THE HELLENIC LINK, Inc.
Member Update- BULLETIN
Editorial Committee: Ahilleas Adamantiades, Alex Economides, Maria-Eleftheria Giatrakou, Dean C. Lomis, Katherine Efthymiatou-Stabile
ContributingEditors: Dimitrios Oreopoulos, Evangelos Calamitsis
Acting Editor: Constantine Efthymiou
No. 99, October-November, 2011
Hellenic Link News
Following its recent election by the membership of the Hellenic Link, Inc., the new Board of Directors held its first scheduled Meeting on October 22, 2011. During this Meeting, the past President, Prof. Constantine J. Efthymiou, reviewed the actions of the previous Board and pointed out the priorities that the New Board would have to face and handle. For the benefit of the HL members, some excerpts from his review- report covering the last three years are recited below:
A. In the realm of Hellenic Paideia, "in response to the generally perceived need for a better system of Hellenic Education in America, the Hellenic Link persisted in its prior commitment; it made further assessments of existing needs and charted new paths of action conducive to the needed renaissance of Greek Letters in America. With available human resources energized, the HL focused on the following aspects of education and pursued, as vigorously as difficult circumstances permitted, relevant developmental work. Effort was initiated to motivate institutions of higher learning offering programs of Hellenic Studies to develop curricula for training teachers of Greek. With this objective in mind, in cooperation with the Faculty of the Interdisciplinary Center of Hellenic Studies of Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, HL organized in 2008 a day-long germinal Colloquium on the theme: "Development of an Educational Program to Train State-Certified Teachers of Greek Language and Culture for American Primary and Secondary Schools." The papers presented at this Colloquium brought to fore an awareness of several academic realities and constraints. It served as springboard for a an articulated series of five position papers concerned with specific problem-areas of Hellenic Education in America, sponsored by our Advisory Council on Hellenic Education . The venue for the presentations was the Public Nationwide Forum "Hellenic Values in a Global Civilization: Engaging the Colleges, Universities and Citizens", organized by the American Foundation for the Greek Language and Culture in Tampa FL in February 2010. The presentations -- as is known, now are available in their entirety at the web site of the HL. On the heels of this remarkable Conference, in a particular effort to implement the proposal advanced by the Paper " Aligning Greek Language Teaching with U.S. National Standards"(presented by Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinis), our Advisory Council took action aimed at the introduction and inclusion of Modern Greek as one of the Foreign Languages officially endorsed for teaching /learning in the schools of primary and secondary education in the USA. To the invitation extended by the Council for participation in this important project, there was a warm and enthusiastic response by Greek language scholars serving in teaching and research positions at prominent educational institutions of the United States. A Task-Force (TF) to develop the crucial document "National Standards for the Teaching of Modern Greek," was formed late in 2010; the thirteen-member TF was rapidly organized to give shape and content to the sine qua non, complex document under the able coordination of Council member Dr. Fotinis. The overall project is being conducted under the auspices, active encouragement and guidance of the American Council for Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL), in close cooperation with the Modern Greek Language Teachers Association (MGLTA), led by its President Dr. Eva Prionas. By its focused participation in national and regional conferences, constant exchanges of ideas and experience as well as methodical collaborative writing, the Task-Force began to make convincing progress towards its set goal. At this time, the TF is charting the procedural course for completion of its "National Standards" document for submission to the ACTFL by the end of 2012. Importantly, a Special Interest Group (SIG; see Bulletin 97,Summer 2011) consisting of Greek Educators has been established within the framework of the ACTFL to continually review the requirements of contemporizing and further developing the teaching of the Greek language and culture in American schools."
B. Dr. Efthymiou further reviewed the status of the other major on-going educational project of the Hellenic Link, the "Modular Teaching of Hellenic Cultural Themes: The Crucial Link between Content and Pedagogy."
In addition, he summarized efforts to enlighten the community on burning cultural-ethnic issues and to keep in contact and interact with outstanding members of the scientific and academic communities, of Hellenic background, in North America.
Looking forward towards a worthy continuation of the Hellenic Link course, he concluded his review with these remarks and recommendations:
"The reality as well as necessity to have a number of Board Members located away from New York City presents a challenge for the effective governance of the Hellenic Link, Inc. The integration of these members into the anticipated creative "????es?a?" of our Association is a must, which will have to be addressed and regulated satisfactorily with cooperation and input by everyone concerned.
The renewal and growth of the Hellenic Link with new members is essential for long range viability and progress. As such, this matter should be a primary objective of the new Board and its attainment should be vigorously pursued by all members in unison.
