

Fulbright Teaching Assistants often bring a younger, more European perspective to our program. The position is multi-faceted and includes tutoring German students and helping in the classroom. Fulbrights take classes on campus and can also teach their own classes. They organize on-campus activities in conjunction with German Club, such as Stammtisch (German Table) and film night, as well as planning off-campus activities: Minnesota Opera, concerts, museums and other cultural outings. 

August 2018     New Blog from Cannes Study Abroad Program

You can now learn what it's like to study in Cannes, France by following a new blog by CSB junior, Maggie Pomerenke. Maggie is the student assistant to director, Prof. Ana Conboy, and is documenting the experiences of the thirteen Bennies and Johnnies participating in the program this fall. We invite you to keep up with their studies in Cannes and their explorations of Provence, Côte d’Azur and surrounding regions!

April 2018     Congratulations to Associate Professor of Classics, Jason Schlude, for achieving tenure!

April 2018     Congratulations to Asst. Professor of French, Ana Conboy, for a successful third-year review!

Mark Thamert, OSB

Fr Mark

Beloved German professor, Father Mark Thamert, shares his reflections as he is in the final stages of cancer. Read the story.

February 2018       Chinese Folklore and Mythology class has a storytelling circle on the shore of Lake Sagatagan, SJU.

December 2017     French Mass and Cantiques de Noël

On Sunday, December 10th, French Cultural Events Assistants Gabe Kwan, Sophia Modeas and Ashley Dalbec organized a mass in French and a reception where participants had the opportunity to sing French carols. Both events were a hit--a tradition in the making, without a doubt! Pictured below are Gabe, Sophia and Ashley in the Gathering Place at Saint Benedict's Chapel.

November 2017     German students go to the opera!

Thirty-five beginning and intermediate CSB/SJU German students attended Minnesota Opera's performance of The Marriage of Figaro at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul on Sunday, Nov. 19th. This was the first opera for most of the students. The trip was organized and supervised by Austrian Fulbright TA, Sebastian Braunsberger, who said, "Who would have guessed that in taking German classes at CSB/SJU, one ends up at the Minnesota Opera to see an Austrian opera? Now all the students can proudly claim that they saw one of the most famous operas worldwide."

October 2017     Faculty attend Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures

CSB/SJU faculty members from the departments of Hispanic Studies, Languages and Cultures and Education attended the MCTLC Fall Conference on Friday, October 27 in Brooklyn Park, MN. Pictured left to right are Christina Hennessy and Tania Gómez (HS), Alison Spenader (Education) and Ana Conboy (French/L&C). The four presented a panel titled "Bilingualism and the Brain: The Benefits of Learning Another Language.”

October 2017    Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

About 100 students, faculty and staff attended the annual Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival on Wednesday, October 4 in the Gorecki Center at CSB. Festivities included live music, games, and delicacies such as mooncakes.

Pictured L-R are: Chinese professors, Limei Danzeisen and Sophia Geng, with Professor Emerita, Telan Hu, OSB.

The audience enjoys a guitar performance by Zhiyuan (Peter) Gao.

August 2017     German Studies welcomes new instructor

The department of Languages & Cultures and the German Studies Program welcomes Dr. Kurt Hollender. Kurt graduated from New York University’s Department of German with a PhD. in 2017. His academic interests include language pedagogy, German literature around 1800, literary theory, and drama. His dissertation, “Literary Potions and Poisons: Schiller, Goethe, Kleist,” focused on magic potions in German literature. Arriving at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict after a semester in Berlin, Germany, the graduate of Kenyon College and Ohioan is excited to return to the Midwest and to his liberal arts roots. Dr. Hollender previously taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, New York University, and the Universität Zürich.

Welcome to CSB|SJU, Kurt!

