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Language Center News

Welcome Back Caroline!

Caroline Vang has returned from her parental leave and is back in her office at at the Language Center. We are all very pleased to have Caroline back and also grateful for the support we received from Jenny Boe and Beth Dillard Paltrineri during Caroline's leave. We simply couldn't have survived the start of the academic year and the launch of the PACE program without them!

Here is a short update from Caroline:

Hello! It's great to be back at the Language Center. Thank you for all the encouragement and warm congrats for Michael, our new baby boy. He's growing really fast (weighing in at 11 pounds, maybe more). He's an alert boy and tries to interact with you through his gurgles and coos. Really cute :) So far, he's been a pretty easy baby. Thank you again for your support while I was on leave this past month!

TandemPlus Bowling Night at Goldy's Gameroom

Go bowling with TandemPlus on Friday, October 24, 2014, starting at 3:30 p.m. at Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Memorial Union.

All current TandemPlus participants (partnered or not) are welcome to come. Bowling shoes are free, and TandemPlus will provide some appetizers and will pay for the first game.

Join us, chat with new and old friends in your first and second languages, chow on snacks, and knock down some pins!

For more information about the Bowling Night or registration, contact Tandem at

TandemPlus Kicks Off!

TandemPlus is off to a great start this fall. The orientation kick-off event on September 24, 2014 was quite a success. With around 60 participants, the event was lively, fun, and many languages could be heard at once, including English, Arabic, Korean, Norwegian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Participants met new friends, played games, shared stories, snacked on food, and learned more about the program.

Get ready for more Fall events! TandemPlus is hosting a bowling night at Goldy's Gameroom on October 24 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., and a pizza party at Punch in Stadium Village on December 3 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Look for more information about these events in upcoming issues of ElsieTalk, or check the TandemPlus website.

TandemPlus registration for Fall Semester closes this Friday, October 10, so anyone interested in a second-language conversation partner should register soon.

Getting to Know the Main Office Student Staff

Who are the students working at the front desk in Jones Hall 110 this semester? Here are short self-introductions from the new and returning Language Center Main Office student staff. Chloe-(1).jpg

Chloe Gansen

I'm Chloe, and I'm currently a senior. I'm originally from Janesville, Wisconsin, which is just south of Madison. I'm studying Journalism with a minor in Public Health. I took French throughout high school and then again my sophomore and junior years at the U, finishing 1004 last spring. Outside of school, I really enjoy being active; I love to run and swim and hope to get started doing triathlons some day.


Chris Michaels

Hello, everyone. I'm Chris Michaels from Monticello, MN. My major is Journalism with a Professional Strategic Communication focus. I've been studying Japanese for a few years now, and after what feels like a million years of rescheduling my trip for various reasons, I plan to study abroad in Tokyo next fall. I am also taking my first Korean class this semester. Hobbies of mine include playing and watching sports, listening to music, and watching Japanese comedies.


Dimitra Andreadaki

I'm originally from Rochester, Minnesota. I'm currently double-majoring in Biology, Society, and the Environment along with Global Studies with a minor in public health. My native languages are English and Greek, but I am currently studying Spanish and have studied Latin in the past. My hobbies include playing the piano, and my favorite author is Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


Fatima Babu

My name is Fatima, and this will be my fourth year at the Language Center. I was born in Framingham, MA but I grew up in South Minneapolis. I am currently a senior majoring in Political Science and Global Studies. I studied Spanish in high school, and I also just finished studying Arabic here at the U! I love traveling and experiencing new environments! Currently my life has been taken over by school and work, but when I do have spare time I love to spend time with my friends and family!


Hunter Slack

I'm Hunter. I'm originally from White Bear Lake, MN and I'm a junior studying Marketing and Design. This is my third year at the Language Center. I studied Spanish through high school and got through Spanish 3015 my freshman year. Outside of work and school, I play in two bands (guitar in one, vocals in the other) and run a non-profit organization called MaintaiN, which promotes the local MN music scene to those unfamiliar with its existence.


Maya Christensen

Hi, everyone! I'm a sophomore studying Urban Studies and Youth Studies. I'm from Minneapolis, and my family lives about 10 minutes away from campus, right by Lake Harriet. I've studied Spanish since seventh grade and hope to learn more languages in my lifetime. I love being active and being outside, so biking and running are things you will see me doing often!


Nick Ott

I'm Nick Ott from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I'm a sophomore here at the U. This is my second year at the Language Center. Since high school, I have formally studied both Spanish and German but have learned German informally from my mother since I was young. I have always loved learning foreign languages, although my favorite by far is the German language. That's why I have recently decided to major in it, along with Marketing. Outside of work, I am involved in the University YMCA and am training to compete in my first triathlon!


Rachael Falade

I grew up in Woodbury, Minnesota. I am a sophomore hoping to major in Nutrition with a minor in Yoruba! Although I love English, I have also studied Spanish in high school and currently study Yoruba (a language native to Nigeria). I basically love everything, especially food!

Shoua Thao


Hello, everyone! My name is Shoua Thao. I started working in the Language Center in spring semester of 2014. I was born in Minneapolis but currently reside in Brooklyn Center, MN. I am a junior this year studying Mass Communication, Political Science, and Design. I studied Korean my first year here at the U and followed on to take my LPE in Hmong, passing towards the end of the term. I love to be and stay active, so I play a lot of sports. One huge thing I did a lot this past summer--other than work extensively--was playing football with my team called Bellatrix. We competed in Hmong Festival Tournaments in July and August and got 2nd place for both. I also got on board as an Outreach Co-chair for the Hmong Minnesota Student Association student organization 2014-15 here at the University, so I met a lot with my fellow board members as well.

Language Center Events in October 2014

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