Introducing Jonathan Prestrud
Meet Jonathan Prestrud, who has worked at the Language Center since 2013. His current job title is Executive Office and Administrative Specialist, but what does he really do? In this interview, Jonathan highlights major aspects of his work and shares how he can help you tackle your next project. This is part of a series of Language Center Staff Spotlight articles.
Which parts of your current job description should ElsieTalk readers know about? Are there specific services or expertise you offer that readers could take advantage of more than they currently do?
I’m involved broadly at the Language Center and have some working knowledge about most things that go on here. My primary responsibilities lie with the TandemPlus Face-to-Face program, for which I’ve acted as coordinator for a number of years, and as the supervisor and hiring coordinator of the student staff of the Main Office (Jones 110) and the Study Lab (Jones 135). You can reach out to me for information about language exchange opportunities and with interests in collaborations. If you’re in need of scheduling classrooms or small rooms at the Language Center, or are seeking to rent audio and video equipment, you can come to me as well.
Can you briefly describe 2-3 projects you've worked on in the past year?
With all of the transitions and workflow changes over the past year a good number of projects were underway. A fun one was the Tip of the Day team — a small group of coworkers who met weekly to dream up technology tips to blog (particularly for online meeting and instruction) that we hoped would be helpful. Regularly, TandemPlus has many ongoing projects, including the TandemTalk newsletter, website development, and other programmatic developments such as the new Peer-to-Peer option for individual exchanges. That is, TandemPlus participants can now opt to find a “study buddy”, a partner who is studying the same language, rather than a native speaker partnership. This initiative helps bridge the gap for unpaired participants whenever native partnership options are no longer available. It also provides the opportunity for practice across class sections and levels and we hope it will help foster more relationships in the language learning community. I also was a part of the Steering Committee that developed and inaugurated the constitutionally mandated CLA Staff Council — if you’re CLA Staff, you should join the meetings!
What is an example of a project or request that falls outside the scope of your job? To whom would you refer people with such a request?
I am not directly involved in Language Testing. For that, please see Anna Hubbard!
What skills and competencies do you bring to your current job from your educational background, positions you have previously held in the Language Center, or from work and relationships with other units at this/other institutions?
I can type really fast. Ha! It’s helped me, at least… I’ve spent many years studying varying languages — I’ve found that experience to be helpful when serving other language learners and culture enthusiasts.
Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you?
I enjoy learning about the many personal interests of coworkers and I can (probably) talk (broadly) about (just about) anything. Feel free to strike up a conversation with me!