Farewell Sakti: We Will Miss You!

Sakti (2nd from left), with Erlin Barnard (middle) & Indonesian teachers Riyah (left), Arti & Abi (right) at SEASSI 2022 Selamatan

It is with joy and sadness that we announce that Sakti Suryani, our long-time Indonesian Lecturer, will be leaving us. She has been offered and has accepted a full-time teaching position at Harvard University—yes, that prestigious institution located in the suburbs of Boston. She starts teaching three levels of Indonesian at Harvard this fall.

For more than a decade, Sakti has been a major figure in our Center. She completed her BA in English at UW-Madison in 2011 and, since 2015 has been associated with our Indonesian language program, both during the academic year and in the summers at SEASSI. Before becoming a UW Lecturer, Sakti taught (2015-17) Indonesian for the Defense Critical Language & Cultural Program (based in Montana). In 2017 to 2018, Sakti joined the Center’s (and SEASSI’s) administrative staff, working on a wide range of activities related to our program. In 2018 she was hired by the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures to teach first- and second-year Indonesian and has continued to do so through Spring 2023. In 2019, Sakti also started teaching (Indonesian & Javanese) at SEASSI as a regular member of the teaching staff, and, more recently (Summers of 2022 and 2023), she coordinated the institute’s Indonesian language program. While serving as a lecturer in ALC, she also completed her MS degree in Curriculum and Instruction (School of Education) in 2022.

In addition to her language-teaching skills, Sakti was always a critical component in the summer gamelan concerts, organized by her husband Steve Laronga, where she not only performed with the ensemble, but also served, often along with our own Mary Jo Wilson, as a pasindhen (soloist) in these concerts.

Above all, Sakti routinely brought an energy—a positive rame–to any event that she attended or organized, generally filling the room with her magical presence. Fortunately, she will continue to be a part of our nation-wide Indonesian network through the Luce-funded Southeast Asian Language Council (SEALC), based at UW-Madison.

Sakti: congratulations! We wish you the best, but we also want you to remember we will miss you immensely and hope we will continue to see you in the summers!

During the coming academic year, Sakti will be replaced by Abi (Sapta Abimanyu), who we already know well; he will handle the first and second levels of Indonesian. Welcome Abi.