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September 4, 2009

Board of Regents awards grants to two ULM professors

Two University of Louisiana at Monroe faculty members recently received grants from the Board of Regents totaling almost $30,000.

Cyndy Robertson, an assistant professor of library science and director of special collections, received $25,200 for the library’s Special Collection Digitization project and Dr. Ruth Smith, head of the foreign languages department, received $4,400 to execute a “Festival of Languages” at ULM.

Robertson’s project aims to digitize some of the collections housed in the Special Collections section of the library. This will enable students and teachers to access digital copies of rare and unique items that normally couldn’t be allowed out of the library.

“Once published,” Robertson said. “Students, faculty and members of the community may access the images from any computer with internet access while original negatives and the master scans will be safely preserved in Special Collections.”

Smith’s project will bring together teachers and students from north Louisiana for a festival exploring language study. ULM foreign language faculty and students will develop the festival in coordination with area high schools. Language study isn’t the only area that will be explored throughout the day; cultural demonstrations including music and dance will be included in the festival.

Smith feels that learning about foreign languages is crucial for today’s students. “All indications are that the most successful professionals in the future will be dealing with other countries and cultures,” she said. “In order to be competitive our students must speak at least one language in addition to English.”

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