Dr. Ronald Warner
2011 Hoosier German - American of the Year
Dr. Warner is a professor of German at Ball State University. Dr. Warner holds a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literature from the University of Connecticut. He has been teaching at Ball State University for 45+ years. At Ball State, he has been instrumental in teacher education, outreach to area high schools, and in the larger community. He has created and maintains the website of the Indiana chapter of AATG, http://indiana.aatg.org/. This is one of the main tools of communication for German teachers in the state.
Each spring the Indiana chapter of AATG sponsors a 'Staatskongress' for high school students who are members of the Indiana Association of Students of German (IASG). The Staatskongress has been held on the campus of Ball State University for a number of years, thanks to the support of Dr. Warner and his department. Hundreds of students from all over the state gather in late February for one day of immersion, competition, and to exhibit their talents in German language and culture related projects. The Staatskongress includes a Jahrmarkt, quiz bowl, numerous awards and "Sprechgeld", rewards given for excellent achievement in the competitions. The daylong celebration is capped off with a gala evening and awards banquet followed by dancing to the music of a German-style band.
Dr. Warner has been instrumental in German educational organizations throughout his career and has been a great advocate of German in the local community. In 1991, he was awarded the Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year Award by the Indiana chapter of AATG. In 1992, he also received a national award jointly given by the Goethe Institute and AATG, the "Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Contributions to the Teaching of German Language and Culture in the United States of America." This award recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to the teaching of German in the United States of America. Dr. Warner regularly participated and contributed at the annual conference for foreign language educators, IFTLA.
One of his students wrote about Dr. Warner: "He puts his soul into his teaching and as long as you are putting forth effort, he will do whatever he can to help you not only pass, but understand. He is incredible caring and helpful, just ask if you need something and he's always more than willing to assist. I wish i could take more classes from him!"
Without Dr. Warner's commitment to the teaching of German, his tireless efforts over a long period of time to support German at the college as well as high school level, his regular outreach activities, the state of German in Indiana would not be where it is today.