About the Bloggers—Fall 2010

Beate Birkefeld is a graduate student in German Studies at the University of Connecticut. She received her B.A. in Translation from the Institute of Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Mainz/Germersheim in Germany. Previously, she taught at Middle Tennessee State University and is currently teaching German language courses at UConn’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Eleonora Boscolo Camiletto received her B.A. in foreign Languages and Literature from Ca’ Foscari University, Italy.  She later moved to the US and earned a M.A. in Romance languages from The Ohio State University, where she taught Italian.  She is currently a Ph.D candidate in Italian studies at the University of Connecticut.

Jorge Castillo is a PhD candidate in Spanish at the University of Connecticut. He received his B.A. in 2003 from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas with a concentration in Hispanic Culture and Literature and Mexican American Studies. Before attending UConn, Jorge worked as a translator and copy editor. He completed his M.A. from UConn in 2007 and is currently working on his dissertation on sexualities and globalization in Caribbean cultural production. He has taught 5 years at the college level as well as conducted discussion groups in the Linkage Through Language program.

Barbara Lindsey has directed the Multimedia Language Center at the University of Connecticut since 1996 and given presentations and workshops on Internet-based language instruction at the state and national level. She has twelve years experience teaching German language and literature at the university level, and for the private business sector as well as after school enrichment programs. She has served as project director on three federally funded grants and is a past president of the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers (2004-2006).

Melina Masterson is a Ph.D. student in the Italian department at the University of Connecticut.  She holds a B.A. in English literature from The Colorado College, as well as an M.A. in Italian Literature and Culture from Boston College.  She has lived and worked in Italy as an English teacher, and she has also taught Italian in the US at both the college and high school level.  She is interested in the effects and use of language in 20th century Italian literature.

Claudio Pinna is a current graduate student in the Italian Master’s program at the University of Connecticut. He has a Laurea in Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Florence. He has taught, and is still teaching, Italian at college level and one of his fields of interest is second language acquisition.

Niko Tracksdorf is currently enrolled in two universities: He is receiving a teaching degree for secondary schools (subjects: ESL and Social Sciences) from the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) in June 2011. Since August 2010 he is also a graduate student in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Connecticut. There, he studies German culture and enjoys teaching Elementary German classes to American students.

Carsten Witt studied at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, where he graduated with the State-Examination (Staatsexamen) in History and Geography.

Currently he is enrolled in the Masters Program in German Studies at the University of Connecticut. At UConn his research topics include the historical use of color in Expressionist literature,  the application of technology in Foreign Language Acquisition, and the development process of Global Citizenship. Carsten is on the University’s Global Citizenship Curriculum Committee.

Karen Zook is a third-year Ph.D. student in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut. She got her B.A. in Classical Languages & Literatures from Dartmouth College. This year, she is incorporating practomimetic instruction in her Latin classroom, moving a portion of the course into a virtual world. She also works as a part-time Latin teacher at Edwin O. Smith High School in Storrs. Her primary academic focus is on classical languages and civilizations and new media. In her free time, she rides her bicycle absurd distances and writes about classical language, pedagogy, technology, and pop culture.


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