A Note From the Chair

CATEGORIES: September 2015

Dear WLC students, alumni, and friends:

Greetings from Iowa State!  The quiet summer has come to an end and Iowa State welcomes the largest student population ever.  With an expected enrollment of over 35,000 students, we are thrilled to see so many have chosen ISU!  We are also happy to welcome these eager scholars into our classes.

In addition to the new challenges presented by so many new students, I am pleased to inform you of two very important recent developments.  First, the Department of World Languages and Cultures is now the administrative home to the U.S. Latino/a Studies Program, joining other Cross-Disciplinary Studies Programs such as Classical Studies and International Studies which are also housed in WLC.  U.S. Latino/a Studies is devoted to the study of groups of people living in the United States who trace their ancestry to the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, and who comprise the largest and fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. The U.S. Latino/a Studies program has a minor which draws on coursework in psychology, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, religion, philosophy, history, language studies, and other fields.  The Department is very pleased to count the program among its offerings.

Next, I am happy to announce that WLC and the Department of Anthropology have unanimously agreed to begin discussions to merge into a single department which will retain the name World Languages and Cultures.  As you may know, Anthropology centers on what it means to be human through the study of culture and society, the biology and evolution of humans and other primates, and through the study of human communities and material culture. Anthropology students acquire an anthropological perspective on global issues through contemporary and historical studies of civilizations, and they develop an appreciation of the value of cultural difference at the local, national and global levels.  To learn more, visit: www.anthro.iastate.edu

For the 2015-2016 Academic Year, the two faculties will be in discussions on how best to leverage the strengths of both departments.  To that end, the new department will take advantage of existing synergies between the units’ undergraduate degree programs, and develop new collaborations and opportunities in teaching, research, and service. Since both departments already have a great deal in common, we believe the merger will make for a stronger, more effective, department that centers on providing quality undergraduate and graduate instruction while fostering a collaborative environment for innovative research.

If all goes according to plan, the merger will be approved during the year, with an official start date of July 1, 2016. Here are a few shots from what we hope is the first of many departmental picnics.

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These are exciting times for WLC, and we hope you will share in them:  if you are visiting ISU, please stop by and see us!  Or, send us a note to let us know what you are doing. We always love hearing from supporters and former students. If you would like to support worthwhile such as those I have mentioned here or student scholarships, please consider a gift in support of WLC.