April 2017       Festival Lyrique

About 30 students, faculty and community members attended Festival Lyrique on April 27, 2017, and performed pieces in French to a "sold out" Alumnae Hall. It was also an opportunity for old friends to get together and papoter un peu. (Left to right: Emma Bonglack, Ruth Becker, Prof Chuck Villette, Kaitlin Heidelberger, Peter Dudziak)

March 2017     French Studies Program welcomes guest speakers from Québec

On Friday, March 31st, we welcomed two guests from Québec City! Marie Béïque, author and nutritionist, and Richard Joubert, actor and radio personality, spent an hour speaking about the culture (specifically food culture) of native populations of Northern Quebec as well as Québec history and traditional song. The presentation ended with a rousing rendition of La Fontaine’s fable “La Cigale et la fourmi.” Approximately 30 students, faculty and French-speaking members of the community attended.

March 2017     German Alum Accepted into Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals

Congratulations to German major, Mitchell Konkel '16, who has been accepted into the CBYX, a year-long fellowship program in Germany, for 2017-2018. Mitch graduated with German and Environmental Studies majors and will work in the area of sustainable agriculture and bio-farming while in Germany.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange provides an exciting opportunity for our German students and can lead to future careers related to the major.

March 2017     Phi Beta Kappa Nominees

Congratulations to French majors, Kaitlin Heidelberg '17 and Mary C. Steenberge '18, and Classics major, Olivia Busch '18, who are nominated for induction into Phi Beta Kappa!

March 2017     Language Scholarships Awarded

Congratulations to Danica Simonet '19 for receiving the Otmar Drekonja Cultural Scholarship for German and to Mary C. Steenberge '18 for receiving the Gaida Family Scholarship for French for the 2017-2018 academic year. More information is found here.

February 2017     Classical Studies Major Receives Research Grant

Aimee Hanson, a junior Classical Studies major, has been awarded a 2017 Summer Student-Faculty Collaborative Grant to conduct research on the ancient Near East. This will involve her continued participation in the Omrit Archeological Field School in Israel and pursuit of a new comparative study of women in ancient Roman and Jewish societies. She collaborated on the grant proposal with Jason Schlude, classics professor and co-director and educational director of the field school. Learn more here.

January 2017       CSB Alum Receives Prestigious Teaching Award

Languages and Cultures/German alum, Brooke Kreitinger '01, was recently awarded the prestigious German Embassy Teacher of Excellence Award for 2017. Kreitinger was one of only three educators nationwide to receive the annual award, which recognizes excellence in teaching, creativity, dedication and enthusiasm for the German language. We all extend our congratulations and best wishes to Brooke for continued success in her teaching career. Read more here.

January 2017       What's the best way to train your brain?

Learn a second language! Read more... 

January 2017      Book by Scott Richardson Nominated for Second Award

Prof. Scott Richardson's book, Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles: The Enigma of Francis Crawford, has been nominated for a second book award: the Christian Gauss Book Award for works of literary scholarship or criticism. This is the second book award nomination since Scott's book was released last summer.

November 2016     Discover Your Future Day

Approximately 70 second-graders from Discovery Elementary School in St. Cloud, MN visited CSB campus on Friday, Nov. 4 to learn about the languages and cultures from Japan, Mexico, Germany, Canada, China and several countries in Africa. Students and faculty from the Departments of Languages & Cultures and Hispanic Studies taught the children origami, folk dance, song, calligraphy, weaving and colors as they also learned new foreign words and phrases.


September 2016
Japanese Students attend the JP Network Event at SCSU

Jeff Dubois, assistant professor of Japanese, and some of his students recently attended an event at St. Cloud State sponsored by the JP Network, a social networking group that teaches its members about Japanese and American culture. (Click on photos to see larger versions.)


September 2016
French Studies Announces Tournées Film Festival

The French Studies Program has received a grant from The Franco-American Cultural Fund which will allow public viewings of several French films as part of the Tournées Film Festival on the CSB/SJU campuses. The films will be shown with English subtitles throughout the semester and are open to everyone. The festival is sponsored by Languages & Cultures  in collaboration with Film Studies, the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, Peace Studies, Gender Studies and the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civil Engagement. For the full schedule of films, see the French Studies webpage here .

