Two Foreign Language, One English Professor Honored at Convocation
January 28, 2013 – Professors Jennifer Fink, Sylvia Onder and Veronica Salles-Reese were recognized for their academic contributions during Georgetown College’s Spring Faculty Convocation this year.
College Dean Chester Gillis presented the awards during this year’s convocation on Jan. 22.
Fink, an associate professor of English, joined the university in 2004. Her research interests include post-colonial theory, postmodern textuality, creative writing and performance studies.
The chair of the English department, Kathryn Temple, commended Fink at the event for her ability to design engaging and demanding coursework.
“Jennifer Fink has helped transform the English department’s creative writing offerings,” Temple said. “As a writer of experimental fiction, committed to social action, she displays fierce energy, great intelligence and truly admirable range.”
Sylvia Onder, a visiting assistant professor in the Arabic and Islamic Studies department, has taught “Turkish Language and Culture” since 1998, when she created the first intensive beginning Turkish class at Georgetown.
Her research is primarily ethnographic, including political cartoons, popular music videos and political and artistic expressions of Turkish youth groups in Turkey and Germany.
“Professor Onder is the epitome of a committed, passionate educator, working across a range of fields and disciplines and regularly teaching Georgetown students from the College, SFS [the School of Foreign Service] and the School of Nursing and Health Studies,” says department chair Elliott Colla.
Onder served for several years as co-director for the Turkish version of the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Program, which brings students from the United States to study Turkish during the summer through the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.
“She is an inspiring and generous colleague with broad interests, a teacher who knows how to connect students with knowledge and learning,” says Colla, “and a researcher who insists on forging intellectual connections between people and projects from all over the university.”
Latin American Lit
Veronica Salles-Reese, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, is an expert in Latin American literature. Her research interests, which span literature, history, philosophy, theology, and paleontology, include colonial Latin America, daily life in colonial Peru, the Andean region in South America and cultural hybridization.
“Passion, high intellectual standards, generosity of time and spirit and unshakable dedication are the qualities that best define professor Veronica Salles-Reese,” says Gwen Kirkpatrick, professor and chair of the department.
Salles-Reese serves as director of both the Latin American Studies Certificate and the annual Georgetown study-abroad summer program to Quito, Ecuador.
She also spearheads the Georgetown Community Andean Education and Leadership Project, which makes it financially possible for students from distressed communities in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador to receive education either at local universities or at community colleges in the United States.
“In over 20 years at Georgetown,” Kirkpatrick says, “she has approached every aspect of the educational process with unflagging energy and creativity.”