Middlebury

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Confounding Expectations

Surrounded by language students hearing English for the first time in weeks, five accomplished alumni explained how Middlebury fit into their life trajectories. In the process, they unraveled the many benefits of studying another language, both personal and professional, obvious and subtle. They advised listeners to use their education to become not simply foreign language speakers, but cross-cultural communicators.

Christa Case Bryant, who studied at the School of Hebrew this summer, might have been summarizing the theme of this year's panel when she pointed out, “Communication is so much more than grammar and words.” Indeed, impressive as it is to report the news in Arabic or conclude a business deal in Italian, the mastery of a foreign language equips each student with even more valuable hidden resources: insight, persistence, and adaptability.

Members of the Alumni Panel (left to right): Juan Carlos Morales, director of Curriculum and Content, World Languages and Cultures at the College Board; Charlotte Tate, associate director, Rohatyn Center for International Affairs; Stephen Martus, managing director, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities; Leah Kathleen Anderson, executive coordinator, Epic; Christa Case Bryant, Jerusalem bureau chief,Christian Science Monitor; and Michael Geisler, vice president for Language Schools.


Please click on the names below to read remarks and bios of our panel members.

July 27, 2012

Charlotte Tate is associate director of the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs at Middlebury and an attendee of the German School in 1980. She says, "My Language School experience has remained instrumental in shaping my professional and personal life."

July 27, 2012

Managing director and head of the Derivative Solutions Group at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, Martus explained how language education "makes the world a more fascinating place. It also gives us the skills to do our jobs better.” Martus is a Middlebury College alumnus who attended the Italian School in 1985.

July 27, 2012

Middlebury alumna and current executive coordinator at the software company Epic, Anderson says that by studying a language, you gain “confidence in communication, attention to detail, the ability to manage a project."

July 27, 2012

Journalist for the Christian Science Monitor, Case Bryant recommends, "Find where the world’s greatest need intersects with your greatest talent.” She studied at the School of Hebrew as a Kathryn Davis fellow this summer.

July 27, 2012

Educator and director of Curriculum and Content, World Languages and Cultures at the College Board, Morales says, “I hope all of you are out there to confound expectations.” Morales completed his MA in German this summer and has also attended the Japanese School.

July 27, 2012

When can I be sure that I'm fluent? How do I leverage my languages to find a job? The Alumni Panel answers your questions.