Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures Hosts Annual Award Ceremony

The Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures (LiLaC) hosted its annual awards ceremony on April 28 to honor its students for their outstanding work during the 2022-2023 academic year.

In her opening remarks, Yen-Hwei Lin, Chair of the LiLaC Department, stated that this event is always a precious and happy moment where the department can celebrate the students’ hard work and their “can-do Spartan attitude.”

Cara Cilano, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, addresses the crowd at the annual LiLaC Awards Ceremony.

The following is the list of students who received 2023 awards during the event and who agreed to be part of this story:

Teaching Assistant Awards

LiLaC recognizes the impact that Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) have on undergraduate education. Each year, the department asks for nominations for outstanding TAs, who are graduate students and TAs in the department and have taught for at least one year in the department. Each year, one M.A. student and one Ph.D. student are selected for this award.

  • Outstanding TA Award (Ph.D.) – Robert A. Randez, Ph.D. in Second Language Studies student and TA for the TESOL minor
  • Outstanding TA Award (M.A.) – Anthony Lizan, M.A. in TESOL student and TA for the English Language Center

Outstanding Graduating Senior Awards

Each of the department’s major and minor programs honored an outstanding graduating senior. This year’s outstanding graduating senior awards went to:

  • Arabic – Kate Wills, Arabic, Economics, and International Relations triple major
  • Chinese – Lucas Pitser, Chinese and Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy double major
  • German – Mitchell Ernst, German and Secondary Education double major, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) minor
  • Indian and South Asian Studies – Tasfia Ahmed, Comparative Cultures and Politics major, Indian and South Asian Studies minor
  • Japanese – Logan Bry, Japanese and Professional & Public Writing double major
  • Korean – Trinh Nguyen, Supply Chain Management major, Korean minor
  • Linguistics – Cherilyn Wang, Linguistics major, Cognitive Science and Graphic Design minor
  • Russian – Maya Miller, Russian and Arts & Humanities double major
  • TESOL – Logan Bry, Japanese and Professional & Public Writing double major

Susan M. Gass Scholarship

The Susan M. Gass Scholarship is presented in honor of Dr. Susan Gass who founded the Second Language Studies Program at Michigan State University in 2005. This award recognizes students who have done exemplary work in Second Language Studies teaching, research, or service.

  • Teaching: Robert A. Randez, Ph.D. in Second Language Studies student
  • Research: Ayşen Tuzcu, Ph.D. in Second Language Studies student
  • Service: Carlo Cinaglia, Ph.D. in the Second Language Studies student

Max Kade Scholarship

The Max Kade Foundation aims to promote Germanic studies and transatlantic exchange by supporting existing German studies programs in the United States.

  • Westin Harris, freshman International Relations and German double major
  • Paige Lawson, junior International Relations and History double major, German minor
  • Henry O’Connell, junior Finance major, German minor
  • Anna Rehm, senior International Relations, Arabic, and German triple major, European Studies minor
  • Veronica Van Rossen, sophomore Psychology major, German minor

Max Kade Fellowship

Three people stand and smile in front of a welcome sign.
Recipients of the Max Kade Fellowship: Jiangchao Wei (left) and Temilade Adigoke (right).

The Max Kade Fellowship is given to graduate students who work with faculty mentors in upper-level German courses or related courses outside the department to gain hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of a wider range of teaching and pedagogies.

  • Temilade Adigoke, M.A. in German Studies student 
  • Jiangchao Wei, Ph.D. in German Studies student

Baden-Württemberg Scholarship

Two people shake hands.
Associate Professor Liz Mittmen (right) presents Connor Loszewski (left) with the Baden-Württemberg Scholarship.

The State of Baden-Württemberg gives one stipend annually to an MSU student participating in the Academic Year in Freiburg program. The scholarship covers a monthly stipend for the duration of the program.

  • Conner Loszewski, sophomore Mathematics and German double major

George F. Peters Scholarship

This scholarship supports MSU students studying abroad on the Academic Year in Freiburg Program in Freiburg, Germany, and is named in honor of the late George F. Peters who was a German professor at MSU and served as Chair of the Department of Linguistics and Languages and the Department of Theatre. He was passionately devoted to the study of German language and literature, to the students of MSU, and particularly to study abroad. 

  • Olivia Antal, senior International Relations and German double major
  • Michael Kappe, senior German major

Mayen Endowed Scholarship

Two students received their award at the LiLaC Award show.
Associate Professor Liz Mittmen (right) presents Anna Rehm (left) and Westin Harris (center) with the Mayen Endowed Scholarship.

This scholarship supports MSU students who study on the German Language and Culture in Mayen program, which provides Michigan State University students with an opportunity to improve their knowledge of the German language and to familiarize themselves with the German culture by living with German families.

  • Westin Harris, International Relations and German double major
  • Anna Rehm, senior Arabic and German Studies double major, European Studies minor

H. Craig Melchert Endowed Scholarship for German and Linguistics

This scholarship recognizes academic excellence among students with a primary or additional major in German. The scholarship is part of a larger fund supporting students in both German and Linguistics within LiLaC, which was established by Dr. Craig Melchert, an MSU alumnus (B.A. in German, 1967) who later pursued a distinguished career in linguistics (U of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and UCLA). 

  • Tushya Mehta, senior Biology, German, and Neuroscience triple major

Endo Hudson Japanese Studies Scholarship:

Since 2020, this scholarship has been awarded annually to outstanding students majoring or minoring in Japanese Studies. The scholarship was made possible by a generous donation from Professor Emerita Mutsuko Hudson, founder of MSU’s Japanese Studies Program, upon her retirement in 2019.

  • Hana Nguyễn, junior Animal Science major, Japanese minor

Delta Phi Alpha German Honors Society Induction:

  • Mitchell Ernst, senior German and Secondary Education major, TESOL minor
  • Veronica Van Rossen, sophomore Psychology major, German minor
Two students smile after receiving their award.
Assistant Professor Johanna Schuster-Craig (center) inducts Mitchell Ernst (left) and Veronica Van Rossen (right) into the Delta Phi Alpha German Honors Society.

Japanese National Honors Society Induction:

  • Logan Bry, senior Japanese and Professional & Public Writing double major, TESOL minor
  • John Skendzel, senior Japanese major
  • Wenzhe Wang, senior Finance and Japanese double major
Two students smile with a University Professor after receiving their award.
Assistant Professor Masumi Hamada (right) inducts John Skendzel (left) and Logan Bry (right) into the Japanese National Honors Society.

Dobro Slovo Russian Honors Society Induction:

  • James Spaulding, senior Russian major

Awards also were presented for the Thomas W. and Sarah L. Junetune Endowed Scholarship and Patricia and Don Paulsell Scholarship, however, the recipients of these scholarships asked not to be included in this story.

Thomas W. and Sarah L. Juntune Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship is to support students who are studying abroad in Freiburg, Germany. The scholarship was initiated by German Professor Emeritus Thomas W. Junetune and is awarded annually to one student.

Patricia and Don Paulsell Scholarship

This scholarship supports a student with a major or minor in German alongside a concentration in any environmental field, including environmental engineering, environmental biology, environmental economics, and environmental law. The scholarship was created by German Professor Emerita Patricia Paulsell and is intended to support a student who is eligible for federal need-based programs.

Following the ceremony, faculty, staff, students, and guests celebrated in the Atrium of Wells Hall with a reception. 

The Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures congratulates all its 2023 awardees and graduates.