Department of Modern Languages

The University of Mississippi

Graduate Alumni Stories

Peter Ogunniran (German, 2017)“After my M.A., I got accepted into the PhD Program in German and Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. Thanks to the courses I took during my M.A. I was able to “hit the ground running” in the PhD Program as all my classes in Linguistics, Medieval/Contemporary Literature, Didactics and Pedagogy as well as practical teaching experience from Ole Miss counted towards the PhD course work / duties. With a few more semester of coursework, I will proceed to writing my qualifying exams and gradually begin work on my dissertation.”

Alexander Lorenz (German, 2017) reports that having taken classes in German Studies, Linguistics, and TESOL prepared him well for graduate school after graduating the program in 2014. The experience he gained from teaching language classes was very helpful when applying for Ph.D. programs and academic jobs. After graduation, he moved to Austin, Texas to pursue his graduate studies in Germanic Studies with an emphasis on Applied Linguistics and Educational Psychology. Throughout his graduate studies in Mississippi and Texas, Alexander presented at multiple national and international conferences on topics related to Second Language Acquisition, Instructional Technology, Individual Differences in Language Learners, and Linguistic Variation in German Speech Islands. He wrote a dissertation, entitled “Beliefs about Grammar Instruction among Post-secondary Second-Language Learners and Teachers” and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with his Ph.D. in 2018. Alexander accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship position and will continue teaching and scholarship at the University of South Carolina – Upstate.

Trey McCain (French, 2012) has started an organization to promote the Celtic languages and cultures in the U.S.”

No Heart without Language launched just a few weeks ago with the goal of bringing work from artists in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Brittany and Cornwall to communities here in the U.S. Our name echoes expressions in several of the Celtic languages. Welsh: ‘Cenedl heb iaith, cenel heb galon’ (‘A nation without language is a nation without heart’) Irish: ‘Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam’ (‘A nation without language is a nation without soul.’) Breton: ‘Heb Brezhoneg, Breizh ebet. (‘No Brittany without Breton’). We’re now in the process of incorporating as a non-profit here in the U.S. Our primary focus this year is the creation of a mobile gallery that will showcase the work of Celtic-speaking artists at festivals and gatherings throughout the U.S. We see this as an excellent way to show these languages in action by the very people who speak them on a daily basis and wrestle with the different facets of their identity. The individual perspectives of the artists illustrate what it means to live in these communities and their creations convey concepts that are sometimes lost in translation.

Marvis Kilgore (Spanish) is now working teaching English in Doha, Qatar.  After finishing the Teach for America Program in 2007 in Houston, Marvis came to Ole Miss to study for an MA in Spanish.

Catherine Couper (Spanish, 2012) is in the Hubert Department of Global Health, focusing on Sexual, Reproductive Health and Population Studies. Completing her M.A. in Spanish  at Ole Miss enables her continued work within the Hispanic population in Georgia.

Stephanie Hirscher Beam (German, 2011)  was excited to be offered a teaching position at a local high school immediately after graduation. She is now teaching four levels of German to grades 9 through 12. She says she has amazing students, who keeps Stephanie on her toes and entertained all day long!

Missy Green (Spanish, 2011) “Since graduation I’ve begun work as the International Liaison for a national restaurant industry publication, PMQ.  With the languages classes I took during my Masters I acquired the skills to communicate with professionals in Spain, Brazil and Italy.  I now live in Paris, a short flight away from various European food shows, always appreciative of the time management and long-term project skills I learned during my Masters.”

Ben Quilter (Spanish, 2010) “I work in a multinational team so being able to speak to my colleagues and our Spanish trainers in their native language is a great help. Additionally, the pedagogical experience I gained from teaching as a graduate assistant is useful for dealing with our language trainers and the issues they face.”