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Dr. Turner serving as interim chair for the Department of Foreign Languages
By Nathan Becker
Dr. Matthew Turner, who had served as the interim director of the School of Communication prior to the arrival of the current director, Dr. Matt Smith, was recently appointed as the interim chair for the Department of Foreign Languages.
Turner, who speaks fluent Portuguese, reads Japanese and is fluent in other languages, which include Italian, Spanish, German, French, and a little of Arabic, said of his appointment: “It’s the perfect fit for me.”
As far as picking his favorite language, he says that is not easy. “Favorite is a tough word; it’s like asking to choose between children. They all have different pluses, and minuses, and they are all very interesting,” Turner says. Turner recently returned from a business trip to France where an exchange agreement was signed with ISTC, or The International Science and Technology Center. According to Turner there is a major plus with the signing. “As of now as far as I know we are the only U.S. partners for the exchange, which is pretty nice,” Turner says.
During his time in France, Turner spent some time looking at some of the facilities. The next step now is to recruit students.
Turner has also led a number of study abroad classes over the years; taking students to Australia, New Zealand, and England.
“I always grew up with an interest in international locations,” Turner says.
He is planning yet another study abroad trip to London in summer 2019 with a stopover in Iceland.
In order to participate in these study abroad trips students do not have to have a specific GPA requirement; however, the student must be in good standing, and go through an application and interview process.
While the deadline for the summer London trip has passed, students who want to learn about the study abroad programs can still approach Turner.
“I can certainly tell them about the program in general, and tell them about our general plans, and explain the cost structure,” Turner says.
A topic that comes up with study abroad is how to stay safe. Students must take a semester-long preparation class to ensure that tragedy does not happen. “We talk about safety, communication, packing, and all those types of things. The reality is the world has never been a safe place. It’s safer now than almost any period of history,” Turner points out.