Meet the Staff: Ahmet Dursun

Meet the Staff: Ahmet Dursun

More than 100 staff members work in the Division of the Humanities. We'll introduce you to our staff in this continuing series.

Ahmet Dursun,
Director, Office of Language Assessment 
University of Chicago Language Center

What do you like most about your job?
At the Office of Language Assessment, we use Applied Linguistics and Language Assessment theories and research to develop strategies to greatly expand and integrate the University’s language testing programs. We have been designing and developing new initiatives and innovative tools to provide service to the entire campus population and beyond since 2016. It is this continuous innovation and problem-solving aspect of my job that makes me come to work with great passion and dedication every single day. To keep the momentum, research and development is key, so we undertake appropriate research and development projects and design and implement evaluative instruments to conduct empirical research to evaluate our pedagogy and assessment practices. Some of this work on computer-assisted language teaching, testing research and practice, and test validation have appeared in multiple peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes, and books.

What was the last good book you read?
I have recently started to read Social Capital: Critical Perspectives On Community and "Bowling Alone" edited by Scott L. McLean, David A. Schultz, and Manfred B. Steger. The book was recommend to me by a professor in a leadership program I was involved in. The book revolves around a discussion of social capital, the networks that bind us and leverage our interactions, and how these impact the vitality of civic society in its different forms.

You might work with me if ...
… you or your department are looking for help with language testing and pedagogy needs.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
In my off time, I enjoy playing soccer. I play goalkeeper and I think I'm pretty good at it! I also enjoy watching the sunrise at the Lakefront—it's a time of the day when everything is quiet and peaceful. It's a simple way for me to relieve stress.

April 1, 2021