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"We value the humanities, the truths in literature, the nuances of grammar, the lessons from history, and the evolution of languages.  We value communication and the power of spoken words.  The languages we teach are alive and are used every day all over the world.  We are global citizens." Salvador A. Oropesa, Ph.D.

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Languages Student Spotlight

Students selected as 2018 Christopher J. Duckenfield Scholars

Two students in the Department of Languages have been selected as the 2018 Christopher J. Duckenfield Scholars. Congratulations to Jessica Harris, an Economics and Philosophy major with a French Studies minor, and Hannah Pearson, a Modern Languages-ASL and English major with a concentration in Writing and Public Studies. Both are juniors in the Calhoun Honors College.

The program provides Jessica and Hannah the opportunity to study at St. Peter’s Summer School at Magdalen College at the University of Oxford in England. The cost of their room, board and tuition will be covered by the scholarship. They will select a course in English literature, Medieval studies, or environmental studies to complete during the summer. When they return to Clemson in the fall, Jessica and Hannah will give a presentation to the university community on their experiences.

The Christopher J. Duckenfield Scholars Program was established by the family and friends of Chris Duckenfield, who was Clemson’s vice provost for computing and information technology. He was also an alumnus of St. Peter’s College of the University of Oxford. The program enables one or two members of the Calhoun Honors College who demonstrate extraordinary talent, motivation, commitment, and ability to attend St. Peter’s College. Duckenfield Scholars also are expected to demonstrate the ability to adapt to the tutorial style of learning that exemplifies university education at Oxford and elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

Languages Faculty Spotlight

CLEMSON – Toshiko Kishimoto, associate professor emerita of languages, has been awarded a national medal of distinction — the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Rays Medal — by the Emperor of Japan in a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Tokyo. An honorable certificate signed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also was presented to Kishimoto for her longtime efforts to promote Japanese language and culture, especially in the United States.

“This well-deserved honor is a testament to Professor Kishimoto’s work in furthering Japan-U.S. relations and the thousands of students she has positively influenced over the years,” said Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

Kishimoto joined the Clemson faculty in 1988, establishing the Japanese language program at the University. She was instrumental in developing the Japanese language major, as well as the Japanese track of Clemson’s language and international trade major. Throughout her career, Kishimoto has been recognized for her teaching, for leading Clemson Creative Inquiry groups and for offering Clemson students countless opportunities to immerse themselves in Japanese language and culture, both here and abroad.

She holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a bachelor’s degree in law from the School of Law, Rikkyo University in Tokyo.

Beyond her academic achievements, Kishimoto has also been actively engaged with the Upstate community. In 1989, she established the Greenville Area Japanese Saturday School and served as its principal until 2003. In 2004, she established the Bilingual Forum for Mothers of Bilingual Kids, a group with which she remains involved.

“All of us at Clemson are very appreciative of Kishimoto’s contributions as a teacher and cultural ambassador,” said Clemson University President James P. Clements. In a letter he thanked her for being an amazing representative of Clemson University, the state of South Carolina and the people of Japan.

Of special note, Kishimoto’s husband Yuji Kishimoto was also awarded a Japanese medal of distinction in 2017. Yuji Kishimoto is professor emeritus of architecture at Clemson University.

“It is very rare for both husband and wife to be decorated with national medals in the same year,” Toshiko Kishimoto said. “We felt, therefore, very honored and humbled. I deeply appreciate Clemson University for providing me the opportunity to teach and conduct research regarding Japanese language and culture for 29 years.”