Apr 21, 2021  
2017-2018 General Catalog 

Department of Languages and Philosophy

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Department Information

Department Chair: Elise Leahy
GC 108G ~ (435)865-8287

Administrative Assistant: Jennilee Thayer
GC 108 ~ (435) 586-7835

Student Success Coach/Academic Advisor: 
Jennifer Leard, jenniferleard@suu.edu
ST 204 ~ (435) 586-5420

Website: http://www.suu.edu/hss/languages/

Faculty: Associate Professors: Elise C. Leahy, French; Kirk Fitzpatrick, Philosophy, Greek; Rosa A. Perez, French;
Assistant Professors: Junice Acosta Martinez, Spanish; Carlos Bertoglio, Spanish; Todd Mack, Spanish, Humanities; Kristopher Phillips, Philosophy; Iliano Portaro, Spanish; Jason Smith, Spanish; Corey Twitchell, German

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts

French Education 
Spanish Education  



The department will also consider proposals from students who wish to use the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree.

Secondary Education Teaching License in French, German, and Spanish

Overview of Programs

The Department offers majors in French, Philosophy, and Spanish and minors in French, German, Philosophy and Spanish. These programs prepare students to communicate well orally and in writing, think critically and analyze literary, philosophical and other texts. Students completing the French, German or Spanish Education Degree are prepared to teach those disciplines in secondary schools. Students planning to teach one of these languages in a Utah middle or high school should be aware that a score of Advanced Low on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview is required for Teacher Certification in the state of Utah, and that a score of Advanced Mid is required to work in a Dual Language Immersion school. The Department also offers a variety of extracurricular activities which complement and enrich the academic curriculum. 


French, German, and Spanish Programs

The mission of the Language programs in the Department of Languages & Philosophy is to provide students with a rigorous program wherein they perfect their abilities to communicate in the languages they study. As faculty, we dedicate ourselves to fostering students’ progress in the four skill areas–reading, writing, speaking, listening–and developing cultural awareness as they cultivate productive community connections. Through a series of courses which include language, linguistics, literature, culture and pedagogy, we prepare students for lifelong enrichment, graduate studies, and entrance into the global work force.

Mission Statement of the Philosophy Program

The mission of the Philosophy Program is two-fold: first, to provide our students with a rigorous foundation in the core areas of philosophy (logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and history of philosophy), with classes that expose students to the central concepts, thinkers, methods, and debates in these areas; and second, to nurture our students’ critical thinking abilities, by showing them how to identify, analyze, construct, and evaluate arguments of all different types, and by requiring them to actively practice these skills (both orally and in written work). In this way, we equip our students for success after college, whether their plan is to pursue philosophy in graduate school, to attend professional school in another discipline, or to immediately begin their careers. 

Department/Program Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes: Languages

  1. Students who acquire a major or a minor in French, Spanish, or German are capable of:
  • Narrate and describe in all major time frames
  • Speak about a variety of topics
  • Participate as a full conversational partner, initiating exchanges as well as responding
  • Discuss abstract subjects and communicate supporting opinions
  • Read and write about academic and professional topics
  • Demonstrate knowledge of literary terms, genres and concepts
  • Critically analyze and interpret cultural artifacts and a wide variety of texts
  • Deliver coherent presentations on a variety of topics
  1. Graduates certifying to teach:
  • Have a basic understanding of theories and approaches to teaching
  • Are capable of designing lesson plans for language classes for grades 7-12
  • Are capable of incorporating culture into their lessons

Learning Outcomes: Philosophy

Our minors and majors are capable of (1) analyzing philosophical texts by finding and explaining their main theses, (2) reconstructing and evaluating philosophical arguments, and (3) thinking critically about a wide variety of topics. They are also (4) broadly knowledgeable about the characteristic doctrines and approaches of a number of prominent philosophers in the western philosophical tradition. In addition, our majors are capable of (5) designing and carrying out their own research projects on philosophical topics.

Other Information

Other Languages

In addition to French, German and Spanish, the Department of Languages & Philosophy offers courses in Ancient Greek and Mandarin. Students are now able to complete the 16 hours of a language needed for a Bachelor of Arts in Ancient Greek, with Beginning Greek offered alternate years. Beginning Mandarin is now also offered on a yearly basis.

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