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Activities and Professional Highlights


" language study, as in life, if a person is the same today as he was yesterday, it would be an act of mercy to pronounce him dead, and to place him in a coffin rather than in a classroom."

-John A. Rassias, A Philosophy of Language Instruction, 1967.


  • Director of Language Programs for Peace Corps at Dartmouth from 1964 to 1968, in French and other languages spoken in Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta)
  • Formally addressed Peace Corps Language Coordinators conferences and conducted workshops in various States, as well as in Canada, Cameroon, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, Sweden, Togo, Burkina Faso (Upper Volta), and in Micronesia (Saipan), from 1964 to 1977.
  • Directed the first pilot operation for in-country training for the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast in 1966.
  • Endowed Chair: William R. Kenan Professor, 1977
  • Palmes Académiques from the French Government for "originality in instruction and the success of the enterprise," 1978
  • Special demonstrations of teaching techniques to visiting scholars from the Peoples' Republic of China, 1973 and 1981.
  • Directed pilot program in Spanish for New York City Transit Police, 1978-79. Citation: "To a great teacher, enthusiast and humanist whose concern for cultural understanding led to the New York City Transit Police-Dartmouth College Language Program," conferred by Chief Stanley Garelik, 1979.
  • Appointed to President Carter's Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies, September 1978. Participated in Commission meetings and public hearings nationally. Member of the special writing team to draft the final report of the Commission at Aspen, Colorado, July 1979 and issued in November 1979, entitled: Strength Through Wisdom: A Critique of U.S. Capability. A Report to the President from the President's Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies.
  • Certificate of Merit from New York City Transit Police Hispanic Society, Inc., for "nurturing unique understanding of the Hispanic Community within and through a 'Rassified' Humanism of language...." 1982.
  • Completed an 11-hour series of televised courses ("Contact French") in France for the CBS/FOX company in 1982. The series was distributed by the Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • Trained all City of Baltimore's high school foreign language teachers in the Method, 1984-85. Honorary Citizenship of the City of Baltimore and Mayorâs citation "for contributions to the civic welfare...[and] as an earnest expression of appreciation...for the splendid quality of public service rendered," conferred by Mayor Donald Schaeffer.
  • Directed pilot program for Federal Law Enforcement agents in Spanish in Glynco, Georgia, 1983-84-85. Program operated in full force to present with hundreds of agents trained through the Rassias methodology. Certificate of Appreciation issued in 1985 for "...professional contributions, personal interest, and dedication in [the] implementation of the Law Enforcement Spanish Training Program of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center," conferred by Director Charles T. Reinkovich.
  • Special demonstrations of teaching techniques to visiting scholars from the Peoples' Republic of China, 1973 and 1981, and to Bulgarian delegations visiting the United States, 1985.
  • Publisher and Executive Editor of THE RAM's HORN, publication of the Rassias Foundation.
  • Delivered lectures and conducted Methodology workshops in Hong Kong and Tokyo (1986), and to Greek teachers of English and Greek in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece, under auspices of the United States Information Services. (March, 1988) Returned to Athens, Greece, on invitation of Hellenic Centre, to offer additional lecture-workshops to language teachers. (May, 1988)
  • The Italo Ponterotto memorial Award "In recognition of teaching excellence...and for his innovative contributions to the development of foreign language pedagogy, which have brought him international renown," presented by the Modern Language Department, Iona College, 1989.
  • Directed special program in English for Russian Environmentalists at Dartmouth 1987-1992.
  • Workshop for teachers of language and culture in Thailand, 1990.
  • Workshop for teachers of language and culture in Hong Kong, 1993.
  • Appointed to the Modern Language Association Commission on Professional Service, 1993-1995. The Commission produced a written document on the state of professional service. Published by the Modern Language Association, 1996.
  • Awarded grant from Corporate and University Relations, CITIBANK, for seminar in Francophone literature and teaching methodologies for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  (Summer 1998)
  • In October 1996, the United States Peace Corps honored Professor Rassias "In recognition of your pioneering efforts to develop the Peace Corps Language Program. Your labor has facilitated President Kennedy's dream of men and women serving overseas, promoting world peace and friendship. Peace Corps is better because of your grand contribution." (1996) N.B. To date, Peace Corps has conveyed that more than 165,000 volunteers have been trained through the language programs.
  • Robert A. Fish Award 1997 (Dartmouth College Award granted by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty)
  • Workshops in Crete, Greece, and Turkey, culminating in a special international workshop in Ankara, sponsored by the U.S. Embassies in Sofia, Ankara, and Athens. In addition to sharing methodology with the 70 people in attendance, its purpose was to see whether citizens of the three countries (Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey) could work in harmony. The experience was successful and was widely publicized. (1998)
  • In 1998, he was named Chair of the Archbishop's Commission on the Study of Greek language and Hellenic Culture in the Greek Orthodox communities in the United States. The Commission issued its report (The Future of the Greek Language and Culture in the United States: Survival in the Diaspora) in May 1999.
  • In 1999, Professor Rassias won a statewide award for teaching and was named the New Hampshire Professor of the year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
  • Reunion and recapitulation of Peace Corps programs in Burkina Faso (Upper Volta), which occurred at Dartmouth College in 1967 and 1969. Washington, D.C. (2001, 2007)

Last Updated: 7/25/18