“We seek to lead others to their personal discoveries of language and languages. We undertake a range of initiatives offering “hands-on”, visual and audio exhibits, programs and presentations to educate, inform and entertain — the general public, school-age children and those with a deep or only a passing interest — on aspects of language, languages and language cultures.”
In Episode 38, I spoke with the leaders of the National Museum of Language, a virtual and outreach-focused museum dedicated to everything language. To learn more about the language specialists behind the NML’s work, read on!
Gregory J. Nedved’s Bio
Gregory J. Nedved, President and Chair of the Board of Trustees, has been affiliated since 2008 with NML, where he has served in various capacities (exhibit designer, docent, newsletter editor, associate, trustee, secretary). He led the effort to create NML’s unique International Flag of Language in 2008. An award winning Defense Department historian, he has nearly 30 years of experience with Chinese-Mandarin as a military and government linguist, translator, interpreter, instructor, and freelancer. He has been a two-time president of the Defense Department’s Crypto-Linguistic Association, a professional language organization, and continues to run the organization’s newsletter.
He is interested in the preservation of Native American languages and culture, having helped fund a Mi’kmaq (Nova Scotia/New Brunswick) language preservation DVD (cartoon) in 2006 (he had earlier helped fund a library on the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation in his home state of South Dakota). He has written books and articles on topics as diverse as vexillology, presidential trivia, steamboats and Chinese history.
He is currently a docent at the National Cryptologic Museum at Fort Meade, Maryland. He has a B.A. from Saint Vincent College in history, M.A. from Hawaii Pacific University in diplomacy and military studies and is a graduate of the Naval War College Fleet Seminar Program and the University of Chicago’s Advanced Translation Certification Program.
Dr. Jill Robbin’s Bio
Jill Robbins, Ph.D., NML’s Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, develops online learning materials for English learners. She works with the U.S Agency for Global Media as a Language Learning Specialist. She has taught language learners and teachers in the U.S., Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and China. Her research explores language learning strategies and metacognition.
Dr. Robbins is the co-author of Integrating EFL Standards into Chinese Classroom Settings, Impact Listening 2, and The Learning Strategies Handbook. Dr. Robbins has served on the NML Board of Trustees from 2007 and helps maintain the NML website. She earned a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University.
Dr. Laura K. Murray’s Bio
Laura K. Murray, Ph.D., is a native of the District of Columbia where she attended local public schools. She earned a BA in Anthropology from Rice University, Houston, TX, and a Ph.D. in Oriental Studies, specializing in Modern Chinese History, from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her education included intensive study of Chinese, enhanced by two years in Taiwan at the Inter-University Program in Chinese Language Studies in Taipei (Stanford Center), and additional study at Northwest University in Xi’an, China.
Dr. Murray was a career employee of the Department of Defense from 1985 until her retirement in 2018. Her career spanned language-focused assignments in operations, management, research, and education and training, in locations both in the U.S. and overseas. One significant assignment was a tour as the Director of the Foreign Language Program Office at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In that position she launched the nationwide STARTALK program. Dr. Murray is currently serving as the Chief Development Officer of the National Museum of Language, where she is now focused on building the Museum’s Language Leadership Council, which so far has recruited 40 language leaders from 25 states, Puerto Rico, the UK, and Poland.
The National Museum of Language is an amazing virtual experience – dive in!
To learn more about previous guests on It’s About Language or access other episodes of the podcast, visit It’s About Language or click on the Podcast tab above.