Category Archives: Staff

LRC Student Staff Member: Rachel Wigmore

Guten tag! My name is Rachel Wigmore and I’m a new student staff member at the Language Resource Center. I’m a Biology major (hoping to add a German minor soon) originally from Burlington, New Jersey. In addition to working at the LRC, I’m involved in bacteriophage research with Professor Delesalle and am the secretary of German club (our first meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 15th at 4pm in the German lounge! If you have any questions concerning German club you can email me at

If you hadn’t already guessed, my main language of study is German, but I am very interested in learning as much as I can about cultures and languages I’m less familiar with. I plan to study abroad for a semester in Berlin in my junior year and eventually become a biological researcher or a medical/clinical lab technologist. In addition to biology and german, I enjoy reading, writing, and petting all the adorable dogs we have on campus. I hope to visit as many landmarks and cities listed in a book I received one Christmas, 1000 Places To See Befre You Die, as I can.

LRC Student Staff Member: Yifeng Chen


The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.

Hi, i’m Yifeng Chen, a sophomore Mathematics major from China, which is the world’s most populous country with over 1.35 billion people. China is also a historical country containing a long history over 5000 years as well as modern facilities. I speak Chinese, Japanese, English and I am currently learning French. I interested in math, Japanese, computer science and traveling around the world. In addition to studying at Gettysburg College, I also work in LRC as a student staff member.

For traveling around the world, I have visited lots of countries in Asia including Japan, North Korea, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. I also visited some countries in Europe, for example, Germany, Italy, France and Monaco. Unfortunately, I have never been in Africa before, but it is on my wish list.

In 2012, I went to Japan with my friends and i found Japan is a really cool country with traditional Chinese culture as well as modern facilities. After traveling in Japan, I started to study Japanese in order to get better experience next time when I visit Japan. The most stunning thing in Japan is the fantastic public transportation. Compared with Amtrak, the Shinkansen train can run about 200miles per hour and is the world’s busiest high-speed rail line. More importantly, Japanese rail way system reaches almost every city and towns, which means people can take trains to anywhere in Japan.

During this summer, I volunteered to take care of patients in a hospital in China.  Duties are simple, for ​example, checking monitoring equipment, helping patients to check in and out and assisting patients to walk around. I have learned a lot from it,which is to be patient and be careful.

In the future, I’m going yo continue my study of Math and Computer Science and go to a grad school for a higher education and I’m also on my way to travel around the world.

LRC Student Staff Member: Katie Hanson

The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.

はじめまして! I’m Katie Hanson, a senior Japanese Studies major originally from Wilton, CT, also known as the town “Stepford Wives” was based on (I promise it’s not like that anymore!). I took my first language class in 3rd grade and proceeded to study French through the remainder of elementary and middle school. In high school I switched from French to Latin, but was forced to cut my studies short my sophomore year after moving to New York. In the absence of a formal language class, I began studying Japanese on my own, though I’ll admit to not learning much that way. Thus when I came to Gettysburg, I enrolled in Japanese 101 and have been studying the language ever since. My sophomore year I also picked up Arabic 101.

Last semester I studied abroad in Japan at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata City, Osaka Prefecture. While there I explored both Kyoto and Osaka, took a trip to Hiroshima to listen to a lecture by an atomic bomb survivor, and over spring break went snowboarding in the Japanese Alps.

I’m involved in the Women’s choir (we’re doing some awesome pieces in Inuit and Creole this semester, come see our concert on 11/22!), the fencing club, Sigma Alpha Iota (all-women’s music fraternity), MEIS house, the PLA program for Japanese 101, and the local Episcopal church. Between my various musical endeavors, I’ve performed music in over 10 different languages.

In the future, I would like to continue my study of Japanese, Arabic, and French as well as learn Greek, Korean, and Spanish. Eventually I would like to go to grad school for a master’s in international affairs or education and work in the realm of international education.

LRC Student Staff Member: An Sasala


The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.