The availability of funds, sufficient to initiate, sustain and carry out HL projects of major significance, can be realized only with a systematic enlightenment and involvement of the Greek American community through a credible and durable soliciting effort."
The Treasurer of the HL reported at the Meeting on the current financial status of the Association: "Passbook Savings: $2,534.42; Current Checking Account Balance: $4,120.63."
In response to assessed needs and following an exchange of views and discussions among its members, the new Board adopted the following short-to-medium term actions:
All recommendations concerning the Members of the Board-at-large, made primarily by Dr. Evangelos Calamitsis and supplementally by Dr. Katina Efthymiatou-Stabile, for maintaining effective communication with the Board and for effective participation in the affairs of the Board, were approved:
a. Circulate well in advance and as detailed as possible an agenda of each Board meeting, with a brief description of the key issues that would be discussed and perhaps voted upon. Interested members-at-large could then send by E-mail any comments they may have ahead of the meeting. b. If need be during a Board meeting, one or more members-at-large may be contacted by phone to contribute briefly to the discussion. c. Fully describe any pending issues in the minutes of a meeting, especially if they need to be decided upon in a subsequent meeting. d. Encourage BOD members-at-large to help develop existing proposals and/or make proposals of their own in the light of experiences in their particular fields and communities. e. Encourage BOD members-at-large to propose new activities, including studies or lectures, and contribute to the HL' s Bulletin and web site on Hellenic and related issues. f. On their part and when possible, members-at-large should make an effort to attend a BOD meeting g. Encourage the BOD members-at-large to advance the goals of the Hellenic Link within their professional environment and the general Greek- American/Greek-Canadian community."
The Advisory Council on Hellenic Education has been reappointed with its present composition:
Anagnostis P. Agelarakis, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropological
Archaeology, Adelphi University., NY
John Anton, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Greek
Philosophy and Culture, University
of South Florida
Rev. Demetrios Constantelos, Ph.D.
Distinguished Research Scholar and the
Charles Cooper Townsend Sr. Professor of History and Religious Studies, Emeritus, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Katherine Efthymiatou-Stabile, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita of Social Sciences,
Queensborough Community College, CUNY
Constantine J. Efthymiou, Ph.D. Member Ex Officio and Council Coordinator; Professor of Microbiology (Ret.), St. John's University; President, The Hellenic Link, Inc.
Constantine Gajdjis, M.A.,
Foreign Languages Educator;
Music Director, Hellenic Music Institute
Evangelos Gizis, Ph.D.
Provost (Ret.), Queens College, CUNY
Pandelis Halamandaris, Ph.D., Ed.D.
Professor Emeritus of Education, Brandon University; Deputy Director, Centre for Hellenic Civilization, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg
Constantine Hatzidimitriou, Ph.D.
Regional Director of School Improvement, Regional Learning Support Center 3, Board of Education, City of New York
Christos P. Ioannides, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Queens College, CUNY
Dean C. Lomis, Ph.D.
Professor of International Education, Emeritus, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Nikos Metallinos, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication/Greek Studies, Concordia University,
Michael Papaioannou, Ph.D.
Financial Advisor to the Council
Senior Economist, International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C.
Michael A. Soupios, Ph.D
Professor of Political Philosophy, C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University, Brookville, New York
Elias Stefanakos, Ph.D., PE
Professor and Director, Clean Energy Research Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
Christ Stratakis, Esq., Legal Advisor to the Council, Attorney at Law, Poles Tublin Gonzales & Weichert, LLP, New York
Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinis, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Standards for Modern Greek Language Learning Project
Instructor of Education, Caldwell College and Kean University, NJ
The Board will endeavor to collectively and individually upgrade the content of the HL Web Site and Bulletin
The Board, likewise collectively and individually, will wage a continuous campaign to attract new HL members and plan activities for their retention as well as for implementation of the Association's Objectives.
Similarly, the Board will take initiatives to project the HL' s Objectives to the community and to facilitate cooperation with other Hellenic Organizations sharing its goals.
The Board will make determined efforts to acquire sufficient financial strength to carry out projects engendering social and ethnic benefits in accordance with the HL' s Objectives.
The Board also voted and installed as Officers: President: Constantine J. Efthymiou, Ph.D.(renewed tenure), 1st Vice President: Dimitri Staikos, Ph.D., 2nd Vice President: Evangelos Calamitsis, Ph.D., Secretary: Katina Efthymiatou-Stabile, Ph.D. (renewed tenure), Treasurer: Constantine Gajdjis, M.A. (renewed tenure).
"Modern Greek: a LIVING Classic" !!
