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Karen DeBaldo ’13 receives highest award from international foreign language honor society

KAREN DEBALDOKaren DeBaldo ’13 has received the Dr. Henry Ward Church Scholarship, the highest honor granted by Phi Sigma Iota, the international foreign language honor society.  DeBaldo, a German and education major, is the second student at Muskingum to earn the scholarship, which is granted to only six students in the United States.

During her career at Muskingum, DeBaldo has amassed a long list of academic achievements and honors.  In April, she was selected to present a paper at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference.  Titled Media snapshots enhance a topics based discussion about the Third Reich, the paper examined how modern German films portray the women of Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945.

At Muskingum’s Scholarship Recognition Day, held on April 12, DeBaldo received the Mary E. Sharp Award for Excellence in German, which is given by the university’s World Languages department for the best student in the study of German.  In 2011, she was inducted into Phi Sigma Iota, as well as Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and largest honor society dedicated to excellence in all academic pursuits. 

Earlier this year, DeBaldo received a scholarship to attend the Ohio Foreign Language Association Conference in Columbus, where she attended conferences related to her interest in teaching German.  In both 2010 and 2012, she studied at Passau University in Germany, in both a semester-long program and a summer language immersion program. 

At Muskingum, DeBaldo was involved in the German Club and the university’s Phi Sigma Iota chapter.  In addition, she was a resident of the university’s German House and was actively engaged with both German- and Spanish-speaking students who have travelled to Muskingum from abroad.

DeBaldo has just completed her student teaching assignment at Tri-Valley High School and will graduate from Muskingum on May 11.  She plans to pursue a career teaching German.

Her faculty advisor in German is Professor of German Dr. Franz-Joseph Wehage.