August 2016
SJU Convocation Speech Given by Scott Richardson

Languages and Cultures' own, Scott Richardson, delivered the convocation speech to the student body, faculty and staff at this year's ceremony on August 29 in Saint John's Abbey Church. You can listen to Scott's speech here .

August 2016
Book by Scott Richardson Nominated for Award

Prof. Scott Richardson's new book, Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles: The Enigma of Francis Crawford, has been nominated for the Warren-Brooks Award for Outstanding Literary Criticism. The Warren-Brooks Award was established to honor the innovative, critical interpretation of literature offered by Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks and to celebrate the continuation of such achievement. Read more here...

Christian Grande

SJU junior, Christian Grande, has been chosen by The Japan America Society of Minnesota as one of the recipients of the Mondale Scholarship. The award is to be used specifically for travel to or within Japan during the student's college term as a way to broaden knowledge of Japan through a combination of study and travel. In a letter to Prof. Jeff Dubois who encouraged him to apply, Christian wrote, "When I get to Japan, I hope to honor your support by working hard and by learning as much as I can about Japan so that I can bring it back to the US!" Christian is a psychology major and Japanese minor. Congratulations, Christian and Jeff!

June 2016
German Alum Named Teacher of the Year

Saint John's University graduate Matt Beck has been named Teacher of the Year by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German.

Beck teaches German at Saint John's Preparatory School (Prep) in Collegeville, MN, and leads Prep's German camp, summer program and German Club. He teaches German 1 through 4, German for international baccalaureate students, and sixth-grade exploratory German. Read more here...

June 2016
Scott Richardson Releases Book

Classics professor, Scott Richardson, has had a new book published on one of his favorite subjects, titled Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles: The Enigma of Francis Crawford. This is the first book-length literary analysis of Scottish novelist Dorothy Dunnett (1923-2001), who developed a strong cult following as she wrote 15 historical novels and 7 contemporary spy novels.  This book is an endeavor to come to grips with the fascinating and problematic hero of Dunnett's first series, the six-volume Lymond Chronicles, and also to help define the nature of the author's game-playing narrative.  Whereas articles and discussions of Dunnett tend to focus on her as a historical novelist, this book takes a broader view and looks at the characters and the narrative strategy in terms of psychology, myth, spy fiction, and games. Kudos, Scott!

May 2016
Chuck Villette Retires

The Department of Languages and Cultures and the French Studies Program bid a fond adieu to Chuck Villette, Assc. Prof. of French, who has retired after teaching since the late 1970s and serving as academic dean and vice president at CSB/SJU. During the May 2016 Faculty Awards Ceremony at CSB, he was honored as professor alumna, with special commendation for his many contributions in academic leadership. Felicitations, Chuck!

May 2016
Robert L. Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award

Congratulations to Scott Richardson, Ph.D., Professor of Classics, for receiving the Robert L. Spaeth Teacher of Distinction Award, presented on May 2. This award is named in honor of Spaeth, who served as dean at SJU for nine years in addition to service as a professor of liberal studies from 1979 until his death in 1994. Each year, Spaeth's commitment to excellent teaching is remembered by honoring an SJU faculty member who brings a special passion and mastery to the classroom and the learning community.

April 2016
Student Recognition

Kaitlin Heidelberger, '17, French, was named top recipient of the Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Gaida Scholarship for French. Recipients are chosen on the basis of scholarship, strength of academic purpose, and financial need
Mary C. Steenberge, '17, French, was recently named recipient of the John E. Robson Scholarship for Students of Public Policy. Eligible applicants must be current CSB sophomores or juniors who have a strong and demonstrated interest in public policy and academic excellence.

