Language and Culture Week at VMI

VMI cadets stand at heritage map created as part of Language and Cultures Week.

Fatoumata Diallo ’23 stands at the heritage map.—VMI photo by Kelly Nye.

LEXINGTON, Va., Dec. 9, 2022—Language and Culture Week at Virginia Military Institute was observed starting Dec. 5 during lunch in Crozet Hall. According to Lt. Col. Abbey Carrico, associate professor of French in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures (the department who hosted the event), the celebration grew as part of an independent study titled “Francophone Culture in the Community: Teaching Cultural Competence Beyond the Classroom.” She has been working on the study this semester with Fatoumata Diallo ’23 from Secaucus, New Jersey, who is double majoring in French and international studies with a minor in national security. “The goal was to highlight the diverse cultures present in our community and to promote language study, study abroad opportunities, and cultural experiences,” said Carrico.

Parkhurst Dining, the food service provider for VMI, collaborated with Carrico and Diallo to showcase dishes that represent the different language taught at VMI. Cadets, faculty, and staff eating in Crozet were able to sample delicacies from around the world. Faculty from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and cadet volunteers who are part of Language Honor Societies or who study languages at VMI, helped with the activities.

“We asked trivia questions on different cultures around the world, and displayed a ‘heritage map’ where cadets used push pins to mark where they come from. The goal of these activities was to bring awareness about the importance of cultural competence, but also to showcase the diverse composition of the VMI community,” explained Diallo.

Additional groups who participated included Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society, Phi Sigma Iota, the International Language Honor Society, and Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.

Marianne Hause
Communications & Marketing

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