Hallo! Hola! Hi! My name is An Sasala; I am a senior from Cleveland, OH with a double major in German Studies and Spanish/Latin American/Caribbean/Latino Studies with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. As if that was not already enough, I fill up the rest of my time with long (and by that I mean short) naps, homework, the Women’s Rugby Team, tutoring for German 101 and 103, and being a Tour Guide for the Office of Admissions (plus a gajillion other things, but nobody wants a laundry list!).

This is my third year working for the LRC providing focused language assistance for individuals interested in learning German, Spanish, Yiddish, or Dutch. Not only will my smiling face and mass of curly hair greet you at the front desk when you check in, but the LRC is full of what else: Language Resources. Our library is full of manga, novels, and dictionaries in various languages; board games abound; and we even got some nice comfy chairs over the summer that are great when you need to practice conjugating all those verbs.

Language has always been a passion of mine, and helping other grow beyond the constraints of knowing only one tongue remains one of my highest goals. Being a double language major comes with a lot of scoffing. ‚Oh, what an easy course load you must have!‘ ‚Languages, that’s easy, right?!‘ If you think languages are easy, I double doggy dare you to sit in an upper level German grammar class; it is JUST as difficult as economics or physics, and every bit as applicable to real life. However, just like I need the basic functions of a calculator explained to me over and over, some people need a helping hand with languages. My hand (and my shoulder if conditional tenses make you want to cry) is here to help you along whether it is finishing that German Movie Maker Project, or picking up some basic Portuguese. Remember: Se puede! Es wird besser!​

p.s. The picture is of me with Mozart while in Vienna during my second semester abroad in Berlin, Germany; one of the most famous German/Austrian chocolates are the delicious Mozarkügeln! (I went to Valparaíso, Chile my sophomore year!)

LRC Student Staff Member: Samantha K. Smith

The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.

Hello! So I’m Samantha K. Smith, and I’m (gasp!) a senior. I’m a Religious Studies major with a minor in Middle East and Islamic Studies. As part of my course work I’ve been studying Arabic with Abdulkareem Said Ramadan. I love the language, and for fun this past summer I started reading the Harry Potter series in translation. Anytime I can make it through a page without reaching for my Hans Wehr I do a little happy dance.

I gained my appreciation for studying a foreign language at my mother’s hands. Growing up, she would read to me, and my favorite was always The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s work continues to inspire me. He was a linguist by training and invented full languages that helped shape the world he created. To honor my love of his work, I’m knitting a scarf with the text from the One Ring of Power.

Previously I’ve received a Mellon Grant and conducted research on America veterans’ experiences serving abroad in the Middle East. Currently on campus I also work in the History and Classics Office, am involved in ALLies club, and am president of Gettysburg College Mock Trial. I guess you could say that I keep myself busy. I live in the Middle East and Islamic Studies Spark House on campus. Keep an eye out for events this semester the house puts on. Next semester we’ll be hosting a Poetry Night that will feature students reading poems in Arabic with a catered dinner. I read last year, and I can’t wait to participate again.

This summer I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Israel. I have a funny story about how I accidentally propositioned a man in the Arabic market in Jerusalem’s Old City. Stop by and ask me about it sometime.

This semester I’ll be keeping up with America’s Next Top Model, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, and the Black and Gold. Geaux Saints!

LRC Student Staff Member: Anoush Aghababian

The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.

Anoush Aghababian is a junior at Gettysburg College, currently pursuing a Classical Studies major with a double minor in Anthropology and Studio Art. She is fluent in Japanese, and has studied both Ancient Greek and Latin extensively. She also has learned conversational Macedonian, and she hopes to add Twi to this list of languages after the spring of 2015.

Anoush loves spending time abroad. She lived in Japan for five years until she moved back to Central Jersey in 2007, she visited Macedonia on an archaeological dig during the summer of 2013, she studied abroad in Rome during the spring of 2014 (she also visited Paris for a week!), and she plans on studying in Ghana during the spring of 2015.

On campus, Anoush is involved in the Bullets Marching Band, Phi Sigma Iota, the national honor society for classical studies, and the PLA program as the Ancient Greek assistant. She also works at the Classics and History Department Office, and is a member of the LRC staff.