With the above enthusiastic motto the members of the HL Task Force (TF) approached their arduous participation in this year's Annual Conference of the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), recently concluded in Denver, Colorado. The spirit of the motto is indicative of their justified zeal and pride to forge ahead and place the Greek language and culture firmly on the American educational scene. We all owe respect, admiration and every support to them for the avant-guard work they are doing for the children of America. The TF is staffed with the following Educators-Scholars:
Elpida Bairaktaris, Greek Language Teacher, Odyssey Charter School, Delaware
Peter Bien, Emeritus Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Dartmouth College, NH
Nancy Biska, Adjunct Professor of Modern Greek, Adelphi University, NY
Gregory Fulkerson, Education Associate for World Languages and International Education, Delaware Department of Education
Maria Hnaraki, Director of Greek Studies, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Gus Hatzidimitriou, Senior School/District Improvement & Project Director, TAH, NYC DOE Support , NY
Stella Kokollis, Federation of Hellenic Educators and Cultural Associations, NY
Ioanna P. Lekkakou, Greek Language Instructor, Sacramento State University; Drama & Greek Language Teacher, YES Charter School, Dobbins, CA
Aristotle Michopoulos, Professor and Chairman of the Greek Studies Department, Hellenic Studies Department at Hellenic College/Holy Cross, Brookline, MA
Eva Prionas, Lecturer in Modern Greek; Coordinator, Special Language Program, Stanford University; National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL); Modern Greek Language Teachers Association (MGLTA), President.
Vassiliki Rapti, Preceptor in Modern Greek, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Louiza Kondilis, Instructor of Modern Greek, Portland State University
Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinis, Modern Greek Language Standards Project Director
The members of the TF have every reason to be happy for what they were able to accomplish at the ACTFL Conference: they rejoiced that their mission was made possible by the personal, generous and considerate sponsorship of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Spyropoulos; that they had the opportunity to interact with peers teaching other foreign languages and cultures as well as with leaders of ACTFL. As a result, they could place their writing tasks within a frame of modern trends followed by ACTFL, and reassessed their timelines for completion of their goal: "The National Standards for Teaching Modern Greek." Their schedule for 2012 includes milestone-dates, such as for completion of this document's component parts, for communications and meetings to evaluate and consolidate progress of advanced drafts, and for interacting successively with two essential for the success of the initiative teams: the Reviewers and the Councilors, who graciously have accepted to help finalize the work-document for submission to ACTFL, for approval next November.
The following educators have offered to serve as Reviewers of the "National Standards:" working document:
Georgia Amalia Arvaniti, Linguist, University of California, San Diego, CA
Effie Christie, Chairperson and Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Kean
University, Past Asst. Superintendent, Newark Public Schools, NJ
Brian Joseph, Linguist, Ohio State University, OH
Athena Kromidas, Principal, William Spyropoulos Greek-American School of St. Nicholas, Flushing, NY
Elsa Amanatidou, Senior Lecturer, Modern Greek Studies, Brown University;Director, Center for Language Studies
George Melikokis, Principal, Jamaica Day School of St. Demetrios, Jamaica, NY
Georgia Thanasoulis, Teacher of Modern Greek, Bronx Science High School, New York, NY
Lida Triantafillidou, School of Modern Greek Language, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
The following Academic Scholars have offered to do the final editing of the Documen
James Alatis, Dean Emeritus, School of Languages and Linguistics, Distinguished Professor of Linguistics and Modern Greek, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
John Rassias, William R. Kenan Professor, Professor of French and Italian, and Chair of the Department, Dartmouth College, NH
Gonda Van Steen, Center for Greek Studies, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL
Panagiotis Roilos, Director of the George Seferis Chair, Harvard University, MA
June K. Phillips, Professor and Dean Emerita of Arts and Humanities at Weber State University (UT);
Judson R. Shaver, President, Marymount Manhattan College, New York, NY
Dimitri Gondicas, Executive Director, Program in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Richard Martin, Professor of Classics, Stanford University, CA
The Annual Conference of ACTFL in 2012 will be held in Philadelphia, PA. It would be a felicitous coincidence for the approval of the "National Standards for Teaching Modern Greek" to take place in the culturally and richly-meaningful City of Brotherly Love. We wish it to happen most fervently!
Finally, the Hellenic Link family feels obliged to express special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Spyropoulos for their valuing, shown concern and care in deed for the mission of the TF. It must be noted that in sharp contrast to the general insensitivity and apathy, Mr. and Mrs. Spyropoulos substantially funded the travel expenses of members of the Task Force. Thus, the educators were able to effectively participate in successive Conferences at which their presence and professional interactions within the ACTFL process were absolutely necessary for the success and fulfillment of their precious objective.