“I could be a translator, work with immigrants in the U.S., or work for a study abroad program,” said Gretchen Livingston, a sophomore at Anderson University majoring in Spanish, French, and international education. Her passion for foreign language and culture places her in the company of some of AU’s most gifted foreign language students.
Alpha Mu Gamma is a national collegiate foreign language honor society that recognizes students for outstanding achievement in foreign language studies. “It allows the students who love foreign cultures and languages, and excel at them, to get together and do things with others and for others,” said Professor of French Sally Shulmistras.
[Photo: Sophomores (left to right) Kaitlin Gunnoe, Libby Lalande, and Gretchen Livingston hold their certificates of initiation while at the new inductee ceremony for Alpha Mu Gamma. Credit: Amanda Martin]
Shulmistras has served as advisor of AU's Alpha Mu Gamma chapter since its introduction on campus in 1978. She has also served as the national organization’s president and vice president and is currently chair of the scholarship committee. Her passion stemmed from being a member of the society while she was a student at California Lutheran University.
Among the 16 current members of the AU chapter are the four most recent inductees: Kaitlin Gunnoe, Gretchen Livingston, Elizabeth Lalande, and Ashley Ledford. The sophomores were honored recently for their outstanding achievements in Spanish.
Although Spanish is the most prominent foreign language among AU chapter members, the university also offers French, German, Hebrew, and Greek.
Students who major in a foreign language are required to study abroad at some point during their time at AU. Gunnoe, a double major in Spanish and criminal justice, has her heart set on Madrid, while setting her sights on a career in law.
“I hope to apply to Harvard Law School and become a prosecuting attorney in New York,” said Gunnoe. She feels that having an honor society like Alpha Mu Gamma on her application will help tremendously.
[Photo: Senior Rachel Beebe reads the welcome and pledge to new inductee Libby Lalande. Credit: Amanda Martin.]
Livingston hopes being a part of Alpha Mu Gamma will serve as a stepping stone for her future. “I’ll have the blessing of getting to know even more people and cultures,” she said, “which is truly my passion.”
Alpha Mu Gamma not only helps students like Livingston and Gunnoe accomplish their goals, it also brings the opportunity of scholarships. There are three national $1,000 scholarships for the study of any language and one $400 scholarship for any student studying Spanish.
— Aimee Munn is a junior from Indianapolis, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in political science and history. Munn is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.