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Val Strain joins Vanderbilt's Center for Second Language Studies and the Department of French & Italian as the 2012 academic year begins and the CSLS launches into its newly renovated, state-of-the-art space in Furman Hall. As Program Assistant, she ensures efficient functioning of the CSLS and serves in internal and external promotion and public relations capacities. Val's diverse background includes her concurrent position with Danocaster Vintage Replicas in which she enjoys listening to online international radio as she builds fine electric guitars. Previously she coordinated commercial real estate transactions for CB Richard Ellis, wrote and recorded for Columbia Records, and worked in promotion and public relations for National Geographic Television. Having grown up in a home where French was spoken, she has always had an interest in languages and has tutored English as a second language with the Nashville Adult Literacy Council.