Margaret Anderson, '17, French, and Grant Christian, '16, German, were recently inducted into the Theta of Minnesota Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at CSB and SJU. Congratulations, Meg and Grant!

Meg was also a recipient of the Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Gaida Scholarship for CSB French majors.

December 2015
French 311 students attend workshop with actors from "All is Calm."

On the afternoon of Saturday, December 5, thirteen students of French had the opportunity to converse and discuss with four actors from Theater Latte Da, prior to their performance of "All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914", by Peter Rothstein (SJU '88) . The one-hour workshop and Q&A was organized by Deb Lehman, Interim Director of the Fine Arts Series, and Assistant Professor Ana Conboy, in the context of her Fall 2015 FREN311 class, Studies in Language and Culture. Thank you to all who came! For more information about the show, please visit

November 2015
Student Excursion to the MIA/Delacroix Exhibit

Sixteen CSB students and French faculty, Ana Conboy and Maureen McCarter, made a trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art on Saturday, November 5, to tour the exhibition on the works of 19th century French artist, Eugène Delacroix. The trip was sponsored by the Department of Languages and Cultures and arranged by French Cultural Events Assistant, Meg Anderson '16.

Delacroix revolutionized painting by creating images that seethed with movement and eye-grabbing color. He influenced other great artists such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, and even Van Gogh whose works are also featured in the exhibit. This show is unique to the United States and travels only to London's National Gallery after it ends at the MIA on January 10.

Pictured L-R (front): Anna Nordin, My Tran, Laura Precourt, Caroline Desert, unidentified student, Shannon Elstad, Rachel Munter, Kanisha Howard; (back): Rachel Perri, unidentified student, Katelyn Nelson and Ariel Lusty.

October 2015
Third Annual "Stage Fright" Open Mic Night

The third annual "Stage Fright" multi-lingual open mic event was held on the eve of Halloween in the BAC Gorecki Gallery Lounge at CSB. MC for the event, sponsored by the Department of Languages and Cultures, was Prof. Scott Richardson (Classics). Well over 50 students, faculty and community members attended, most of them dressed in costume, and enjoyed treats, music and various forms of poetry, readings and song. Many languages were represented throughout the evening including French, German, Hmong, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and even a popular song translated into American Sign Language.  

The event included a best costume contest. Congratulations to winners: Jordyn Potter as a character from Harry Potter (first prize and a $20 gift card to the CSB/SJU Bookstore), Mary Catherine Steenberge as "Starbucks" (second prize and a $15 gift card to The Local Blend), and Rita Gangl as Rosie the Riveter (third prize and a $10 gift card to Sliced Pizza). Costume judges were Ana Fonseca Conboy (French), Emily Kuffner (Hispanic Studies) and Dean Karen Erickson. Many thanks to everyone who performed and who helped with the event, with special thanks to co-planners, Meg Anderson '16 and Lucy Dornbach '19!

Video performances:

Ana Conboy (French) and Emily Kuffner (Hispanic Studies) (on accordion) perform "Tourdion," a 16th century French song.

Click here to view more photos from the event!

Scott Richardson and Karen Erickson perform

French Cultural Events Assistant,
Meg Anderson, and friend at Stage Fright

October 2015
Languages & Cultures at Homecoming 2015

Sarah Pruett, Languages & Cultures Department chair and ESL director, and Ana Fonseca Conboy both represented the department at this year's Homecoming on Saturday, October 17 on the SJU Tundra. Sarah and Ana spoke with several alumni who were on campus for the game and other Homecoming activities.

September 2015
French faculty attend a conference on all things Quebec

Members of the French Studies Program attended a one-day conference on various topics relating to the Canadian province of Quebec. The conference took place at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN on Saturday, Sept. 26. Topics ranged from film to poetry to comics and Québécois culture from colleagues at Georgetown University, the University of Minnesota, Carleton College, Macalaster College and the University of North Dakota. A Canadian consulate and the Attachée aux affaires publiques et gouvernementales from the Quebec Delegation in Chicago also took part. The seminar concluded with dinner on the terrasse of French Meadow on Grand Avenue. Beaucoup de fun!

