Beth Kautz to Serve as German Coordinator, Full-Time Instructor

Beth Kautz, Language Center

After almost 20 years of serving the Language Center in a variety of roles and leading the department through significant change, Beth Kautz has decided to return to teaching German full time, and to serve as the second-year German coordinator in the German, Nordic, Slavic and Dutch (GNSD) department. Effective July 1, 2023, Beth is leaving the Language Center, but not the university, and she will continue to be an educational leader and a trusted colleague and friend.

When Beth started at the Language Center in 2004, the unit had four departmental liaisons who held split appointments, and each represented a particular unit, in her case, GNSD (although it was then known by a different name). One of the many changes that Beth participated in was the transition away from the departmental liaison model towards a holistic structure in which all educational specialists support all instructors and students across language and culture programs. Beth is the last of the educational specialists who were originally hired to support a single unit, but ultimately had a much larger impact in second language education. 

Beth had many accomplishments during her long and varied career at the Language Center, but perhaps none were more important than her term as interim director. She served in this role in 2021-2022 at a critical juncture for the unit and language and culture programs. The end of shelter-in-place policies required the challenging transition from serving as a fully remote team, supporting fully remote classes, tests and other services, to a hybrid model. Hybrid and HyFlex can be the most challenging way to teach, learn and work. However, Beth was persistent and dedicated, and the unit successfully reopened in Jones Hall, while remaining flexible for students, instructors and staff. Beth also navigated some challenging technology changes, and her groundwork as interim director is now resulting in positive changes, improving adaptability and sustainability.

Some other highlights of Beth’s time at the Language Center include multiple reorganizations of the TandemPlus program to keep it current with student and instructor needs (including another relaunch in process), serving on a pioneering hybrid curriculum development team for German (long before covid), launching an innovative remote study abroad class in German, and developing the new German Green Cities curricular unit for the ongoing CARLA social justice in second language project.


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