Dr. Colleen Ebacher, Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, was awarded the Maryland-DC Campus Compact’s Alan G. Penczek Service- Learning Faculty Award. The award honors a faculty member for excellence in the integration of service-learning into the curriculum and impact to students and community.
Dr. Ebacher has been engaged in issues of service-learning since 2003, when she worked with faculty campus-wide to delineate guidelines for service-learning. She has worked with faculty, staff, and students to promote service learning courses through the Towson University Service Learning Faculty Fellows Program and the Faculty Fellows Showcase. She designed and teaches two service-learning courses – “Spanish Translation” and “Advanced Spanish Conversation”. Students in these courses have provided more than 2500 hours of interpretation and translation to various stakeholders in the community including Casa de Maryland, the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office, the People’s Community Health Center and their written translations are widely circulated by community partners. The experience of “Spanish Translation” is presented in a special issue on service-learning and Spanish in Hispania “Taking Spanish into the Community” (2013). Ebacher’s current work focuses on creating a service-learning course in Mexico through which Mexican university students will participate in mentorship of transnational school age children.
Our vision is to promote multicultural and international education and provide opportunities to develop a command of foreign languages. Students are encouraged to relate to people of different cultures and to communicate successfully in a variety of contexts through a curriculum based on nationally recognized pedagogy and established requirements.
The Department of
Foreign Languages supports the liberal arts and science mission of the
university by its emphasis on the intellectual enrichment of individuals
through the study of languages, literatures, and cultures, while
addressing the practical goal of providing a broad constituency with
the linguistic and cultural knowledge necessary for
responsible citizenship in an era characterized by rapid new
developments in global communication.
The curriculum prepares
students for language acquisition and written and oral proficiency for a
variety of purposes; from career-related language and cultural skills to
the preparation for teaching or graduate study to personal cultural and
linguistic enrichment. Through the rigorous curriculum offerings of
major and minor program in different languages, the department strives
to enable students to relate to people of different cultures and to
communicate successfully in a variety of contexts.
The curriculum offers
in-person learning, web-enhanced courses and experiential learning
through study abroad immersion, practicum, internships, and independent
study opportunities. The variety of teaching modalities,
moreover, emphasize the importance of service learning and civic
engagement in the development of leadership skills including critical
analysis, problems solving, teamwork, effective oral and written
communications necessary in the 21st century workplace.
The department faculty
are scholars committed to excellence in teaching , to maintaining,
advancing and disseminating knowledge of languages, cultures
and literatures in their subject matter, and to maintaining and
advancing their own pedagogical and technical skills as teachers in
a foreign language.