Students and Alumni
We have many accomplished students who are active within the department and elsewhere. They participate in honor societies, clubs and other student organizations and contribute to the betterment of Keene State College, our community, and the world.
Our graduates are a living testament to the importance of the study of foreign languages and cultures in a liberal arts education as well as to the many academic and professional doors it can open in a wide variety of fields.
James Lavimoniere ‘13
Political science major James Lavimoniere decided to take a few elective courses his senior year and chose German 101 and 102. “I’ve always been interested in foreign languages, and German wasn’t offered when I was in high school. I took Spanish instead,” he said. “I thought, ‘Why not? I’ll take German.’ “
What started as a way to learn a foreign language led to an acceptance by the ongress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program and a year in Germany - Lavimoniere leaves in July of 2013. For the first two months, he’ll attend a German language school and go on to study at a German university for four or five months before working as an intern at a German company for the remainder of the year-long stay.
Lavimoniere, an Airman 1st Class in the Air National Guard, is one out of 75 students nationwide selected for the program this year. More than 600 students applied. He would like to work in international relations and said his military background will help.
He credits his German professor, Alison Pantesco, for inspiring him to continue with his German studies. “She told me about the exchange program,” he said. She also made her courses interesting, he added. “She told stories, sang songs and explained their lyrics, did German dances and explained some of the culture,” he said. “You speak the language a good amount. It’s not just textbook work.”
Kyle O’Brien ‘11
When Kyle O’Brien graduated from Keene State College in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in history, he realized he wanted to expand his horizons.
“The ability to communicate with someone else in a foreign language opens opportunities for work, travel and making friends,” he said. “I realized I wanted to make German part of everything I do.”
The German minor will spend his final semester studying in Austria. When he returns in July of 2014, he plans to earn his master’s degree in German and his doctorate in history before going on to teach at the university level. “I want to teach modern European intellectual history, from mid-18th to mid-19th century.” he said.
His German professor, Allison Pantesco, he added, made German his favorite language to study. “She understands different learning styles and brings so much energy to the classroom - you just can’t sit still,” he said. “She makes you stand up and sing in German and showed a documentary film on the modern German language and how it’s evolved over the past century. I’ve learned so much in the past year with her (in her German 101 and 102 courses).”
Most importantly, O’Brien’s experiences in his German course has given him the ability to step out of his comfort zone. “I want to experience the world at large,” he said.