WASHINGTON, Pa. (Sept. 21, 2011)—While other colleges and universities are choosing to cut or eliminate their German or other language departments, the Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) German program is flourishing and being recognized for its efforts.
This week, W&J is one of only 44 colleges and universities nationwide chosen to participate in “Do Deutsch,” a campus programming initiative sponsored by the German Embassy designed to promote the study of German as a foreign language.
Dr. Michael Shaughnessy, chairman of the modern languages department at W&J, says a knowledge of German can make all the difference in today’s economy.
“Germany invests significantly in this region and so is incredibly relevant,” he said. “We are preparing students to take advantage of current economic opportunities with their knowledge of German language and culture.” (According to the German-American Business Circle of Pittsburgh, Germany is the region’s largest foreign investor, with 70 companies employing some 11,000 individuals.)
“Do Deutsch” week will feature a number of events and excursions designed to attract students to the study of German.
“Students in W&J’s German Club will help bring awareness to the benefits of language study in a liberal arts environment,” said Shaughnessy, adding that he and a group of 23 students are traveling this week to the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., where they will be received by a cultural attaché and participate in a round table discussion.
W&J is the only school in the Western Pennsylvania region selected to participate in “Do Deutsch.” Other participating schools include Auburn University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University.