Recent News

In Touch with WLC News

Sep 22, 2023

April 24, 2024 News


Cal Poly students Araceli Aronin (Biomedical Engineering Major, Minor in Spanish) and Andrea Valle (Communication Studies Major; Minor in Sales and Spanish) triumphed at Legados - San Luis Obispo 2024!  

Their 1st place victory marks the culmination of the sixth annual Spanish-language civic debate cycle, an achievement that speaks volumes about their dedication and capabilities.

This year's fiercely competitive event welcomed students from Cal Poly and the esteemed CETYS University to explore the theme of Agricultural Sustainability. Participants were tasked with identifying the primary barriers obstructing the adoption of sustainable/restorative agriculture in California. Additionally, students were challenged to propose actionable measures for governmental bodies at different levels, while also contemplating the role Mexico should undertake in tackling these challenges.

The innovative case presented by Araceli and Andrea highlighted the critical barrier of knowledge deficiency. Their proposed solution, an educational campaign in schools leveraging partnerships with emerging social media influencers, showcased both creativity and practicality. Araceli and Andrea’s case garnered success against a diverse panel of expert judges, including Larry Jacobs and Maricela Adrian from Jacobs Farms/Del Cabo, business leader Francisco Ramirez, and Dr. Neal MacDougall in Ag Business.  

Such accomplishments underscore the caliber of talent and dedication within our campus community. But their great success is also possible through the dedicated community of faculty and staff that support student success!  A huge thank you to Dr. Neal MacDougall for judging this event! And special thanks to Dr. Victoria Zamora, Lu Arocho, Dr. Fernando Sánchez and all the other faculty and staff who have generously volunteered their time and expertise to mentor and prepare students for these tournaments during much of the academic year.  

Please join me in extending our heartfelt congratulations to Araceli and Andrea for their outstanding achievement, and to all students, faculty and staff whose dedication and guidance have empowered our students to achieve these remarkable feats.

#Legados2024 #LearnbyDebating #Sustainability #Innovation

April 11, 2024 News

Nicole Mullikin (MLL 2015) named 2023 recipient of the Women Lawyers Association of San Luis Obispo County’s “Rising Star” award!

Cal Poly Debaters win at Legados -- Mexico, 2024 Debate Tournament

The Cal Poly Debate Team is ecstatic to announce the outstanding success of Alejandro Valentín Martinez (Spanish Major; Minor in History) and Andrea Valle (Communication Studies Major; Minor in Sales and Spanish) who emerged as the champions of the Legados -- Mexico 2024 Debate Tournament in Mexicali on March 15th, 2024.

Their victory was not just a testament to their exceptional debating skills but also to their innovative proposal aimed at tackling a pressing issue of urban sustainability in Mexico. Andrea and Alejandro advocated for the implementation of cutting-edge technologies, akin to those utilized by C.A.R.B. (California Air Resources Board), to identify sectors most impacted by targeted public transit. Their proposal seeks to reduce dependence on "carros chocolates" in cities across Baja California, offering a sustainable solution for the future.

Their dedication, intellect, and commitment to feasible change truly shone throughout the tournament, earning them well-deserved recognition and acclaim. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Andrea Valle and Alejandro Valentín Martinez for this remarkable achievement, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing their continued success on their journey ahead! 

We also look forward to the 6th annual Spanish-language Civic Debate Legados — USA, on April 13th at 10:00 AM.  This tournament asks students to identify and solve urgent barriers to the implementation of sustainable and restorative agricultural practices in California. In addition, we ask students to identify what Mexico can do to collaborate in this solution.  

We invite the community of Cal Poly to join us in 65-220, on April 13 at 10:00 AM.

CLTA Summer Strand applications open: “Become a Teacher: Be a Change Agent”

World Languages Summer Seminar .

Dates: July 19-24 at UC Santa Barbara

Application due date: May 15, 2024


The College of Liberal Arts is delighted to share that student applications for the 2024 CLA Summer Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity Program (SURP) are now open! Sixteen amazing projects are available, and we are seeking to recruit 25 students. Check out the CLA SURP website to learn more:

If selected, you will have the opportunity to

  1. work side-by-side with Cal Poly faculty
  2. get hands-on experience
  3. create new knowledge to help us see the world in new ways
  4. answer real-world questions and contribute to solutions to problems that face the Central Coast, California, the U.S. and the world
  5. make a difference!

Applications are due by end of day on Monday,  April 22, 2024.


An Information Session will be held on Monday, April 15 at 9:10-10am via Zoom, Meeting ID 770 101 3932.

More information

  • CLA students can apply to up to 3 CLA SURP projects.
  • Selected CLA SURP students will receive a financial award of $3,500 to support their engagement and participation in this opportunity. This will be processed through Financial Aid. Please note that this is a fellowship, not employment, and is undocufriendly. 
  • Some projects can be virtual; others require at least some in-person availability. Please contact the faculty mentor(s) listed to learn more if modality is not clear to you in the project description.

