Foreign Languages

2014-2015 Profiles

Meghan O'Donoghue (French & Political Science, '14)
Meghan O’Donoghue graduated from Tennessee Tech in 2014 with a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in Foreign Languages (French). After graduation, she lived and worked for two years in Burkina Faso as a community health volunteer with the Peace Corps before working briefly as a National Park Ranger outside of Washington, D.C., and, later, as an English Teaching Assistant in Limoges, France. Ms. O’Donoghue is currently a PhD Candidate in French at the University of Virginia, writing her dissertation on French and African environmental knowledge in colonial-era French West Africa. Since receiving a Fulbright Award from the Franco-American Fulbright Commission, she has been able to do archival research for this project in Aix-en-Provence, France, and Dakar, Senegal.

According to Meghan, "My time at Tech significantly impacted my career, and I will always be grateful for the support I received from my professors and mentors at the university. As a freshman, I was able to attend a short study-abroad trip to Morocco with Professor Debbie Barnard through the French Department. This trip inspired an interest in post-colonial studies, and eventually led me to apply for the Peace Corps and, later, graduate school in French. The professors in the Political Science and Foreign Languages Departments fostered my curiosity in different cultures, political systems, and languages, and are still my role models when I teach my own undergrad classes."

Chase Finley (French, '14)
Mr. Finley is from Nashville and graduated from David Lipscomb High School. It was while in high school that he first traveled to France. During his time at Tech, he spent a semester studying in Chambery, France, and also traveled to Berlin with the German Club and to Vienna through the TnCIS program. He plans to begin graduate studies in secondary education at Tennessee Tech.

Mary Manneschmidt (French & IBAC, '14)
Ms. Manneschmidt is from Knoxville. She attended Farragut High School and then home-schooled her senior year. During the summer after her freshman year at Tech, she studied for a semester at Chambery, France, and also spent a week in Paris and a week in London.

While at Tennessee Tech, Ms. Manneschmidt was active in Avant-Garde (French Club), was a member of Alpha Mu Gamma (International Honor Society for Foreign Languages), provided French tutoring and received a Foreign Languages Faculty Scholarship. In addition to her French degree, she earned a B.S. in International Business & Cultures. At the time of graduation, she was seeking full-time employment with an American or French company which conducts business in multiple countries.

Ms. Manneschmidt says that she "was always impressed by how personable Tech was, but specifically the Foreign Languages Department. It was small but connected, so it was easy to get to know people and to feel like a part of it. I chose Tech over UT Knoxville partly because of how 'at home' I felt in the smaller, closer department."

Jenna Dyer (Spanish, '14)
Ms. Dyer grew up on a farm near the Putnam-Jackson County Line. She graduated from Jackson County High School in Gainesboro. During her last two years at Tennessee Tech, she worked as a Spanish tutor, was active in the Spanish Club (serving as president her junior year) and was involved in the Tech Buddies Program. After graduation, she plans to begin work on an MBA at Tech, with an emphasis on international business. Her goal is to be a cultural/language specialist for a corporation, and she hopes to travel a lot.

While at Tech, Ms. Dyer studied abroad in Alicante, Spain and San Jose, Costa Rica. Of those experiences, she says: "I feel it is very important for any foreign language student to study abroad in order to fully develop the ability to speak and communicate in the language. I was in Spain for four months, and I absolutely loved every second of it. I felt that simply being there gave me more desire to learn. I also lived in Costa Rica for two months, which was more of a learning experience. Living with a host family was my favorite part of the experience in each country. The families help you learn so much, and make you feel at home. Studying abroad was the best decision I made while studying Spanish at Tennessee Tech. It's fun, exciting and a learning experience you'll never forget!"

Brandon Quentin Day (German & Mechanical Engineering, '15)
Originally from Smyrna, Tenn., Mr. Day stayed very busy during his time at Tech. He was a member of the German Club and Alpha Mu Gamma (the Foreign Language Honor Society), as well as engineering societies ASME and ASHRAE. He also held an internship with German auto supplier MANN + HUMMEL USA, Inc., giving him an opportunity to combine his interests in the German language and engineering while still in school.

Mr. Day also found time to take three study-abroad trips to Germany, including to Berlin and Hamburg. He says of these experiences: "I stayed with a host family and got to experience German culture firsthand. I also gained valuable language experience." He adds that he feels "thoroughly enriched by the experience of learning a foreign language!"

Jared Duke (German & History, '15)
Mr. Duke is a Cookeville High School graduate. After earning his B.A. in both German and History at Tennessee Tech, he plans to pursue an MFA degree in metalsmithing at the University of Oregon.

During his time at Tech, Mr. Duke made one trip to Berlin with the German program and a trip to Paris through the History Department. He and his wife also traveled to Berlin for their honeymoon.

Lora Hall (Spanish, '15)
Ms. Hall calls Cookeville home. After graduation she hopes to live abroad for a period of time, and then find employment as an interpreter with Child Services.

She has fond memories of her study abroad experience: "I studied abroad in Costa Rica for three weeks. I stayed with an awesome host family that helped me greatly with my Spanish. Seeing all of the cultural and environmental differences was amazing."

Mara Keeling (Spanish, '15)
Ms. Keeling was inducted into Alpha Mu Gamma at Tennessee Tech in Spring 2014. She also spent one week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, three weeks in an intensive language program in San Jose, Costa Rica, and three weeks in a similar program in Valencia, Spain.

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