Alumni Development Fund
The CLS Alumni Development Fund (ADF) periodically offers small grants to alumni
of the CLS Program through a competitive application process. The ADF has provided opportunities for alumni to continue their language
learning, pursue career development goals, and participate in community
outreach related to CLS languages and their corresponding world
regions. Particular emphasis is placed on projects with an impact beyond
the individual applicant, reaching students, CLS alumni, or others in
The ADF is not currently open for applications.
Examples of previous Alumni Development Fund projects can be found below.
With a 2020 CLS Alumni Development Fund grant, Clara Haizlett (Arabic 2017) continued the work she began on Sandstone, a podcast project that explores the relationship between the Arab World and Appalachia, which was originally supported by a 2019 ADF grant. When the pandemic changed Clara’s original plans for her project, she was able to produce several extra episodes of the podcast and...
Irma-Laura Green (Persian 2018) attended a 2-day Modified Oral Proficiency Interview training in early March 2020 at Wofford College, working toward her goal of pursuing Limited OPI Certification through ACTFL. The session highlighted the specifications for ratable samples from the Novice-Low to the Intermediate-High level as well as implications for language teaching in the classroom. Irma is...
Similar to many others, Alden DiCamillo’s (Indonesian 2019) project changed from its original proposal for an in-person poetry reading to an online collection due to the pandemic. Alden focused on imagining life in the future and curated a collection of stories, poetry and other artwork, translated into Indonesian and English, submitted by contributors from Indonesia and the U.S. Following...
Bennett Comerford (Bangla 2011, 2012, 2014) worked virtually with a Bangla language tutor to further his language skills in order to translate two challenging nineteenth-century Bengali literary texts. These texts comprise the heart of Bennett’s dissertation project for his doctorate in comparative religion. He continues to study Bangla with his tutor, with the goal of strengthening his Bangla...
Connie Chen and Alison Yee, both alumnae of the 2013 Chinese program held a series of virtual events co-hosted with the San Mateo County Chinese Health Initiative to provide training for mental health practitioners in the Bay area on discussing mental health in culturally-sensitive ways with Chinese communities. The virtual workshops, led with two community mental health practitioners who are...
Hannah Carlan (Punjabi 2017), Laura Valencia (Hindi 2011) and several other colleagues founded the South Asia Solidarity Interpreting (SASI) Collective in 2019 to further language justice in South Asia through increasing representation of linguistic diversity in South Asian organizations when it comes to interpreting. Given the immense linguistic diversity in South Asia, organizations...
Andrew Brown (Arabic 2016) took Arabic courses to bolster his language learning specific to his journalism work covering Syria. Through this language study, Andrew was able to focus on vocabulary specific to his work, which enabled him to better communicate with colleagues, design projects, and organize trainings. He was also able to participate in the graphic design of an audio-visual series...
Inspired by her Indonesian grandmother’s cooking and baking, Agatha Almunir (Indonesian 2019) is sharing Indonesian culture through food via her website and cookbook, Ayo Makan!, inviting readers to “come eat!” Developed with her sister, recipes are written in both English and Indonesian, with information on the background and cultural context for the foods provided alongside them. Through...
Miriam Tinberg (Arabic 2012), Ashley Rivenbark (Chinese 2014), and Sana Vang (Chinese 2014), 2018 ADF recipients, used their Alumni Development Fund grant to produce a podcast on behalf of the CLS Alumni Society, focused specifically on diversity and inclusion. The podcast is a series of interviews of CLS alumni wherein they have conversations that explore the unique stories of each...
Kaleigh McLaughlin (Azerbaijani 2016), a 2018 ADF recipient, planned and executed a very successful Russian Tea Time event with the Department of Modern Languages at her university, University of South Dakota. This event was held in support of the new Russian Studies minor at the University of South Dakota. Despite challenges, including having to change the venue last minute due to...