Returning to His Roots


Mary Sparacello

The career of Ryan Judd, a 2012 graduate of the School of Liberal Arts, has come full circle.

During his four years at Tulane, Judd worked as a student assistant in the Language Learning Center in the School of Liberal Arts. Then he went out into the world. Now, the double major in English and Asian studies is returning to his roots, bringing his experience to Tulane as manager of the Language Learning Center.

Ryan Judd, Tulane University
Ryan Judd (SLA '12), Manager of Tulane's Language Learning Center.

“There’s no place that I’d rather be doing this work than at Tulane.” – Ryan Judd

“I’ve always been interested in language education. I’m very passionate about it,” says Judd, who speaks Mandarin Chinese at the level of a native speaker and has also studied French, Spanish, Hebrew, Greek and Chinese dialects.

After Tulane, Judd was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and spent a year in Kunming, China where he studied how outside influences such as globalization and Western popular culture have an impact on ethnic minority cultures in rural Yunnan province.

He then worked for a California high school on its international studies program before returning to New Orleans.

Judd replaces Language Learning Center Director Sara Wilson, who retired last year. He credits her with building the center and being a pioneer in bringing language learning technology to Tulane.

The Language Learning Center, located on the fourth floor of Newcomb Hall, serves two primary roles. The center facilitates language placement for all students entering Newcomb-Tulane College. Also, the center provides support, services and technology for foreign language classes. To that end, the fourth floor of Newcomb houses state-of-the art technology that professors and students can use and a Language Learning Lab with 15 computers.

“We are still making breakthroughs in our understanding of how the brain learns language, and the way technology can mirror and facilitate that learning,” remarks Judd. “I want the Language Learning Center to be at the forefront of offering these services and allowing faculty to bring them into the classroom.”

Judd hopes to expand the Language Learning Center’s outreach to foreign language departments to make sure he is meeting the needs of faculty and students. He also wants to maintain and obtain the most cutting-edge language learning technology, and “ultimately to make the Language Learning Center a space for educational exchange where faculty and students can come for presentations and tutorials on all things related to language and culture.

“I read about the latest in language learning technology in my free time anyway, so being able to do this full time for Tulane is great,” says Judd. “There’s no place that I’d rather be doing this work than at Tulane.”