Academic Senate takes lead on shared governance

Academic Senate takes lead on shared governance

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Everyone at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center knows that the Commandant’s preferred venue of interaction with faculty, staff and students is face-to-face, normally conducted through Town Halls, or on his well-known weekly walks to the school houses. On most occasions during the Town Halls, Col. Phil Deppert, DLIFLC Commandant, will ask the assembled group “what are we for?,” normally eliciting a loud answer by the audience – “for the students!,” in reference to more than 2,500 military service members who learn one of the 17 foreign languages taught at DLIFLC. Today, however, Deppert turns to the first row in the auditorium, spots a dark-eyed young man and hollers, “Aziz, come up here and tell the faculty and staff what you are for!” “I am for the faculty Sir,” says Aziz Popal, a confident-looking young man in his early 30s, well dressed and sporting a brilliant white smile. Popal is the new Academic Senate president who turned the organization around over the past year into a model of shared governance between faculty, staff, and the Institute leadership. In 2016, Deppert directed a review of shared governance, to analyze the extent to which DLIFLC groups were fulfilling their stated purpose and mission, with the intent of creating a clear pathway for faculty and staff members to have their voices heard in the Institute’s decision-making processes. “Shared governance has been reenergized,” said Popal, in an interview, explaining that these efforts had fallen by the way side in recent years and that the Academic Senate and Faculty Advisory Councils had lost...
Master Educator Course prepares service members to teach

Master Educator Course prepares service members to teach

By 1st Sgt. Sean Cherland Senior Training Developer, Faculty Development   MONTEREY, Calif. – Military service members in Monterey, California are taking advantage of their military training as foreign language instructors and are applying their experience toward achieving higher education degrees through the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Staff from the University of Louisville visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Oct. 27 to observe foreign language classes being conducted by half a dozen Military Language Instructors who are enrolled in their program. “I feel very fortunate to be able to pursue my Master Degree in Higher Education through the University of Louisville by using my experience from DLI. There was a two-month in-residence part of the course which I found useful to bring back to my students,” said Sgt. Baojun Marie Cui, who teaches Chinese. The University of Louisville offers 15 credits toward a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and an 8-week accelerated resident track to complete the graduate degree.  Awarded credits include material focusing on program development and assessment, teaching and learning styles, and instructional strategies.  The program was designed by the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development at Fort Knox, Kentucky, with the intent to support Army University, a nascent Army organization that focuses on providing college credit and credentialing to Soldiers for their military education and experience. “The emphasis here is on excellence in teaching and learning,” said Dr. Megan Pifer, assistant director for College for Education and Human Development, who observed Cui’s instruction in Chinese to military service students aiming to become professional linguists. “It gives me a chance to...
Getting to 2+/2+/2: by 2022

Getting to 2+/2+/2: by 2022

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – After 9/11, one thing became abundantly clear to the intelligence community – there is a dire need for more and better qualified linguists. Seven months later, in April 2002, then National Security Agency director, Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, issued a memo establishing the Interagency Roundtable Level standard for Cryptologic Language Analysts to perform assignments to a 3/3 Level. He acknowledged this meant “adjustments in training, assignments and numbers of billets. These adjustments will not be easy, but they are absolutely essential,” he stated. “As staff directly involved in the training of CLAs, we took this memo very seriously and started planning accordingly, said Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Chief of Staff, Steven Collins. To reach these new standards, DLIFLC decreased the teacher-student ratio, introduced innovative technology in the classroom, improved curriculum, trained instructors to teach at  higher levels, and increased its presence worldwide through Language Training Detachments, Mobile Training Teams, and online learning products. “Essentially, we have been working toward this goal for years, but now we have direct support at the highest decision-maker levels,” explained Collins. In May 2016, to meet the NSA standard, the Department of Defense Senior Language Authority directed DLIFLC to change its basic course graduation standard to 2+ in both listening and reading by September 30, 2022. “It is important to understand that the new DOD Instruction 5160.70 states that the CLA requirement is 3/3,” emphasized Collins. On Oct. 1, 2016, DLIFLC Commandant, Col. Phil Deppert, directed all faculty, staff, students and military cadre in the Undergraduate Education Schools to work closely together...
DLIFLC grad shaken by suicide shares son’s story

DLIFLC grad shaken by suicide shares son’s story

By Brian Lepley Presidio of Monterey Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The saddest task for a parent, it is said, is burying one of their children. But sadder still, Rob Miltersen found out, is burying your 21-year old Airman First Class son after his suicide. Thor Miltersen took his own life in 2014 while assigned to the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland. He was a 2012 Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center graduate in Chinese Mandarin. Rob was also an Air Force DLIFLC grad, in 1990, at the start of his 20-year career. Staggering grief alters lives. Rob’s tragedy focused him to a mission of shouting from the rooftops about suicide prevention. “The loss of one individual to suicide impacts many, up to more than a hundred family, friends and colleagues of that person,” he said. “They mourn the loss and are impacted with sadness and grief that is hard to understand, in turn, those individuals then find themselves in a higher risk category.” On Sept. 14, Miltersen brought his suicide prevention presentation to DLIFLC, addressing a few hundred students and faculty. “I think this generation of students are more in touch with their vulnerabilities than previous generations,” he said, “however, there is a general idea that we are all impervious to this kind of tragedy. “Unfortunately the statistics tell a horribly different story.  Suicide impacts all of us in some way; to some of us it is incredibly personal.” DLIFLC Chaplain (Maj.) Chan Ham was impressed by how personal and relatable Miltersen’s story was for the audience. “I think it was a fitting message for...
DLIFLC officer finishes, says farewell to All-Army Women’s Basketball

DLIFLC officer finishes, says farewell to All-Army Women’s Basketball

By Tim Hipps IMCOM Public Affairs   SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Presidio of Monterey’s 1st Lt. Michelle Ambuul tough-nosed hoops skills helped the All-Army women secure silver at the 2017 Armed Forces Basketball Championships. Literally. As if getting her nose broken during training camp Oct. 10 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, was not enough to overcome, Ambuul got whacked again the following week during an intra-squad scrimmage at Fort Hood, Texas. A nose broken twice in as many weeks would make many athletes retreat from competition, but Ambuul donned a protective mask and played All-Army’s last four games of the seven-day tournament at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. All-Navy (6-1) defeated All-Army (4-3), 79-63, in the women’s gold-medal game Nov. 7 at Chaparral Fitness Center. The tournament was perhaps the last hurrah as a competitive basketball player for Ambuul, 30, who serves as Associate Dean of the Persian Farsi School at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. “I think this is the last time I’ll play competitive basketball at a high level,” she said. “I have other priorities that I want to focus on. And the older you get, the harder it is on your body. I’m definitely learning that the hard way. I just want to go out strong.” Despite a delivery delay of her mask, Ambull managed to play in Army’s last four games. She collected 10 rebounds during Army’s 95-37 win over the Marines Nov. 4. Broken noses were growing old for the Ambuul, who was an All-Armed Forces basketball selection in 2012. “Once in Germany, when I was 22 or 23,” she recalled of her...
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