Dr. Khananiya Kaplan Memorial Student Achievement Award

This award is presented annually for outstanding achievements in ESOL studies and services to the international / ESOL students. It was established in 2015 by Prof. Irene Belyakov-Goodman and her family in memory of her father.

The Khananiya Kaplan Student Achievement Award is established to recognize the student in the ESOL Program who has excelled in studies of ESOL pedagogy, working with multicultural and multi-lingual student groups, teaching assistantships, and internships in the International Student and Scholar Services. The award is given annually to a student who exemplifies the standards of academic excellence and multilingual studies, ability to overcome adversity and dedication to building a safe and supportive community for all.

The award is presented from funds given in memory of Dr. Khananiya Kaplan.

About Dr. Kaplan

Dr. Kaplan

Khananiya Kaplan (1923-2015) was a multi-talented and multilingual person who overcame great adversity.   He was fluent in seven languages (Yiddish, Polish, German, Hebrew, Latin, Russian, and English).  He learned English and moved to America at the age of 68 – and was a great inspiration to others showing that learning languages and world cultures is a life-long process and joy.

He was born in Poland in 1923, lost his parents and little sister in the beginning of World War II and had to fend for himself in the midst of destruction and hunger in a new country, Soviet Russia.  He survived extremely difficult times and succeeded in getting his medical degree during the war due to his immense perseverance and talent. As an 18-year-old man, he chose to study in a foreign language (Russian) to become a doctor.  During the first year of studies, he took his medical exams in German (while studying Russian as his sixth language).  At the age of 21, he served as a surgeon at the front and saved many lives.  After the war, Dr. Kaplan had a long career as an eye surgeon.  At the age of 68, he learned English (as his seventh language) and moved to the U.S. with his family. Dr. Kaplan was also a talented poet and enjoyed translating poetry from one language into another.  He was passionate about sharing his love of literature, languages, art, and music. (He played violin and sang opera arias to his family in a beautiful baritone). Dr. Kaplan was admired by many and was an amazing example of  “nothing is impossible.” 

Previous Award Winners

2015: Mark Romig

Mark Romig

2016: Matthew McClure

Mathew McClure

2017: Kathleen Heaney & Robina Nagel

Kaplan Award Winners 2017

2018: Alexandra Lovric & Savannah Williams

Alexandra Lovric and Savannah Williams

 2019: Isabelle Cirulli

Isabelle Cirulli, 2019





Award Presentation, May 2019

Isabelle Cirulli, 2019

Isabelle Cirulli, 2019

Isabelle Cirulli, 2019

 Award Presentation, May 2018

Kaplan Award recipients, 2018

2018 Award Winners with Belyakov

Wes Kennison presenting the 2018 awards

Award Presentations, 2017 

Winners with Belyakov, 2017

Study Abroad & ISSS Spring 2017

Award Presentation

Award Presentation, 2016 

Matthew McClure at award presentation

Presentation of award, 2016

Award presenters, 2016