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WSU Extension Full Immersion Spanish Institute Honored

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University Extension’s Full Immersion Spanish Institute has received a Recognition of Excellence Award for Innovations in Outreach and Engagement from the University Continuing Education Association.

The program was developed by Randy de Mars, coordinator of the WSU North Central Washington Learning Center in Wenatchee. The Full Immersion Spanish Institute is now offered at four other centers around the state.

“Dr. Eloy Gonzalez, professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures at WSU, has strongly supported the program providing connections with highly skilled and enthusiastic instructors who direct, teach and facilitate the program,” de Mars said.

The institute, started in 1998, is a comprehensive language and culture program designed to increase understanding and communication skills of non-Spanish speakers with the state’s growing Hispanic/Latino population.

“Washington’s Hispanic population has doubled over the last 10 years,” said Rob McDaniel, associated dean for University Partnerships.”Given the fact that many Spanish speakers do not speak English, the need for people in all occupations and professions to learn Spanish has never been greater. The ability to communicate effectively with this growing population has a direct impact on the quality of services they receive and the quality of life we enjoy.”

The award certificate names de Mars; Terrie Jones, coordinator of the WSU Learning Center – Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties in Longview; Debra Lancaster, coordinator of the WSU Learning Center – Skagit, Island and San Juan counties in Mount Vernon; Janet McCann, coordinator of the WSU Learning Center – South Central Washington in Yakima; and Cynthia Selde, coordinator of the WSU Learning Center – Southeast Washington in Walla Walla.

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