September 14, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Message from the Chair | Leadership and Faculty Transitions

David Bell, portrait

Dr. David Bell

By David Bell
Associate Professor & Chair of Linguistics

I hope this finds you well! I became chair of the Ohio University Department of Linguistics on Aug. 16, when Chris Thompson completed his ninth year as chair. On behalf of the entire department, I want to thank Chris for his inspiring leadership and dedicated service for the department.

Chris will be spending the fall semester as a visiting professor at Chubu University, Japan.

Dr. Richard McGinn, portrait

Dr. Richard “Dick” McGinn

In March came the sad news that Dick McGinn had passed away. Dick was at OHIO University from 1977 to 2012. He was a renowned scholar of the little-known Austronesian language Rejang of southwest Sumatra. He spent many years doing fieldwork in Indonesia, studying the historical development of Rejang and preserving the literature of Rejang in written form. For those of you who remember Dr. McGinn, you will know that he had an irrepressible sense of humor. You may not know that Dick was an avid fisherman, a committed social activist in his retirement years, and a talented home brewer of beer. To celebrate Dick’s life, the Devil’s Kettle brewery named a beer after him. If you are in Athens, go to the Devil’s Kettle and ask for a “McGinn” and raise a glass to our beloved professor and former chair.

Dr. Romy Ghanem and Sinae Lee, portraits

From left, Dr. Romy Ghanem and Sinae Lee

At the end of the spring semester, our two Visiting Professors found tenure track positions elsewhere. Dr. Sinae Lee accepted a position at Texas A&M at Corpus Christi and Dr. Romy Ghanem is joining the Linguistics Department at the University of Memphis. They gave so much to OHIO’s Linguistics Department during their time with us and we wish them the very best in their future endeavors.

This semester, we are very excited to welcome our two new visiting professors. Dr. Soomin Jwa has a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona. Dr. Christine Cho has a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Oxford. We are confident that students and faculty alike will appreciate what they bring to the department.

It was a very active Spring 2018 in Gordy Hall. Here are a few highlights:

  • The department hosted several colloquium speakers, including in February the dynamic Marleen Haboud of PUCE (Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador), who talked passionately about her work in the revitalization of indigenous languages in Ecuador.
  • In April, the department also hosted the annual CALL conference with keynote speaker Sébastien Dubreil, Teaching Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Second Language Acquisition and Technology-Enhanced Learning from Carnegie Mellon University.
  • We continue to post updates on departmental news and events on Facebook. Be sure to follow our page!

I wish you all the very best for the Fall. And we hope to see some of you at the College of Arts & Sciences tent during the Oct. 20 Homecoming celebration.

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