Phi Sigma Iota  -  homepage
Muskingum University
Phi Nu Chapter (1948)
International Foreign Language Honor Society

Phi Sigma Iota recognizes outstanding ability and high standards of students and faculty of foreign languages, literatures and cultures (including classics, linguistics, philology, comparative literature, ESL, bilingual education, and second language acquisition). It is the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages. Phi Sigma Iota has initiated over 60,000 members since its foundation in 1917, and it has created and supports numerous scholarship programs. 

Muskingum University student receives
awards for excellence in language study

Karen DeBaldo ('13), German/Education, has been awarded this year's highest and most prestigious Phi Sigma Iota award, the Dr. Henry Ward Church Scholarship. The International Foreign Language Honor Society awards six scholarships annually to six students across the United States. PSI has more than 250 chapters in the US and more than 60000 members. For a list of very impressive colleges and universities, please check this site:

Karen attended the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, April 19, 2013, in Lexington, KY. where she gave a paper with the title:  Media snapshots enhance a topics based discussion about the Third Reich. The paper was the result of her outstanding senior seminar research.

The purpose of this project is to examine how modern German films portray the women of Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. The research focuses on three main films: Sophie Scholl; Die Letzten Tage , Rosenstrasse , and Nirgendwo in Afrika , all of which depict women who transcend the traditional expectations of Third Reich society. These women take on roles as leaders and heroines during a time when their responsibilities rarely exceeded the limits of the home. Additionally, they bravely step into these roles in defiance of the Nazi regime and stand out as examples of the human conscience. In contrast, there are several films which reveal opposing morals in their portrayals of women who support the Nazis. The analysis of both types of women in these films reveals a moral spectrum of women who rise above their expected roles as weak, impressionable homemakers on one side and the women who participate in the frenzy of Nazi ideology. To effectively illustrate the women in these films, I used VLC snapshot technology. The presentation examines the female roles of Sophie Scholl and Lena Fischer who represent resistance against the Nazis and ends with the minor female characters that supported the Nazis. The character Jettel Redlich, in her ability to change, represents a transcending of the spectrum. I will demonstrate how the VLC software made it possible for me to illustrate these portrayals in the PowerPoint.

Karen just finished her 12 weeks long student teaching at Tri-Valley-high school. She won a scholarship to attend the Ohio Foreign Language Association Conference March 29-31, 2013 in Columbus. The conference is for language teachers from across Ohio. As a German licensure candidate, Karen attended conference sessions on topics related to her teaching interests. Karen was recognized for her award at a banquet on Mar. 31 along with scholarship winners from other Ohio universities. 

Karen returned to Muskingum in the fall of 2012 after completing her semester long study abroad requirement at Passau University the spring of 2012. She also studied in the summer language immersion program at Passau University for the month of August in 2010. 

Karen was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Iota in 2011. On campus, Karen was involved in the German Club and Phi Sigma Iota. In addition, she was a resident of the university's German House, and also actively engaged with both German- and Spanish-speaking students who have travelled to Muskingum from abroad.

Karen received the Mary E. Sharp Award for Excellence in German April 2010.