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Monday, August 29, 2016

Farewell and Congratulations to Kate Clements

After six years at the Language Center, Kate Clements is leaving her position as the Language Exchange and Learning Spaces Specialist to accept a position as a full-time Teaching Specialist in the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP). Under her leadership, the TandemPlus program and Multimedia Lab have experienced steady growth, both in terms of the number of students served and the centrality of the program to language education.

Here are some of the highlights from Kate’s tenure at the Language Center:
  • TandemPlus was transformed from a stand-alone departmental program to an official student group. 
  • The number of students participating in TandemPlus grew from 384 in Fall 2010 to 700 students in Fall 2011 and reached more than 1,000 students each Fall from 2014 on. 
  • The diversity of languages represented in TandemPlus has expanded to include learners and native speakers of more than 20 languages each semester.
  • The Language Center has new class partnerships with universities in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Venezuela, and Mexico. 
  • The Multimedia Lab was completely redesigned to provide a more open and collaborative environment.

Kate will always remember her work at the Language Center, which includes: one mostly-complete software design, six TandemPlus assistants, dozens of events involving pizza, thousands of student conversation pairings, and about a bazillion sent emails reiterating that TandemPlus is not a dating service. Her last day at the Language Center will be September 2, 2016. This is “hasta luego” instead of “adiĆ³s,” as she hopes to stay in touch with her colleagues in Jones, Nicholson, and Folwell.

Kate leaves us by sharing her four tips for success:
  • Work, but not too hard.
  • Always try to have a sense of humor about what you do.
  • Never give away all of your secrets.
For Fall semester, TandemPlus duties will be expertly handled by Beth Kautz, current TandemPlus Assistant Sanaz Jabbari, and Jonathan Prestrud, who will also supervise the Multimedia Lab.

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