We are looking for Foreign Language Alumni to tell us their story of life in the world of languages after SIUE. Tell us about your travels, your interviews, your views on the future of language; whatever is on your mind. These narratives will be used to help current and future students have a better understanding of foreign languages in today's market.
Email us your name, year graduated from SIUE, and the languages you speak. Be sure to give us a story (or stories) that you feel would help the students at SIUE better understand the need for a degree in a second (or third!) language. Or just tell us what you are up to.
Dr. Tom Lavallee
Chair, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
I graduated from SIU-E in 1974, major in Spanish, minor in Italian - I was enrolled in the Dean's College Scholar Program which I loved!!!!! - and the education that I received at SIU-E motivated me to pursue my M.A. in Spanish Linguistics at SIU-C (1976) and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at Saint Louis University (1988). I then taught at MacMurray College (Jacksonville, IL) where I was also the Department Chair from 1991-2011. Currently I am teaching at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, IL. Along the way, I received an NEH award for the study of identity in Latin American culture, I edited the Journal of Cultural Diversity, I chaired the Central Illinois Foreign Languages and International Studies Consortium, and won a number of teaching awards.
And all of this I attribute to the 4 years I spent at SIU-E which was an absolutely wonderful and inspiring experience. I wanted to mention the faculty that inspired me to study language and literature: Betty Osiek, Helen Dille Goode, Dan Romani, Claude Francis, Gertrude Marti, Paul Guenther, Alfred Pellegrino, and Rino Cassanelli. They were wonderful, inspiring teachers and I am forever indebted to them.