Professor prepares students for competitive job market


While some college students know basic foreign language skills, enhancing these skills may make them more competitive in the job market.

“Knowing a language is not a luxury but a necessity today,” Dr. Jennifer Pomeroy said.

Pomeroy, professor in the modern languages department, teaches Mandarin Chinese language. Pomeroy is also a long-term adjunct professor at the geography/earth science department, teaching world geography, and a faculty adviser at Interim Undeclared Advising Center with the School of Academic Programs and Services.

Pomeroy has lived in Shippensburg since 1999. She has a doctorate in geography, a master’s degree in geography/planning, and a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and literature.

“I have long been interested in doing my research on where and why Chinese language/culture diffuses across space and time,” Pomeroy said. Pomeroy explains how being a global citizen and understanding other cultures in addition to your own culture is important to survival and future success. “As China has reentered the global stage, China plays more and more roles in global affairs. Economically, China has become the world’s second largest economy.”

This means numerous business and job opportunities. China has more than one billion people. In addition to China, people in Taiwan (Republic of China), Singapore and overseas Chinese communities that are rapidly expanding also speak Mandarin Chinese.

That means roughly one out of four people in the world speaks Chinese. Chinese has become a business “lingua franca” today. Mandarin Chinese is also one of the six working languages at the United Nations.

Pomeroy said efforts by the modern languages department and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has helped ensure Chinese language classes are available for fall 2013. Currently, Pomeroy is teaching Chinese 101 and 102 and notices a rising interest from last semester.

“By teaching Chinese, it is my hope that our Ship students have exposure to a non-European language, developing a level of Chinese culture sensitivity, and therefore be competitive in the job market,” Pomeroy said.

Colleges like Messiah, Gettysburg and Dickinson offer Mandarin Chinese as well. Pomeroy said Shippensburg was the last to offer it but the results have been successful. She also advises the Chinese Language Club here at Shippensburg. It meets every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in the CUB.

Pomeroy said there is diversity in the classes that she teaches. The few Asian students that she teaches are either foreign exchange or Asian-American. Pomeroy noted how at their high schools, Mandarin Chinese was offered and that once they found out it was offered at Shippensburg they were delighted to take the course.

Pomeroy did confirm that Chinese 101, 102, and 103 will be offered for the upcoming fall semester. Also Chinese studies will be offered as a minor sometime in the future.

Pomeroy is offering students a summer abroad opportunity to take field studies in China. It is a three-credit course for three weeks at Eastern China Normal University (ECNU) in China.

Pomeroy said she was happy to see her students learning and progressing in the language.

She is preparing her students to be global citizens in order to thrive in the future. The necessity for people to be able to communicate globally is increasing and Pomeroy feels strongly about getting the message across to her students and the language department.

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