Presidential Symposium Archives

Check out prior presidential symposium topics and programming.

2022 Presidential Symposium Synopsis:

Literacy and Transformative Learning Experiences in Local and Global Contexts 

Friday, October 7, 2022 
Hotchkiss Recital Hall, Gibson Center for the Arts 
Washington College
Chestertown, Maryland


A Welcome From President Sosulski

President SosulskiWelcome to the presidential inauguration symposium at Washington College. One of the most powerful parts of the liberal arts experience is the experience of perspective transformation. Encountering new ideas, new ways of seeing and being in the world, and new ways of articulating human experience have the effect of transforming us and causing us to grow in meaningful ways. Literacy is a crucial piece of this transformative learning, and so we have made it the focus of today’s symposium. I am delighted to have you join us for an interdisciplinary exploration of the transformative potential of literacy and language learning presented by Washington College students, faculty, and community members and our distinguished guest speaker. 

The keynote of the symposium will be an address from Emory University Professor of German Hiram Maxim, Ph.D., titled “Taming the Wilds of Language Learning: Lessons from the Language Classroom and Beyond.” In much the same way that writing plays a central role in a Washington College liberal arts education, Professor Maxim’s extensive research on second language literacy development shows how opportunities to engage meaningfully in reading and writing across an extended curricular pathway can help language learners reach advanced language abilities and deepen intercultural understanding. In his address, he will discuss principles of second language development and the growing interest in language learning opportunities outside the classroom. Enjoy. 


Mike Sosulski 

Keynote Speaker: Hiram H. Maxim

Hiram Maxim
Hiram H. Maxim (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is the NEH/ Masse-Martin Distinguished Teaching Professor of German Studies and Linguistics at Emory University. His research interests lie in the general area of instructed adult second language acquisition with specific focus on pedagogical approaches and curricular models that facilitate students’ longitudinal sociolinguistic development. Recent work has included studies on genre-based pedagogy, curricular integration, and language learning in the linguistic landscape. He is joint author of the monograph Realizing Advanced Foreign Language Writing Development in Collegiate Education: Curricular Design, Pedagogy, Assessment (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) and recently jointly edited a volume on language teaching in the linguistic landscape (Springer, 2020.)

Keynote Abstract

It is rare to find someone who has not had an experience learning another language. However, it is also not unusual for those experiences to have been unsatisfactory or incomplete. Why is that, and does it have to be that way? This presentation will respond to this dilemma by reporting on fundamental principles of second language development and their practical implementation in the classroom. Specific examples will focus on reconciling the growing and understandable interest in exploring language learning opportunities beyond the classroom with the need to attend to the systemic nature of language. 

Symposium Participants

Theo Barry ’23 
International Studies

Alyssa Kovacs ’23

Bridget Bunten, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Education
Chair of Education 

Karen Manna, Ph.D. 
Visiting Assistant Professor of French 

Cristina Casado Presa, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Spanish
Associate Chair of World Languages and Cultures 

Riley McHugh ’24 

Avery Castellani ’24 
Human Development 

Rebeca Moreno, Ph.D., Associate Dean for International Education 

Sara Clarke-De Reza, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of Education 

Patrick Nugent, Ph.D. 
Miller Director of Civic Engagement 

Cori Crane, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of German, University of Alabama 

Andrew Oros, Ph.D. 
Professor of Political Science and International Studies
Director of International Studies 

Elena Deanda-Camacho, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Spanish

Martín Ponti, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Spanish 

Nick Garcia, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of Sociology  

Rachel Rodriguez, Ph.D. 
Director of the Writing Center 

Nicole Grewling, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of German, Chair of World Languages and Cultures 

Samantha Segeda ’23 
International Studies 

Kate Gromacki ’23 
French Studies and Business Management 

Emily Steinmetz, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Chair of Anthropology and Archeology 

Michael Harvey, Ph.D. 
Provost and Dean, John S. Toll Associate Professor of Business Management 

Julianna Sterling ’23 
Economics, French Studies and International Studies 

David Hull, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Chinese Language, Literature, and Culture

Emily Ulizio ’25 
Environmental Studies