Welcome to the Language and Culture Resource Center (LCRC)!
Our vision is to bridge boundaries between the native English-speaking communities in East Tennessee and the non-native English speaking communities, such as the Latinx community. Our mission is to increase the awareness and understanding of diversity by involving the university faculty and students in hands-on, community-based learning experiences and to bring together people from every age and background to share cultural strengths and humanity through research and outreach programs as they work toward the acculturation of the local non-native speakers of English communities. The LCRC provides translation and interpretation services in Spanish and Portuguese, sponsors language tables, and hosts a conversation partner program.
The LCRC also sponsors an annual Hispanic Student Day at ETSU for high school Latinx heritage students who come to ETSU for a one-day introduction to college life. In 2018, the LCRC invited students from other non-native English speaking communities to come as well, because they all struggle with the same challenges. The goal is to encourage all attendees to complete high school and teach them about the options available for them to pursue higher education.
Our goalis to become a reference inside and outside of ETSU for translation and interpretation services, while also creating paths across different languages and cultures, helping to close the gap between individuals with different stories, backgrounds, and cultures. We are also a safe place where everyone is welcome!
LCRC Mission Statement
To increase the awareness and understanding of diversity by involving the university faculty and students in hands-on, community-based learning experiences, and
To bring together people from every age and background, to share our cultural strengths and our humanity through research and outreach programs as we work toward the acculturation of the local non-English speaking communities.
To expand community partnerships and to bridge boundaries between the non-English-speaking and English-speaking communities in East Tennessee.
Dr. Ardis Lorraine Nelson, Founder of the Language and Culture Resource Center
Dr. Ardis Lorraine Nelson (1942-2017) was a devoted educator, scholar and community leader who founded East Tennessee State University’s Language and Culture Resource Center in 2000. Thanks to her generous bequest, future ETSU students and members of the surrounding community benefit from the LCRC and its many programs.
A native of Auburn, New York, Dr. Nelson was a vibrant spirit who lived peacefully and generously in all areas of her life. She worked tirelessly on behalf of others, especially the Spanish-speaking community and other underrepresented persons.
She earned a bachelor's degree in French from Oberlin College, a master's in Spanish from Middlebury College in Madrid, and a doctorate in Hispanic literature from Indiana University. She taught for 13 years at Florida State University before moving to Johnson City in 1994 to serve as chair for the then-Department of Foreign Languages. She spent the next 23 years serving in various capacities at ETSU.
Dr. Nelson was an early member of La Alianza Latina, a group formed in the 1990s to address the needs of Spanish-speaking members of the community. Through her involvement with La Alianza Latina, she quickly recognized the potential for a partnership in which Spanish students could learn through community service. The LCRC grew out of that vision.
Dr. Nelson initiated the Applied Spanish/Community Studies Minor, which revolutionized language-learning at ETSU by enriching Spanish classes with community-based and service-learning experiences. Through her efforts, Spanish students earned service hours by working as translators, interpreters, Spanish teachers, event organizers and mentors for school children.
Under Dr. Nelson’s guidance, the LCRC would offer a host of other language-related services. The center organized the annual Corazón Latino Festival in Johnson City, Hispanic Student Day at ETSU, the summer Migrant Student Leadership Conference and the XCELL Mentor Program at area schools.
In 1999 she co-founded the region's first and only English-Spanish publication. Through what would be known as El Nuevo Tennessean, journalism students from the Department of Media and Communication reported on the Hispanic community, and Spanish students gained real-world experience in translating articles. El Nuevo Tennessean was distributed first in local newspapers, then, as an independent ETSU publication made available at no cost throughout the region.
Dr. Nelson served as board member and secretary of the Tennessee Association of Professional Interpreters and Translators from 2007 to 2013, and was certified to interpret in healthcare and court settings. She co-founded Puertas Abiertas, a diverse group of professionals dedicated to coordinating programs in the region’s Spanish-speaking community.
Among her numerous awards, she earned a faculty distinguished service award from the ETSU College of Arts and Sciences in 2002 and was named "Notable Woman of ETSU" in 2010.
She enjoyed a brief retirement, but still kept tabs on the happenings at ETSU. “My heart is still at the LCRC and with the people and ongoing projects we have been involved in,” she wrote to friends a few months before she died.
Dr. Nelson was remembered as a champion for others, a woman with a gift for encouraging and making opportunities for all of those under her wing. She worked behind the scenes on behalf of students, friends, and colleagues. She served as “mother” and mentor for hundreds of students who grew to love and appreciate her gentle, altruistic soul. She was a scholar, an author, a world traveler, a lover of film and the arts, a food enthusiast and an avid hiker. Her work continues in the hundreds of ETSU graduates who were privileged to know her.
The Language and Culture Resource Center embraces and shares the ETSU Vision, Mission, and Values.
Developing a world-class environment to enhance student success and
improve the quality of life in the region and beyond.
ETSU Mission and Values
ETSU provides a student-centered community of learning, reflecting high standards and promoting a balance of liberal arts and professional preparation, and continuous improvement. The university conducts a wide array of educational and research programs and clinical services including a comprehensive Academic Health Sciences Center. Education is the university’s highest priority, and the institution is committed to increasing the level of educational attainment in the state and region based on core values where:
PEOPLE come first, are treated with dignity and respect, and are encouraged to achieve their
RELATIONSHIPS are built on honesty, integrity, and trust;
DIVERSITY of people and thought is respected;
EXCELLENCE is achieved through teamwork, leadership, creativity, and a strong work ethic;
EFFICIENCY is achieved through wise use of human and financial resources; and S
COMMITMENT to intellectual achievement is embraced.