In her spare time, Anoush enjoys playing the piano (Brahms, Chopin, and Debussy are her favorites), running, eating french fries, sleeping, and watching Sunny.

LRC Student Staff Member: Mariam Aghayan

The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members.


Hi, my name is Mariam Aghayan and I am a sophomore Political Science major. I was born and raised in Yerevan, which is the capitol of Armenia. My family and I moved to Albany, New York, when I was 11 years old in order to give my brother and me a better chance of attaining a higher quality education. I learned English in 6th grade.
In Armenian, there is a saying that how many languages you know is how many people you are. My great-grandfather knew seventeen languages and so far I am fluent in only three: Armenian, Russian, and English. I am certainly hoping to pick up a few more in college; I started learning Spanish once I got to campus and am currently studying Italian. I am very interested in different languages and cultures and hope that my study abroad experiences will broaden my perspectives and make me a better citizen of the world.

Growing up in Armenia, I was constantly aware of the scarring effects of the Armenian Genocide. I grew up listening to the survival stories of my ancestors at bedtime, as recalled by my grandparents, and that has left a lasting impression on me. I realize that the Armenian Genocide is only one of many human atrocities, but it is the one that is closest to my heart and it has fueled my passion to further my own knowledge in the field of human rights.

In 2012-2013, I was selected to pilot the Honors Project at my high school, which meant that I created my own year-long course. I researched the correlations between human rights violations in the twentieth century, exploring the sequence of events leading up to the genocides in order to determine any commonalities that might help us to prevent future human atrocities. Last May, I traveled to Armenia and interned at the Human Rights Defender’s Office, in the department of International Affairs. The experience was amazing and inspired me to become more involved in human rights campaigns and politics.

I became a member of the European Youth Parliament in 2013 and most recently represented my home country, Armenia, in the Thessaloniki International Forum in Greece. One of the most amazing experiences I ever had was debating on whether a strong central government was necessary in the oldest Union Chamber in Europe, where Gandhi and Clinton gave speeches. That experience was made possible through the Exceptional Merit Scholarship that I received to study at the University of Cambridge, which granted me the opportunity to study International Law and Debate. In 2012, I received a Dean’s Scholarship to attend Brown University for the summer and study Community Psychology.

In March, 2014, I was awarded a Project for Peace grant by the Davis Foundation. My Project for Peace grant proposal was submitted by the Center for Public Service and selected from a competitive pool of students from all over the nation. My project was aimed at educating disabled, homeless, and children of war-torn families to teach them English, healthy living, computer literacy, and social skills. I know first-hand the disparity that exists in the educational system that is accessible to children of wealthy parents and children who have to rely on the scarce government funding to secure their food, shelter, clothing and education. There is a huge stigma in Armenia against people with disabilities and it is heart-breaking to say that more often than not they are treated as sub-humans. This project helped build some confidence among these vulnerable children. The objectives were achieved through provision of high-intensity, interactive workshops during 21 days. I was able to lead a team of dedicated people, including a World Health Organization doctor, teachers, and peers, without whom this project would have simply been impossible to implement. We were successful with accomplishing the goals we set out to reach in Kapan and we even managed to expand this project into the neighboring region. I reached out and collaborated with the Governor of Vayotz Dzor Province in Armenia and donated over 100 textbooks and novels to an NGO in Vayk, the capitol of Vayotz Dzor, which delivered the books to children in hospitals and orphanages.

LRC Student Staff Member: Begench Atayev

The new semester has begun, and we are featuring profiles of our multilingual and multitalented student staff members. First up is Mr. Begench Atayev.


                My name is Begench. I am a sophomore from Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia.I can speak English, Russian, Turkish and Turkmen. I have attended a boarding school in Wisconsin. My interests are Economics, IR, Chinese, Football(Soccer), watching comedies.
                I am one of the leaders of the Gburg Intramural Soccer(join us on fb!). We meet each Tue and Thu from 9 to 11 pm in Bream to enjoy a game of pick-up soccer. You don’t have to be great at it, anyone is welcome – so just show up!
               And yeah, I love 12 grain chicken salad sandwich at Bullet Hole! And I also love camels!!