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UNG honored for efforts in language education

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Dr. John Wilson, left, director of UNG's Center for Global Engagement, and Dr. Billy Wells, UNG's vice president for executive affairs, were recognized by the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) for contributions to foreign language education in the state.

Two administrators with the University of North Georgia (UNG) were honored by the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) for dedication and leadership in foreign language education.

Dr. Billy Wells, UNG's vice president for executive affairs, was presented with FLAG's Leadership in Foreign Languages (Post-Secondary) award. The honor recognizes those who have taken an active role in promoting foreign language through professional or academic endeavors.

"Our reputation for innovative language learning both at the state and national levels is a reflection of the dedication and teamwork of all our faculty and staff over the years," Wells said. "Any award to an individual should be considered a tribute to the efforts of all. I was humbled to receive this recognition, as I know the hard work and sacrifice of the many team members who have built our programs."

Dr. John Wilson, director of UNG's Center for Global Engagement, was presented with FLAG's President's Award. The award recognizes the FLAG member who has had the greatest impact on foreign language learning during the year through efforts in promoting language study, cultural understanding and a general advocacy for languages.

"I was completely surprised and very honored to be recognized by my colleagues and peers for this important award. Languages are my passion," Wilson said. "With the expansion of our language programs and international opportunities, student achievement remains our focus at UNG. A 21st-century education requires language competencies and cultural understanding, and UNG is constantly working to ensure our students have these skills." 

To recognize outstanding contributions to the profession, FLAG offers awards in the areas of teaching, supervision, and support for foreign languages in the state. The awards were presented at the 50th anniversary conference of the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT), held March 5-7 in Atlanta.

Several faculty members from UNG's Department of World Languages and Cultures made presentations during the conference, including Dr. Elizabeth Combier, head of the Department of Spanish; Drs. Qi Cui, Peijie Mao, and Yunjuan He, assistant professors of Chinese; and Dr. Tatiana Maslova, professor of Russian. Several UNG instructors also participated in the conference.

"Our efforts are really paying off in terms of recognition throughout the state," Wilson said. "Through exhibiting, administration, and presentations, our programs and staff are recognized as cutting-edge and high-quality. UNG faculty members are gaining a reputation for excellence and innovative teaching styles, and UNG is leading the way in international programs and language learning in Georgia." 

The conference featured more than 230 presenters, 142 sessions, nine workshops and more than 40 exhibitors. SCOLT's mission is the advancement of the study of modern and classical languages and their literatures and cultures at all levels of instruction.

FLAG is an association of instructors, administrators, and others involved in foreign language teaching and the promotion of cultural understanding. The basic goal of FLAG is to improve and foster the teaching of foreign languages and cultures through service to teachers in the state.

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