Pictured front center: Maureen McCarter (in blue), Ana Conboy, Camilla Krone (far right in peach)

September 2015
We welcome our new Austrian Fulbright

The German Studies Program and faculty welcome new Austrian Fulbright scholar, Christoph Jakits. Christoph is from Vienna where he studied German and English at the University of Vienna. His hobbies include travel, movies, skiing, swimming and music. In addition to helping our German faculty with their classes and our students with their German studies, the Fulbright program allows Christoph to take classes at CSB/SJU during the 2015-2016 academic year. His office is in Quad 257.

Welcome, Chris!

August 2015
Languages & Cultures and French Studies welcome new colleagues

Ana Fonseca Conboy, Assistant Professor of French, received her Ph.D. in French literature and language from Boston College this past spring. Academic interests include 17th-century French literature, Baroque and Classic literature and culture, Hagiographic theater, Metatheater and theater within theater, and language pedagogy and linguistics.

Though born in Iowa, Ana grew up in Portugal and is bilingual and bicultural. In addition to her love of French language, lit and culture, she has a passion for singing early and early modern music. She jogs, practices yoga and meditation and enjoys spending time at the beach, walking and swimming. She also likes to bake and try new recipes, especially those involving citrus fruits, spices or carob. And we hear she does a mean impersonation of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Ana will be teaching FREN 211 and FREN 311 this fall. Her office is at St. Ben's in Richarda Hall. Welcome, Ana!

Jason Kirsch, French adjunct instructor, comes to us from St. John's Prep School where he taught German. He received his B.A. in German and French from Valparaiso University. Jason will be teaching FREN 111 this fall and has his office in Richarda Hall at St. Ben's. (More info to follow.) Welcome, Jason!

June 2015     CSB/SJU's New Archeological Field School

Assistant Professor of Classics, Jason Schlude, is currently directing one of CSB/SJU's newest short-term study abroad programs: an archeological dig in northern Israel.

Pictured above: Jason (in red) with his 2015 student excavating team.

Jason recently sent an update on the new program:

"I write from northern Israel, where the 2015 season of our archaeological field school at Omrit is underway.

First, I would like to let you know that we are having an excellent season this year! We are pursuing a range of important research questions related to the Roman settlement we are excavating, and we have a great team of excavators this year. As for our Bennies and Johnnies on the team, they are doing a FANTASTIC job! And not only are they impressing me, but they also are impressing my co-directors. I can't say enough about the work they are doing and how adept they are at leading and being team players. We cannot do this kind of research without students like this! We are so lucky to work with them!

Secondly, we have a webpage for the CSB/SJU field school at Omrit. The webpage includes information about the project, our CSB/SJU 2015 team, and (MOST IMPORTANTLY) a blog written by our students that details some of their experiences in real-time! The address is:"

We invite you to learn more about Omrit and follow the Bennie-Johnnie Blog as our students make discoveries and help with this important research!

April 2015
Language Scholarship Recipients Announced

The following students were awarded language scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year:

Left to right: Ben Kollaja '16, Otmar Drekonja Scholarship for German Cultural Studies
Margaret Anderson '16, Gaida Family Scholarship for French
Karen Mize '16, Sister Margretta Nathe Scholarship for German 

Congratulations, Meg, Ben and Karen!

For information on our language scholarships, click here.

April 1015
Student Excursion to the Minneapolis Institute of Art's Habsburg Exhibit

Submitted by Lisa Ohm

Elizabeth Shelerud, Charlotte Waterhouse, Sarah Wachter and Beth Richmond

Over sixty students, faculty members and staff from CSB/SJU had the opportunity to see the special exhibit, "Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces form Vienna's Imperial Collections" on April 19th. This spring's Austrian Studies Newsletter described the selection of art treasures from Austria's National Museum of Art History in Vienna "utterly breathtaking."  

