A portrait of a woman with short hair in front of a nondescript background.
News Story

Faculty of Languages and Linguistics Celebrates End of Academic Year with Awards

Georgetown University’s College of Arts & Sciences gathered to celebrate the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics (FLL) in an annual awards ceremony. The College’s commitment to interdisciplinary education and cross-departmental collaboration is embodied by the FLL, which houses a bevy of language and cultural programs. 

“One of the crown jewels in Georgetown College is our Faculty of Language and Linguistics,” said Dean Rosario Ceballo at the ceremony. “The FLL is a national and preeminent leader in language education.”

Connecting Georgetown’s commitment to language education and broad cultural understanding, Dean Ceballo linked the FLL to the university’s commitment to educating students to be women and men for others. 

“As we look at the world today, now more than ever, it’s important to reach out to others, to listen, to learn and to dialogue across our differences,” Dean Ceballo said. 

Faculty Recognized 

Each year, the FLL Distinguished Service Award is presented at the ceremony to a member of the faculty who has “made extraordinary contributions to the programs and mission of the FLL through his or her research, teaching and service to the community.” Peter C Pfeiffer, convenor of the FLL and Chair of the Department of German, presented the award to Farima Sadigh Mostowfi, an associate teaching professor and head of the Persian Studies Program.

Mostowfi not only developed the Persian Studies Program, but was a driving force behind the Persian language minor. As she received her award, Mostowfi addressed the assembled students and faculty, reflecting on her time at Georgetown and the intrinsic value of studying foreign languages. 

“Languages unlock worlds of possibilities,” Mostowfi said. “French has taken me across three continents and into my dream job. I am teaching the next generation of decision-makers at a world-renowned institution. When your life’s mission aligns with the work that you do, you will always look forward to coming to work – as I do every day.”

The Regent’s Address

Helen Catherine Poe (C’22)

The FLL Awards Ceremony is marked each year by The Regent’s Address, which is given by a senior in the FLL with an exceptional GPA who is chosen by the faculty. This year’s remarks were delivered by Helen Catherine Poe (C’22), a double major in German and Russian. Due to the pandemic, Poe was unable to study abroad, but her coursework broadened her perspective during an unprecedented time. 

“I saw that there were other people out there who’d somehow made sense of an unfair world that I couldn’t even begin to make sense of myself, and they did it in a way that was uniquely beautiful and beyond translation,” Poe reflected. “I didn’t have anything in common with most of those authors – they’d all died before I was born, and many of them were from countries that don’t even exist anymore – but just being about to read their work made me feel less alone.”

Poe’s Georgetown career, especially the study of other languages and cultures, left an indelible mark. 

“Studying languages here hasn’t just given me a way to learn about how other people live, it’s also helped me understand what I’ve gone through myself,” Poe said. 

-by Hayden Frye (C’17)

Arabic and Islamic Studies