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The inaugural convocation marked the launch of the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures in the Fall of 2015. We have developed exciting new curricula for our students, including Francophone Studies, Medieval Studies, new opportunities for combining professional training with language/culture education, as well as an innovative program in development in Global Medical Humanities. We had much news to share with you and we have exceptional speakers of national prominence to deliver keynotes, including Dan Davidson, Executive Director of American Councils (KU BA 1965), and Susan Hanna-Wicht, Global Language Project, NYC and Columbia Teachers’ College.

The third annual convocation once again celebrated the success of our students and reviewed the accomplishments of the past academic year - thank you for joining us on September 1st!

Live music featuring Ayllu

"Ayllu is the sum of many inter-American parts. The band name, a Quechua word for "family", is fitting, as the group formed in Kansas City from a kinship of love for latin folk rock - mixing both traditional and contemporary instruments to create a soundscape as diverse as its members." - Kansas City Folk Festival









Marc L. Greenberg, Director KU, SLLC

Marc L. Greenberg is Professor of Slavic Languages & Literatures and Director of the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures at KU. A specialist in historical Slavic linguistics, Professor Greenberg has served as a departmental chair and associate dean as well as serves on boards of several journals, as well as other educational and non-profit organizations. He has lectured in the US, Canada, and Europe, has published numerous articles and books, and serves as General Editor of the Brill Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics. He has received Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, IREX, ACLS, and other fellowships and awards. In 2017 he was inducted as a Corresponding Member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.


Neeli Bendapudi​, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Neeli Bendapudi is the University of Kansas Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, and a professor of marketing at the KU School of Business. She holds a doctorate from the University of Kansas, and she has taught at Texas A&M and the Ohio State University. Her research has appeared in Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Retailing and Harvard Business Review, among others. Bendapudi has taught at the undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA and Ph.D. levels, and has received numerous college, university and national teaching awards. She has experience on public and private boards, and served as EVP and Chief Customer Officer of Huntington National Bank.


Carl Lejuez, Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Carl W. Lejuez began his tenure as dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at KU on Feb. 1, 2016. Most recently, Lejuez was professor of psychology and associate dean of research for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland. Lejuez was chosen as dean after a national search to succeed Danny Anderson.Lejuez has received several early career research awards including two from the American Psychological Association, in Division 3 for experimental psychology (applied) and Division 50 for addictions. Maryland’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences honored him in 2006 with its Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching and Mentorship Award. Lejuez earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Emory University. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from West Virginia University in 1997 and 2000, respectively, and he completed his clinical internship at the Brown University Clinical Training Consortium.


Dan E. Davidson, Executive Director, The American Council of Teachers of Russian, and President of American Councils for International Education

Dan Davidson, Executive Director ACTR and President of American Councils American Councils for International Education. He earned his BA in Russian from KU in 1965, and went on to earn his MA and PhD in Slavic Languages & Literatures from Harvard in 1972. Mr. Davidson is one of the leading advocates for international education in the US, as well as for foreign-language education and is one of the authors of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Commission report. Dan E. Davidson has focused much of his professional life on the development, oversight, and support of international initiatives in educational development, training, and research, primarily through the work of American Councils and its partner organizations in the U. S., and the world.


Susan Hanna-Wicht, Chair of the Executive Board, Global Language Project​ 

Susan earned a B.A. in Arabic/English Translation from Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad; a postgraduate certificate in Translation and Conference Interpretation from the University of Westminster in London; and an M.A. in International Business from Webster University in Geneva. Her career has spanned translation, interpretation, marketing, and competitive intelligence. In 2005, she completed the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA), fueling a passion for teaching English language and literature, as well as French for which she developed instructional materials on the wealth of francophone cultures. She earned her M.A. in Bilingual Bicultural Education from Teachers College Columbia University in 2015. Ms. Hanna Wicht was raised in an Iraqi-Irish family, speaking Arabic, English and French. Her formative years between Baghdad and London fostered a lasting linguistic and cultural sensitivity. She has lived in England, Switzerland, and France, and currently resides in New York City.


Mitchell C. Pruett, BA German Studies, Psychology, KU 2015

Mitchell Pruett graduated from the University of Kansas in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in German studies and Psychology, and a minor in Business. Since graduation, he worked first as a project manager for Epic, a healthcare information technology company, and later in Human Resource Management at KU. Beginning in August of 2017, Mitchell will begin a master’s degree in Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas to pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist.


    3nd Annual Convocation

    Friday, September 1, 2017

    3:30 to 6:00 pm

    Ball Room, Kansas Union

    KU Lawrence Campus


Thank you to our sponsors!



Our Statement on Diversity in support of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk and the University of Kansas Black Student Union’s efforts to combat racism.
The School of Languages & Cultures serves as a gateway to understanding the diversity of the world, through learning languages, literatures, and cultures, past and present. Through its research and teaching, the SLLC offers students opportunities for deep engagement with a wide range of languages, literatures, and cultures that provide the knowledge and skills to interact with and understand the world. The faculty and students who teach, research, and learn in the SLLC consider issues of diversity fundamental to all of our work. The study of others' languages, literatures, and cultures enables us to develop deep empathy and perspective informs the way that we approach issues before us, whether on a personal, local, regional, national, or global scale. Therefore take it as axiomatic that the SLLC stands for a campus that is committed to the meaningful sharing, contemplation, and discussion of ideas that emerge from multiple cultural perspectives and experiences. We continually rededicate ourselves to the principle of diversity. We strive to create an atmosphere where all students and faculty feel comfortable and welcome to express their views as well as work together to solve conflict. Further, we view our mission as a center of diversity on a flagship campus as requiring us to lead by example.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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