Please email Dr. Lehr at with any questions. You may also attend Dr. Lehr’s drop-in office hours via Zoom as listed here: Zoom Meeting ID 945 5392 5396, Passcode: 736298. As available, you can also make a calendly appointment:

March 6, 2024 News


In Memoriam: Sofia Padoan 

The World Languages & Cultures Department joins the family and friends of Sofia Padoan in grieving the tragic passing of this remarkable young woman. Sofia was a third-year nutrition major and Italian studies minor from Walnut Creek, California. She was president of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and an active member of the Italian Cultural Association, Nutrition Club, and Spanish Club. Sofia took five classes with Teresiana, from ITAL 101 to WLC 310, excelling in all of them. She was beloved by her classmates and the other club members and will be greatly missed.


February 15, 2024 News

You may eligible to participate in the National Student Exchange (NSE) next year! 

What is NSE?


National Student Exchange offers study away to colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can spend a quarter, semester, or academic year on exchange. If you are interested in new challenges or change of pace, NSE may be for you. 

Why NSE?


NSE is affordable. Students can pay tuition to their home campus or in-state tuition to their host campus while on exchange and most financial aid applies.


NSE is accessible. No passport is required (other than Canada-U.S. exchange) and our eligibility requirements allow most students in good academic standing to participate.


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Upcoming Events & Activities

Sep 22, 2023

Upcoming events & Activities

As Seen in In Touch with WLC April 24, 2024

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First Year Russian Courses

Feb 14, 2023

  • The WLC Department is now offering Russian Language and Culture courses. 
  • Russian I is offered in Fall (WLC 101), Russian II in Winter (WLC 102), Russian III in Spring (103). 
  • Upon successful completion of the first-year Russian courses, students will: 
    • Develop their beginning proficiency equivalent to A1/A2 (CEFR) in listening, speaking, reading and writing through the study of Russian texts, songs, cartoons, films and popular culture.
    • Gain cultural understanding of a region which has nearly 200 different ethnic groups and nationalities. 
    • Explore Russia’s current crisis and complex history which has made major contributions to world culture across literature, visual art, music, theater, film, the sciences, philosophy and other areas.
  • For questions, please contact: Dr. Angelica Browne:

Enroll in Russian Language and Culture Classes! 

Добрó пожáловать на курсы рýсского языкá

Russian Language students making silly faces, 2023.Russian Language students smiling, 2023.

In May 2023, Dr. Browne and her students celebrated their completion of a whole year in Cal Poly's pilot Elementary Russian courses! Молоде́ц!

Student Creative Projects and Experiences

Learning to Dance the Ukranian Hopak, Spring 2023


WLC 101: The story of Vasilisa and Baba Yaga

The story of Vasilisa and her trials with Baba Yaga. Will she overcome the challenges that face her? A modern adaptation of a Russian folktale.

Read the original folktale here.

-- by Chris, Liam and Ruby


WLC 101: Final Project News Parody

Breaking News in San Luis Obispo! For our Russian I final project, we practice our quarter's vocabulary in a creative news reel. We discuss today's погода (weather), the upcoming выборы президента (presidential election), and the creation of Cal Poly's new курс русского язика (Russian course).  And with the help of our whole class, we include some advertisements and a местный скандал (local scandal)!

-- by Anna, Sanjay, Savannah and Stefany


WLC 101: Intercultural Exchange Project

Artyom, Carter, and I spoke about a wide variety of things. Artyom currently lives in Tbilisi and works at a call center surveying people in Russia on various political topics. He is currently on the second year of his gap year from classes at MISiS, and will not be returning for the time being. We learned some new words and phrases in the first meeting. We all happened to speak German so for our project, we decided to translate a German song into English and Russian. We shared several songs that we liked, both German and English, and decided upon ‘Es lohnt sich nicht ein Mensch zu sein’ by Eisbrecher. The translation is on lyricstranslate

--by Sanjay

WLC 102: Final Project Film Прощай Ваня

This quarter, we enjoyed watching episodes of the Russian children's show Ералаш.We were inspired to recreate one episode in particular.

Watch the original episode here.

--by Agar, Cole, Owen, Sanjay and Savannah


WLC 103: Final Project Film "Идиют Идет"

Inspired by Soviet Comedies, our film follows an unfortunate protagonist who is late for her date! Will she make it on time? Who will she meet along the way?

--by Agar, Cole, Owen, Sanjay and Savannah

WLC 103: Final Creative Project

During this quarter, I became fascinated by the rich history of Russian animation, particularly the exquisite works of Andrei Khrjanovsky's captivating visuals and Yuri Norstein's masterpiece, "The Hedgehog in the Fog." While meeting with my exchange partners from MISiS, including Veronica (WLC 290), Sergei, and Kirill (WLC 310), we quickly bonded over our shared love of Russian and American cartoons. As part of my final creative project, I was inspired to create my own animations after drawing inspiration from Week 1 of WLC310, where we explored Russian words that are difficult to translate. I decided to focus on the word "Toska," which captivated my interest due to its emotional depth and cultural significance. Throughout the quarter, I collaborated closely with my Russian exchange partners, particularly Veronica, who helped me to better understand the nuances and context of Toska. She took inspiration from our discussion, and continued to research foreigner interpretations of Toska into a research study that won first place at MISiS and will be turned into a larger study! Her personal experience with the word inspired me to seek narratives. In one of my animations, Sergei generously shares his own story of Toska, which is backed by Kirill's original acoustic song that conveys his own interpretation. In the other, Sasha, a friend of Dr. Browne, explains what Toska means to her backed by my own friend's acoustic.

