Listee Features — Language

Leslie Grainger-Haynes


Traveling often with her mother, the owner of Taos Travel Agency, in her youth, Leslie Grainger-Haynes wanted to learn different languages so that she could speak to other people in their language. Today, she attributes much of her success as an adult to her education at Kent School for Girls for giving inspiring her. Ms. Grainger-Haynes served two decades as the president of International Transition Services in Denver from 1990 to 2010, previously serving in the same role at International Translation Services in Nashville, Tennessee, from 1980 to 1986. In addition to this tenure, Ms. Grainger-Haynes provided translation services to the entertainment industry, U.S. Tobacco and Nissan Manufacturing in Tennessee. Likewise, she provided translation and interpretive services for the entertainment

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Zema Jordan


Ever since she was young, Dr. Zema L. Jordan has loved English, writing, and language. She was driven to help others find that same passion, and found education to be the perfect way to do so. Her first position in the field was instructor of English at Liberty High School, followed by instructor of English and part-time guidance counselor at Wilson Junior High School and instructor of English at Southwestern High School. She then advanced to become the head of the English Department at Farwell Junior High School and the administrative unit head at Richard Middle School. Today, Dr. Jordan holds the positions of part-time English instructor at Wayne County Community College, administrative unit head at Von Steuben Middle School,

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Elisabeth Wilton


Adept in linguistics and psychology, Elisabeth S. Wilton, PhD, claims language is her first and greatest love because she likes words and why people speak the way they do. As president of her own company for 17 years, consulting at Wilton Associate, Inc. in McLean, Virginia, she worked with other contractors for the government. A couple of times Dr. Wilton contracted directly with the government. However, most of the time she was a sub-contractor to other contractors. She was doing training with the new employees that were hired. Prior to this role, Dr. Wilton began her career as a linguist, translating French, German, Spanish, and Romanian, for the U.S. government in Washington in 1959, remaining in this role for two

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Growing up on farmland in Kansas, Dr. Donna R. Vocate attended school in a small schoolhouse and always possessed an ardor for reading. Specifically interested in journalism and investigating word construction, her teacher would bring in whatever books she wanted and that opened her eyes to speech and language. As a full-time educator, she most recently served as a professor at Arkansas Tech University from 1990 until her official retirement in 2003. She began her professional career as an assistant professor at Eastern Montana College in 1980, remaining in this position for three years before transferring to the honors department of the University of Colorado, Boulder (UCB) from 1983 to 1990. She then joined Boston University as a full professor

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Elizabeth Buchanan


Raised in a family of educators, Dr. Elizabeth S. Buchanan took a trip to Canada at 16 years old that inspired her teach French because the language excited her. Since 1998, she has expressed her passion as an English as a second language (ESL) teacher at Tabernacle Elementary School in Asheboro, North Carolina. Prior to this role, she began her teaching career with Charleston County Schools in South Carolina in 1962, remaining within the district for six years. She then transferred to Wake County Schools in Raleigh, Virginia, from 1968 to 1972 and Fairfax County Schools in Reston, Virginia, from 1978 to 1998 before accepting a job instructing at Randolph Community College in Asheboro from 1999 to 2006. During this

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A Latin teacher for more than three decades, Joy K. King’s fascination with the language began in high school. Her mother signed her up for a college preparation program that required four years of Latin, and Dr. King ended up loving it. She even participated in a statewide Latin contest through which the top two senior students were awarded scholarships to colleges in Illinois. Dr. King ranked in the top two her sophomore and junior years of high school, but World War II halted the contest her senior year. She managed to persuade the donors to grant her a scholarship to Knox College anyway, and after adding three years of Greek to her repertoire, her good marks ensured it was

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When Louise Fay Despres was young, her mother began giving her French lessons and opened the door to a world of possibilities. Ms. Despres fell in love with the language almost instantaneously; she found it beautiful and compelling. She pursued the subject all through her childhood, from home to the classroom, and even then she wanted to know more. She proceeded to complete coursework at the American School of Music in Fontainebleau, France, and to earn a Bachelor of Arts in French from Connecticut College for Women (now Connecticut College), and a Master of Arts in French from Middlebury College in Paris, France. Another one of Ms. Despres’ passions was academia. Both her father and her aunt were teachers, and

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Outraged by the lack of empathy and care in the education of bilingual children, Linda B. Lewis White decided to take matters into her own hands. She became a certified bilingual and elementary teacher in the state of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in home economics and a Master of Arts in social sciences from California State University, and jumped right into the field. Dr. Lewis White proceeded to serve as a bilingual teacher in the Arlington School District from 1977 to 1996 and then as a professor of reading at Eastern Michigan University. She continues to work in the latter to this day. Her responsibilities include teaching undergraduate students to become educators and teaching graduate students seeking a

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Roslyn Blyn-LaDrew strongly believes that the more languages a person knows, the better they understand other people and cultures. She experienced this first hand as a child, when she lived in India for a year and was first introduced to Hindi. Knowing the language really helped her feel connected; she knew she had to pursue it further. Then, when Dr. Blyn-LaDrew was a bit older, Irish folktales and Irish music caught her eye. She was intrigued by the sense of magic and supernatural in the stories. Dr. Blyn-LaDrew came to realize that not everyone in Ireland speaks Irish, however, and that an understanding of the original language was necessary to really get the material. She began studying Celtic languages at

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The oldest of four children, Kathleen Kish loved learning and sharing knowledge with her sisters. She was particularly interested in both science and language, and ultimately decided to pursue the latter. Dr. Kish proceeded earn a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1964, and both a Master of Arts and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 1965 and 1971, respectively. Her first position in the field was lecturer in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, followed by professor and chair. She moved to San Diego University as the professor and chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 1999, and remained there until she accepted the

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