N.J.-- Like a proud papa, MCCC Professor Stephen Richman oversaw
the proceedings as 19 high-achieving students were inducted into
Alpha Mu Gamma, the national collegiate foreign language honor society,
in a special ceremony on April 30. This marks the largest group
ever for Mercer's Kappa Iota Chapter, which celebrates its 26th
anniversary this year. Professor Richman is the group's advisor.
As part of the ceremony for family and friends, a diverse group
of students delivered short speeches in the languages they are studying
at Mercer. In addition to speeches in Spanish, French, Italian,
German, Arabic, and Latin, the presentation in American Sign Language
(ASL) by student Sara Ziegelbaum marked a first. (ASL has recently
been designated as a foreign language by the state of New Jersey.)
Mercer also offers courses in Chinese, Hungarian, Japanese and Polish.
included Nancy Baskin, Brendan Belluscio, Michele Bouchard, Antonia
Brooks, Kurt Daley, Alessandra Destasio, Stephanie Flim, Lindsay
Floyd, Kar Mun Fung, Evelyn Grossman, Christina Heath, Brooke Kohlhofer,
Elizabeth Reimer, Kiley Remer, Adrienne Sherwin, Kelly Smith, Sidra
Umar and Karl Wheeler. Requirements for induction into Alpha Mu
Gamma include a grade of at least an "A-" in any two courses
of the same language and an overall GPA of at least a 3.2.
Chapter President David Hoyt encouraged students to never give up
their study of languages, noting the increasing importance of communicating
in a foreign language in today's world. "In cultures outside
our own, people often speak two or three languages," he said.
"There will be rewards for those who understand world languages."
added that the study of language is a high priority at Mercer. "Eleven
languages are taught here. I believe that it the most of any community
college in the state," Richman said. The newest language courses
to be added are Arabic, Chinese and Japanese. Spanish continues
to be the most popular, followed by French, Italian and German.
At the conclusion
of the program, students were asked to add their signatures to the
hundreds of names in MCCC's official Kappa Iota Chapter book, which
includes every inductee since the chapter was established. "It's
our 'Language Hall of Fame,'" Richman said.