One of the students called the 100 objects in the exhibit "exquisite," a word he admittedly seldom uses.

The Habsburgs were great collectors of art and sculptures, especially from parts of France, Spain and the Netherlands, which were at one time provinces in the extensive Habsburg Empire, which lasted for 600 years. Chronologically arranged, the exhibit gives visitors a sense of the Habsburg Empire from the Middle Ages to its end in 1918. Among the treasures are Greek and Roman antiquities, paintings, decorative pieces, court costumes, armor, and horse-drawn carriages and sleds.

Students from Sarah Bavelli's Art History course; students from the 2014 and 2015 Austria Study Abroad Groups and their directors, Lisa Ohm and Jim Read and Director of the Center for Global Education, Joe Rogers; students from German courses; and students seeking a worthwhile learning experience filled the buses. MIA encourages student groups with free entry and free guides. Participants exchanged views on the exhibit at the nearby Black Forest Inn over a buffet lunch of Wurst, Sauerkraut, Kartoffelsalad, Maultasche, and "Sachertorte" for dessert. Transportation and lunch were supported by the Art Department and the Office of Education Abroad.

L-R: Jack Paal, Will Ornburg, Tori Kubinski, Jon Vogel, Andrew Sweere

Sarah Bavelli's art students at the Black Forest Inn.

Photos by Julia Eckart '17.

New publication by Wendy Sterba

Congratulations to Wendy Sterba, Professor of German Studies, on the publication of her new book, Reel Photos: Balancing Art and Truth in Contemporary Film, by Rowman and Littlefield. "In her book, Sterba provides an innovative approach to cinema studies by examining the function of the photograph in movies rather than the role of film photography as art."

Her book is now available in the SJU Bookstore.

SJU alum publishes short stories influenced by his experiences at CSB/SJU

Dana R. Hicks (History '14) has recently published a collection of short stories under the pen name, D.R.L. Hicks. His eBook is titled, Lost Upon the Isle of Serenity: A Collection of Adventures. According to Dana, his stories "are the product of the wonderful undergraduate academic environment" at CSB/SJU. His collection is available for iBooks, Google Play, Nook, and Kindle. The ISBN is 9781634617321. 

Dana participated in the 2012 study abroad program in Austria and also learned German at CSB/SJU. He is currently enrolled in a Master's Degree program in history at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. He hopes to continue writing fiction as well as publishing academic works in his chosen field of history. He's off to a good start, and we wish him the best of luck!

"Ted Cruz, Cicero, and the classics"

After their McCarthy Center presentation on Dec. 5, Assistant professor of Classics, Jason Schlude, and three of his students, Sarah Evans, Hunter Huntoon and Michael Macken, have had an opinion piece published in the Dec. 9 edition of the Star Tribune. The piece can be read at this link.

Ned Dubin, Professor Emeritus of French, receives literary award

The Modern Language Association of America has announced that it will award its tenth Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for an Outstanding Translation of a Literary Work to Nathaniel E. Dubin, translator of The Fabliaux, published by Liveright.

Congratulations to German major and SJU alum, Austin Eighan '14

Austin Eighan '14 has been selected to receive a scholarship from the German Federal Parliament to participate in their five-month long International Parliament Scholarship (IPS) starting in March 2015. The participants selected from around the world gather to pursue their political, historical, economic, social and cultural research alongside practical work with members of the German government and attend lectures at Berlin universities. The IPS will give Austin an opportunity to further pursue the research he began for his Honors thesis on the success of middle-size corporations in Germany and supportive policies of the German government as well as social attitudes. Over 100 young students from around the world are chosen for this special program, founded in 1986.

