A&S World Languages Day Hosts 250 High School Language Students

By Gail Hairston

World Languages Day and more than 250 Kentucky high school students return to the University of Kentucky campus Nov. 1.

Two UK College of Arts and Sciences departments, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the Department of Hispanic Studies, have planned a full day for the young students.

The students, who are studying either Spanish, French, German, Latin, Chinese, Russian or Japanese, will attend two classes in the morning and then have a question and answer session with current UK students and alumni regarding careers and opportunities in language and cultural study.

World Languages Day will continue with Assistant Professor Molly Blasing, who will discuss the college’s Keys to the Commonwealth series titled “Russia 20/20: 20 Russians Who Will Change the World.”

The high school students’ day will end with an alumni-student panel, featuring three alumni and three current students. The current students participating in World Langauges Day will be:

  • Gloria Griffin, University Scholars student in French; 
  • Dray Adkins, Hebrew student who spent the summer in Israel doing archeology; and
  • Nadia Almasalkhi, an MCL major in Arabic and French who has been working with Kentucky Refugee Ministries as a casework and legal intern using her language skills.

The alumni include:

  • Ben McMaine (UK BA - Spanish '98, MA - teaching world languages '12) is the Spanish immersion facilitator at Bryan Station Middle School in Lexington, Kentucky. He has lived and taught in Ecuador, Argentina and China, as well. His language interests include Spanish, American Sign Language, French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. He is an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Certified OPI tester and was 2016-2017 National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL) Kentucky Teacher of the Year.
  • Renée Saunier Brewer (UK BS - agricultural economics and French '03) has worked extensively in Kentucky wine industry marketing research for several years. She participated in three study abroad programs in France while at UK. After graduating, Brewer worked briefly at Kentucky winery Equus Run Vineyards before moving to Paris to begin an intensive master’s course in international wine marketing and management. Through this program, Brewer traveled to the world’s leading and emerging wine markets to study their industry structure.
  • Natalie Burikhanov (UK BA - international studies, minor in Arabic and Islamic studies '13, UK Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce MA '15) is the grant administrator for the federal Victims of Crime Act in Kentucky and director of the Kentucky Victim Assistance Academy. She provides training and technical assistance, monitors for programmatic success and ensures compliance with federal regulations for 47 direct service programs for victims of crime in Kentucky, and she assists over 100 victim service programs with outreach to unserved and underserved populations.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue


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