--by Savannah Bosley

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Former French minor Zooms from France with WLC 310

Feb 9, 2023

Former French minor Elizabeth Dodge is currently serving as a TAPIF teaching assistant at the Académie de Nantes in Le Mans, France. On February 7, Elizabeth met with Dr. Brian Kennelly's WLC 310 (Cultures of France) students via Zoom and shared how some of the topics discussed in WLC 310 and FR 302 last academic year have been helpful to her as she lives and works in France. Dr. Kennelly's students appreciated the opportunity to connect with her and further nuance what we have been discussing in class. 

Pi Sigma Iota

Phi Sigma Iota

Jan 26, 2023

World Language and Cultures is proud to welcome the Chi Sigma chapter of the Phi Sigma Iota foreign language honors society to campus. Phi Sigma Iota is the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages and is Cal Poly's first language honors society. Applications for membership are now open for qualified students until February 12th.

Find out more ›

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German Conversation Table

Oct 18, 2022

Join The German Conversation Table to practice your German, learn more about German culture & meet new friends! Everyone interested in speaking German or just listening is welcome! Feel free to bring your lunch!

Time & Date: Every Wednesday 11:10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

Venue: Steps in front of Kennedy Library

Organized by German-speaking faculty members in collaboration with Cal Poly German Club.

Contact: Angelica Browne: Milo Wolter:


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Applications for the 2023-2024 Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) Open Oct. 15 to Jan. 15

Oct 11, 2022

Learn More at: Teaching Assistant Program in France

Every year, the French Ministry of Education and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. offer approximately 1,500 teaching assistantships for American citizens and permanent residents to teach English in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France as well as in the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion. This school year, the 2021-2022 Assistants de langue en France program was maintained by the French Ministry of Education. We are happy to report that selected U. S. assistants were able to begin their positions in France at the beginning of the month with no delays thanks to the progressive easing of travel restrictions between the U. S. and the European Union. We continue to make information and resources relevant to the COVID-19 situation in France available to our new cohort of assistants and are happy to be able to continue to support them as they settle into their new roles.

Assistants are assigned a teaching schedule of 12 classroom hours per week that may be divided among up to three schools, although most assistants are assigned to only two.  Classes are conducted in English.  The teaching assistant may conduct all or part of a class, typically leading conversations in English.  Duties may include serving as a resource person in conversation groups, providing small group tutorials, and giving talks related to American studies in English classes.  Assignments vary depending on the school’s needs, the assistant’s abilities, and the educational level to which he or she is assigned (elementary or secondary).

The 1,500 American English Language Assistants make up a significant cohort of the over 4,500 Language Assistants in France every year who teach 15 languages and represent 60 countries. 

Facilitated and administered by France Êducation International (formerly known as the CIEP), not only is this program an important investment in robust foreign language education in France, it is also a critical investment in the promotion of the French language abroad and the development of multilingual, international professionals and educators across the globe. 

Congratulations to Diana Beas, CLA Academic Achievement Award winner for 2021-2022!

Apr 26, 2022

Diana Beas (SPAN '22) has been selected as the CLA's winner of the Academic Excellence Award, which goes to one graduating senior in each college. Diana's nomination states, "Diana Beas is a phenomenal student. Having transferred from Allan Hancock College with a 4.0 GPA, she has maintained this exceptional GPA at Cal Poly as well. Her academic achievements are particularly noteworthy considering that she lived in Mexico for most of her childhood and teen years. In addition to her consistently outstanding academic performance, Diana has demonstrated her commitment to community outreach in several ways. For her SPAN 470 (Medical Spanish) class, she prepared a service learning project to teach mental health to Latinx students in the Santa Maria area. She gave a presentation on this project to the WLC Program Review team during their site visit in November 2021. In WLC 360 (Research Methods) Diana's exceptional work included a professional-quality translation of homeowner application materials for Habitat for Humanity of SLO County and a service learning experience at Santa Maria High School. Diana is an exemplary member of the Cal Poly community and a role model for other First Gen and Latinx young people."
Congratulations, Diana, from all of us in the WLC Department!

WLC 360 students translate Habitat for Humanity Homeownership materials

Feb 20, 2022

Students in WLC 360 (Research Methods in World Languages & Cultures) translated application materials, a powerpoint presentation, and a homeownership orientation script into Spanish for Habitat for Humanity for SLO County. These translations will enable Spanish-speaking community members to become informed about Habitat's Homeownership & Building Program and to apply for one of the nine Habitat homes to be built in Paso Robles. The translated materials can be found here:


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