Congratulations to Dr. Margaret Cook, Professor Emerita of Classics

After 25 years of teaching Latin, Greek and history at CSB/SJU, Dr. Margaret Cook retired at the end of the 2014 spring semester. Margaret was honored at a party in the Founder's Room at SJU on May 8.

Congratulations and happy gardening to Margaret!

Margaret's Greek and Latin Students

Photos by Julia Eckhart '17

Japanese National Honor Society Inductees

Congratulations to Alexander Baxa '14 and Samantha Muldoon '14, who were recently inducted into the Japanese National Honor Society, College Chapter. The JNHS-CC) recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement and excellence in the study of the Japanese language. Alex and Sam are students of Ms. Masami Limpert's JAPN 312 class.

Samantha Muldoon '14

Alexander Baxa '14

Photos by Julia Eckhart '17

Congratulations to the following language scholarship recipients for 2014-2015:

Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Gaida
Scholarship for French
for CSB French majors

S. Margretta Nathe
Scholarship for German
for CSB German majors

Samantha Cox '15

Karen Mize '16

Photo by Julia Eckhart '17

Otmar Drekonja Scholarship for German Studies
for CSB/SJU German majors

Grant Christian '15

Melania Meyer '15

Photos by Julia Eckhart '17

Steve Pignato '15

Scholarship opportunities are available for CSB/SJU students in Chinese, French, and German. Read more...

German minor composes score for campus theater production

CSB German minor, Rachel Boerner '15, has composed original underscoring music for the Theater Department's upcoming production of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

Writes Adam Houghton, associate professor of Theater, "Her music is beautiful and emotionally moving as it supports the story we tell." The play performs April 3-5 and April 10-12 at 7:30 pm and April 6 at 2 pm in the BAC Gorecki Theater.

Rachel will be participating in the Salzburg study abroad program next fall, directed by Dr. Lisa Ohm, professor of German.

Fulbright TA teaches local elementary school students about Austria

Martin Spendlhofer, Fulbright TA for German Studies at CSB/SJU, paid a visit to the Albany Elementary School on February 6, 2014. Dressed in authentic Lederhosen, Martin introduced students to his home country of Austria. Students also learned a bit of the German language and participated in a traditional Austrian dance.

To learn more about Martin's experiences at CSB/SJU and his travels around the U.S., read his post at the German Studies News blog.

Thursday Forum Presentation by Anna Lisa Ohm and Austin Eighan

Professor Anna Lisa Ohm and German major, Austin Eighan, '15, delivered a presentation on current issues in Germany on January 30 in the upper level of Gorecki at CSB. The title of the talk was "Update on Germany: Shifting Priorities and Overcoming Crises" and was presented as part of the Spring Thursday Forum 2014 series. The abstract of their presentation follows:

With globalization, the traditional postwar Atlantic Alliance between the U.S. and Germany is crumbling, the Holocaust narrative, which dominated the public discourse in the postwar period, is being disrupted by a greater willingness on the part of Germans to speak openly about their own victimization in the Third Reich, and, although the West made huge investments in the former East Germany since unification in 1989, Germany remains Europe's most economically powerful and relatively most politically stable nation. Germany's place is demonstrated in part by the re-election of Angela Merkel's party in September 2013 and her third term as chancellor. Despite the somewhat shaken Euro, the European Union continues to expand, fueled in part by Germany's strong leadership role.

Ohm was one of a group of fourteen U.S. university German professors who were guests in July of the education and culture section of the German Foreign Office. Senior Austin Eighan, German and Political Science major, spent last year at the University of Munich and is writing his thesis on the cultural-historical context of Germany's social economy and its ability to overcome crises.

Stage Fright - Multi-lingual Halloween Open Mic Event
October 31, 2013

About 50 CSB/SJU students attended or participated in a fun, multi-lingual open-mic event at CSB on the night of Halloween. Any piece (song, reading or poem) performed in any language was welcomed. Refreshments and costume judging topped off the evening. 

To see more photos, click on this link.