Janna White has been named director of the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages. Serving as interim and then acting director since August 2018, White has managed six fulltime staff and a number of part-time tutors and conversation partners, coordinating instruction in some 40 less commonly taught languages to more than 300 Five College students.
Previously, White worked in Five Colleges’ academic programs office, where she coordinated cross-campus certificate programs and faculty development initiatives. As a student, writer and researcher, White has traveled abroad extensively, including a year spent in India as a correspondent for a National Geographic project. She speaks Hindi.
White has managed a writing and editing business since 2011, and is co-editor of The Monastery and the Microscope (Yale University Press, 2017). An alumna of Smith College, White is currently a graduate student in Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.
“Janna’s curiosity, strategic thinking, and compassion eased the leadership transition during a critical time at the Language Center,” said Five College Executive Director Sarah Pfatteicher. “She has not only ably learned and managed one of the busiest Five College programs, but at the same time carried out an extensive audit of the Center’s work. I’m delighted Janna will be staying with us in the permanent position.” White succeeds Amy Wordelman, who worked at the center for 21 years and served as its director for four years until her death last year.
By providing support for robust independent study and drawing on the conversation skills of native language speakers, the Center for the Study of World Languages meets student needs in a broad array of less commonly taught languages, helping students prepare to go abroad for research, internships and study.