Excellence in French – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Excellence in French

The French and Francophone Studies Department has established an Excellence in French Certificate that recognizes students for their outstanding accomplishments in their French and Francophone Studies major.

“We designed this certificate so that excellent students in French can aspire to real recognition and use it as part of their professional profile,” says Professor of French and Francophone Studies and Dean of William Smith College Catherine Gallouët. “We have fabulous students and need to honor them.”

The new certificate serves to highlight the significance of French and its role in a liberal arts education and acknowledges academic achievements and experiences that enhance a student’s professional future. The program was officially unveiled by department faculty during the French and Francophone Club’s Crêpe Franco-Fête event on Thursday, March 3. Information about qualifying for the certificate is available on the French and Francophone Studies Department page.

Students say the certificate marks an important point of recognition for the rigorous and wide-ranging work they’re putting in academically and through co-curricular programs.

“The fact that the certificate program transcends French and Francophone in the classroom and includes studying abroad and internships is commendable,” says Chalwyn Caulker ’17, a double major in international relations and French and Francophone studies. “I hope it encourages more students to pursue a foreign language and culture.”

Caulker says she first got involved with French while taking Gallouët’s First-Year Seminar, “Paris, Je T’Aime.” Inspired, she went on to major, study in Rennes, France, and joined the French and Francophone Club. Recently, she collaborated with Treasurer Erika Ireland ’19 to organize Crêpe Franco-Fête.

Karoline Loretan ’17, an English and French and Francophone Studies double major with a minor in international relations, says her horizons on global perspectives and opportunities have broadened.

“I just returned from an unforgettable semester abroad in Rennes where I was challenged in a full-immersion environment,” she says. “Without the encouragement from the French and Francophone Studies Department, I don’t think I would’ve found the courage to go through with such an intense program.”

Thanks to her experiences, Loretan will pursue an internship abroad this summer with IPG Mediabrands, an international company specializing in consumer advertising, digital marketing, communications planning and media buying, public relations and specialty marketing.

French and Francophone studies major Olivia Woodruff ’16 says studying in Rennes and working with Gallouët as a research assistant on 18th-century playwright Pierre Marivaux helped to advance her passion for French.

“I know of a number of students who have done great work through research, study abroad internships and working as teaching fellows,” says Woodruff, who is a double minoring in dance and education. “It’s really nice to be recognized for our efforts and achievements by the department.”

Richard Yackel ’16, a French and Francophone studies major with a minor in theatre, agrees. “I appreciate that excellence in the field is being recognized,” says Yackel, who studied abroad in Rennes and is currently a Teaching Fellow in French.

The photos above feature Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies and Department Chair Kanate Dahouda, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies Marie-Helene Koffi-Tessio, and Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies Courtney Wells.

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