Introducing Monica Frahm
Meet Monica Frahm, who has worked at the Language Center since 1994. Her current job title is Testing Program Director, but what does she really do? In this interview, Monica highlights major aspects of her work and shares how she can help with your proficiency testing needs.
Can you briefly describe 2-3 projects you've worked on in the past year?
The shift to remote testing brought more changes and advancements than we could possibly have imagined at the start. We started with the hope to deliver LPE writing tests remotely through a secure online proctoring system. Through the tireless efforts of our amazing tech staff, we now have a secure remote proctoring system that can deliver any of our tests online with remote proctors.
Another project of note is the development of a Somali placement test that is in the final stages of review and will be available soon to students. The Somali placement test will be delivered through Qualtrics and contains sections geared towards the unique course placement needs of heritage students.
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?
Students often ask Testing Program staff to review their language background and classify them as a non-native speaker of English, which means they are exempt from the CLA second language requirement. For requests regarding College requirements, students need to start with their adviser. CLA Advising makes determinations about classifications such as being a non-native speaker of English.
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 have a Ph.D. in German and taught in the U of M German Department for 6 years prior to accepting the position as Testing Program Director. During 28 years in the position, I have experienced the transformation of our administrative processes from the days when we carried pieces of paper across campus to share records and information, to the point now where all of our information is online and we mostly interact with students and colleagues through email and Zoom.
Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you?
I have two cats, Rhys and Quinn, who are brothers and littermates and sometimes make an appearance in Zoom meetings. Rhys was the runt of the litter and at 7 pounds still looks like a kitten, while his brother, Quinn, is a giant fluffy boy of 17 pounds.