Dr. Susan Colville-Hall, University of Akron
Fall 2012 was a sad time for Ohio’s world language teachers because we lost one of our state’s beacons of educational equity and foreign language study. Charles Hancock had an ambitious career as a graduate of The Ohio State University’s Ph.D – Education-Humanities program on teaching foreign languages. Charles was an excellent model of a committed foreign language professional with the multiplicity of “hats” he wore. At The Ohio State University, Charles was first a professor and later became the director of the Young Scholars Program and the Intensive English Program. Later, in administration, he served as Associate Dean for Curriculum and Program as well as an Associate Dean for Diversity, Urban, International/Global Affairs. Charles supported many national, state and local initiatives to increase the importance of diversity and of learning foreign languages for all learners. He also initiated research and grant efforts for Latino, African-American and Asian students at OSU.
After his arrival at The Ohio State University system, Charles contributed to the way others viewed Ohio’s role in teaching foreign languages and other disciplines, as well as Ohio’s role as leader in the field. He actively participated at both the regional and national levels to give Ohio a formidable presence in the profession. He was awarded multiple grants through nationally recognized funding agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education, Ohio Board of Regents, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As a leader, Charles was an inspiration to many foreign language educators, teachers and students. His knowledge of foreign language curriculum development, issues and trends, and research remained current throughout his career as evidenced in his chapter, “Recent Research Trends in Foreign and Second Language Education” (Chapter 20), in the scholarly American Educational Research Association’s publication, The Handbook of Research on Teaching (2000),
At local and national levels, Charles made numerous contributions to organizations such as by serving the Ohio Foreign Language Association as president, the National Federation of Modern Language Associations as secretary, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages as president, the American Association of Teachers of French as chair of the Commission on Establishing Cultural Proficiency Guidelines, Subcommittee on Black Francophonie, among others. As a leader, Charles set very high standards that will benefit foreign language instruction throughout the state and nation for years to come. His relentless commitment and energy served Ohio’s foreign teachers, OFLA, our universities, schools and communities. His work merits not only our recognition but our gratitude as well. We will miss him greatly.