August 11, 2011
Professor of French
Years of Service: 37
Joining Lewis & Clark: While still a senior at Portland State University, I dropped by to inquire about a possible teaching position. I happened to ask at the right time―the foreign languages department needed an adjunct instructor right away. Much later, Ph.D. in hand, I formally applied for an open full-time position and was selected after a national search.
Favorite courses: I always enjoyed teaching intermediate-level French language and literature courses, especially 300-level French courses, which are the entry into the major. But I particularly enjoyed teaching French 450, the senior seminar, with a chosen topic related to my research in Francophone minority voices.
Affirmation of passion for teaching and research: Twice I copresented papers at international conferences with students: once in the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, and once in Limoges, France. Copresenting scholarly papers with “student-colleagues” at international conferences and eventually seeing our collaborative research published in major French literary reviews was particularly rewarding.
Most memorable moment: Certainly being nominated by the college for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Professor of the Year Award. I eventually received the Oregon Professor of the Year Award, but just being nominated by the college for the national CASE award was most memorable.
People might not know … I was an English major at the University of Algiers during the final years of the Algerian war of independence and lived through the “Battle of Algiers” before moving to the United States.
Favorite place on campus: Definitely the third floor of Miller, home to the foreign languages department―that’s where faculty and students gather formally and informally in offices, hallways, and the open area overlooking Alumni Circle.
What I will miss: Direct contact with staff, faculty, and students, as well as a true sense of belonging to a community. Lewis & Clark truly gave me a sense of place.
I’m most proud of: First, creating the Senegal overseas program in 1999 and accompanying the first group to Dakar in 2000 during my sabbatical to oversee its implementation. Second, while in Dakar, being granted a personal interview with Ousmane Sembene, prominent writer and pioneer of African cinema. And third, receiving the David Savage Award this year in recognition of my many years as teacher-scholar in the Lewis & Clark community.
What’s next: Keeping in touch with and giving back to the college community, taking on new projects, and spending time with family and friends.