Kent State’s Institute for Applied Linguistics Receives $1 Million Grant to Invest in Distance Learning

Kent State University’s Institute for Applied Linguistics has received a grant for $1 million from the Gawlicki Family Foundation of Hartford, Connecticut, to fund the development of a state-of-the-art distance learning translation studies program. The Institute for Applied Linguistics is a research and education program affiliated with the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences.

The funding will be used to further distinguish the institute, which already is recognized internationally as a leading program in translation studies. Specifically, the grant will provide resources to create a new faculty position focused on distance learning in translation studies, develop a new technology infrastructure and develop state-of-the-art distance learning courses. The program will be named the Gawlicki Family Foundation Online Master of Arts in Translation Program.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Gawlicki Family Foundation for this transformational gift,” says Kent State President Beverly Warren. “It will enable us to better fulfill our global mission by bringing our outstanding translational studies program to the world through a high-quality, technology-rich distance learning platform.”

Founded by Ted and Mary Gawlicki in 2012, the Gawlicki Family Foundation grew out of their desire to seek solutions to problems in areas of education, respiratory healthcare and translation as a career. The Gawlickis originally founded Corporate Translations Inc. in 1990, a business focused on translations for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. They sold the company in 2015 and began working full time at their foundation, using the money from the sale of their company to provide funding for the foundation’s initiatives.

“The Gawlicki Family Foundation is interested in a few different areas, and one of them is translator training,” says Françoise Massardier-Kenney, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Applied Linguistics at Kent State. “They were noticing that their best translators were nearing retirement age, and there were very few people coming up. So they started doing research about translation programs in the U.S. and then contacted me to discuss what could be done to provide greater access to first-rate training.”

The Institute for Applied Linguistics was founded at Kent State in 1988 and currently serves more than 100 students at the graduate and undergraduate level. It is the only program that offers training from the Bachelor of Science level to the Ph.D. level, and it is the only program in the country that offers a full Arabic translation graduate degree. Kent State’s Institute for Applied Linguistics also has the largest Ph.D. program in the U.S. and is recognized internationally as a leading translation program. 

“Translation training and translation studies had not been very well developed in the U.S., and this program is filling a need in the sense that we focus on developing translation research skills and computer-assisted translation tools,” Massardier-Kenney says. “The translation graduates from Kent State are thought to be extremely well-trained. Actually, Ted and Mary Gawlicki revealed that they had hired some of our graduates and that they were impressed by their abilities.”

While the Institute for Applied Linguistics is well-equipped to train translators on campus, Massardier-Kenney says that this funding will now enable the program to deliver successful results via distance learning as well.

“We are working to deliver the best graduate distance learning program internationally,” Massardier-Kenney says.

For more information about the Gawlicki Family Foundation, visit

For more information about Kent State’s Institute for Applied Linguistics, visit

POSTED: Thursday, July 6, 2017 12:05 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 10:25 PM
Albert Battistelli