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Marissa Oakley '09 receives one of only six foreign language awards in the nation

Marissa Oakley '09 has been awarded a 2009 Phi Sigma Iota award for excellence in the study of foreign languages and service to international education. She is one of only six students in the United States to receive this award, and this is the third time in five years that a Muskingum College student has earned this honor.

Phi Sigma Iota is an international honor society that recognizes outstanding accomplishment in the study or teaching of any of the academic fields related to foreign language, literature or culture, and membership represents the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages. There are approximately 250 chapters of Phi Sigma Iota at institutions of higher learning in the United States, Mexico and France.

Oakley, who will graduate on May 9 with a major in French and minors in business and Spanish, was the 2006 recipient of the college’s Charles C. Morehead Award for Excellence in French, and this year earned an appointment as an English teaching assistant at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie, in Nice, France for the 2009-2010 academic year. She plans to attend graduate school in the United States after completing her assignment in France.

Earlier in her college career, Oakley was recognized for academic excellence by the American Association of Teachers of French with a national award for both academic excellence and an exceptional commitment to speaking French and learning about French-speaking cultures.

At the college, Oakley served as the secretary of the French Club during her sophomore year and has also been an active member of the Spanish Club. She was inducted into Muskingum’s Phi Sigma Iota chapter in 2007 and served as its secretary that year. She also is an inaugural member of the Muskingum chapter of the national academic honor society, Phi Kappa Phi, which was installed at the college in April.

Professor of German Dr. Franz-Joseph Wehage serves as the faculty advisor to Phi Sigma Iota at Muskingum, and Associate Professor of French Dr. Jean Morris is Oakley’s advisor.