BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The prestigious IU Summer Language Workshop in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University has named an experienced leader in language education as its new director. Kathleen Evans joins the School of Global and International Studies from Arizona State University.
Evans served as director of the Critical Languages Institute in the Melikian Center at Arizona State University since 2009, previously serving as research administrator for the center. Before joining Arizona State, Evans worked at the Middlebury College Russian School, a summer language program, and was assistant director for the Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics at Ohio University.
"I've been privileged to be able to work in that world, the world of intensive, career-oriented language and area training, for 20 years," Evans said. "The students who engage in that kind of program are among the brightest, most motivated, most dynamic that you will find anywhere. Being able to help offer the unique resources available at IU and SGIS to students of that caliber is a tremendously exciting prospect."
"We are delighted that Dr. Evans will serve as the director of the Summer Language Workshop -- one of the jewels of SGIS and our university," said Lee Feinstein, dean of the IU School of Global and International Studies. "Kathleen is a national leader in language education who can build on and project forward the great tradition of language education at IU."
The SGIS Summer Language Workshop is one of the nation's oldest and largest summer language programs. It started in 1950 as a response to the growing need for intensive training in Russian language during the Cold War, later expanding to other less commonly taught foreign languages. The sessions focus on culture as well as language, such as this summer's session on how Russia presents itself to the world and a discussion of helping development projects in Haiti as part of Haitian Creole study. Workshop offerings vary each summer; since its founding, it has taught 38 languages, including diverse offerings such as Chechen, Tatar, Tajik, Yiddish and Slovene.
Professionally proficient in Russian and German, Evans also has what she calls "a linguist's knowledge" of Finnish, Indonesian, Uzbek, Tajik and Spanish. She spent seven years living and working abroad in Germany and Russia before returning to the U.S. and beginning to work in summer language training.
Evans has managed summer language institutes and study abroad programs operating domestically and overseas. At IU, Evans hopes to expand accessibility to the workshop for students in Indiana and beyond, and increase the national and international standing of the workshop.
"The Summer Language Workshop is already doing things that other summer programs can only dream about," Evans said. "But with the resources and spirit of collaboration afforded by SGIS, I have no doubt that IU will retain and expand its role as the 'gold standard' for summer language training."