SLS Ph.D. Program Wins Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award

The Second Language Studies (SLS) doctoral program in the College of Arts & Letters has won the 2018 Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award presented by Michigan State University's Graduate School. The award is part of the Graduate School Outstanding Mentoring Awards, which recognize graduate programs, faculty mentors, and doctoral students who exemplify mentoring best practices.

The SLS Ph.D. program provides a firm foundation in the fields of second language acquisition, applied linguistics, and foreign language studies. Students of the program learn how to apply theories and methods from these fields to current second language and foreign language research and teaching.

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Students in the SLS Ph.D. program


“I've known for a long time that the SLS program provided a nurturing and stimulating environment for both students and faculty, so it's very gratifying to receive this official recognition for the hard work that the SLS program has contributed,” said Professor Shawn Loewen, Director of the SLS Ph.D. program.

The selection committee for the Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award was impressed by the variety of mechanisms the SLS Ph.D. program uses to deliver excellent mentoring and professional development opportunities to doctoral students, with an emphasis on fostering ethical research practices, starting with early coursework that generates projects often published in peer-reviewed outlets.

It's very gratifying to receive this official recognition for the hard work that the SLS program has contributed.

Professor Shawn Loewen

The program also supports professional networking by sponsoring visits to MSU by distinguished speakers and student travel to professional meetings. The prevalent culture empowers students to create learning communities around special focus areas and reading groups to complement the formal coursework. With a broad focus on second language learning and teaching, the intellectual landscape is interdisciplinary and the placement record of graduates in national and international institutions is high.

The Graduate School Outstanding Mentoring Awards include the Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award, Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, and Outstanding Doctoral Student Mentor Award. Winners of these awards were notified by email on May 1 and will receive a plaque and monetary award.

To learn more about the Graduate School Outstanding Mentoring Awards and this year’s recipients, read the MSU Today article.