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K-State Today

June 4, 2020

Cro to serve as department head of modern languages

Submitted by Malorie Sougey

The College of Arts and Sciences welcomes Melinda A. Cro as the new head of the modern languages department.

Cro is an associate professor of French specializing in early modern literature and language pedagogy. She joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 2010 after earning her doctorate in romance languages — French and Italian — from the University of Georgia.

Her research interests include experiences of nature and the representation of the natural world in literature and art of the 16th-18th centuries in Europe — particularly France and Italy — as well as language pedagogy and the digital humanities. She has authored two monographs, "Armas y Letras: la Conquista de Italia (1405-1625)," 2012, and most recently "Integrating the Digital Humanities into the Second Language Classroom," 2020, a practical guide for language instructors on approaching the digital humanities in both the secondary and higher ed classroom.

"I am confident that Cro's inclusive and thoughtful leadership will serve the modern languages department well in these challenging times and propel them to major academic growth for years to come," said Amit Chakrabarti, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Cro has obtained several research grants, including as a fellow at the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas and as a participant of the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities, "Textual Data and Digital Texts in the Undergraduate Classroom" in 2018, contributing to an openly licensed, digital anthology. In 2020 she was recognized as a Master Open Education Resource Teacher by the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning at the University of Texas, Austin for her work to develop the open access textbook for French IV at K-State.

Her scholarly work has taken a range of forms, from digital projects to scholarly articles, and has been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals in North America and Europe. She currently serves as contributing editor for French Seventeenth-Century Studies for the annual review, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies, published by Brill. Service has formed an important part of Cro's contribution to the department, university and profession, and she has had the privilege to serve as French Language Program coordinator and director of graduate studies for the modern languages department in addition to serving on all major departmental standing committees as well as serving on the University Handbook Committee and on Graduate Council.

Cro will begin her appointment as department head on June 14.