Former Global French Studies Student Brittany Adams ('08- '10), B.A. French and M.A. Library Science
I have recently returned from a year abroad, and it was one of the best years of my life. Most of the time I was in St Andrews, Scotland, where I was working on my second master's in Library Science, but this summer I had the chance to travel quite a bit which was wonderful. I actually made it to France twice! I spent a few days in Paris, which was beautiful, and then a week in Lyon at the Institut d'Histoire du Livre. I finished the trip with a day in Aix-en-Provence, which I absolutely loved. I was able to speak French with the native speakers quite well, for which I was very thankful!
While at St Andrews, I found myself studying the Early Modern period quite often. Ultimately I focused on British print history, but I'm hoping to expand my focus in the coming years to France and the Americas as well. I honestly cannot state enough how glad I am to have studied French. Not only does it open up a whole world of understanding--other countries, other people, languages, and linguistics in general--but it's proved essential for my work. As I am applying to jobs, so many descriptions ask for someone who knows at least one European language, and French, having been the language of the nobility, is especially helpful when looking at historical texts.
SURVEY OF HOPE FRENCH GRADS (FALL 2013)
Athina Alvarez, graduate student
Athina graduated in 2013 with a triple major in French, Art History, and Studio Art. She now lives in Paris as she pursues a Master of Art History at the Université Sorbonne - Paris IV under the direction of Monsieur Guillaume Le Gall. She has also recently started a 6-month internship as an assistant agent for illustrators and photographers at Karine Garnier Agency, in the 10th arrondissement. She is taking classes at the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art and the Institut Michelet d'Histoire de l'Art and she loves her new life in Paris!
Karie Luidens Alvarez, Training & Quality Associate at Booking.com and graduate student
Karie graduated in 2009 with a double major in French and Studio Art and a minor in English. She has worked at Booking.com ever since graduation. Her initial position was as a French-speaking Customer Service Executive, but she was promoted 6 months later to Training & Quality Associate. In spring of 2011, she had the opportunity to work in France for 3 months providing corporate training at their office in Lille. She uses French occasionally at work. She speaks it at home with her husband and her in-laws, who are French. And she has found it to be useful as she pursues her Master's in English Literature at Grand Valley State University (class of 2014).
Sara Aumaugher, Financial Controller
Sara graduated in 1999 with a major in Accounting and a minor in French. She has been an auditor for Ernst & Young (where she earned her CPA license), a Manager of Assurance & Controls for Magna Donnelly, and she is currently a Financial Controller for Magna Engineered Glass, a position she has held for 7 years. As Manager of Assurance & Controls, she was responsible for helping to ensure her company complied with Sarbanes Oxley.... which involved financial process reviews, implementing new internal controls, and reviewing best practices across multiple global divisions. She said, “I was very excited that one of our divisions needing help was located in Langres, France (in the south of the Champagne region). I needed to spend over a month living in Langres to help with process reviews and documentation, and had a few return trips to perform audits. While some of my key contacts spoke English at the division, I could tell that it made a significant difference in how they responded to me when I could make an effort to speak with them in French when possible (I was no longer just the "American outsider" when I could actually hold conversations in their native language).”
Rachel (Rees) Austin, nurse
Rachel graduated in 2009 with a double major in nursing and French. She has worked as an RN in a doctors’ office. She currently works as a hospice nurse with the Visiting Nurses Association of Philadelphia.
Ingrid (Anderson) Baird, French teacher
Ingrid is a 1983 graduate with a major in French and Secondary Education and a minor in English. She did the Nantes IES study abroad in her Junior Year. She is currently a French Teacher at Lowell High School in Lowell, Michigan and have been teaching 4 levels of French for 30 years. So, she is using her French on a daily basis! She says, “I take groups of students to France every other year in the summer for 10-12 days. We have a French courier (tour guide) who is a good friend of mine. She accompanies us on the tour and this gives me the opportunity to speak exclusively in French with her which really helps me remain "au courant". Knowing French has been one of the most enriching aspects of my life!”
Robert Baird graduated with a French major and a History minor in 1983. From Hope, he went to seminary and was a pastor for several years. He now has a PHD in Psychology and works in a practice in Grand Rapids. He has conducted a wedding ceremony in French and has traveled with his wife Ingrid (also a 1983 graduate) to France.
Kathryn Balcer, book and database indexer
Kathryn, part of the Class of 1998, graduated in the December in the 1997 with an English/Communication Composite Major and a French Minor. She worked at a reference publishing company from March 1998 to Sept. 2008. In 2008, she started working for herself in a sole proprietorship, "Hawkeye Indexing and Editing Services." She is a book and database indexer and has indexed hundreds of titles since 2008.
Kathryn (Guy) Birch, psychologist
Kathryn, a 1996 double major in French and Psychology, is a Licensed Psychologist and a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology in Texas. She has worked with the school district, Juvenile Probation, a Christian counseling center attached to her church, and as a contract psychologist conducting psychoeducational evaluations for children and adults with learning difficulties. She spent a semester in Paris at IES and the Sorbonne in the fall of ’95. After graduating from Hope, she studied psychology at L'Universite Libre de Bruxelles for a year, 1996-1997, on the Rotary Foundation Scholarship.
Anna Bouma-Prediger, English teacher in France
Anna graduated in December of 2011 with a double major in Communications and English and a minor in French. She recently just got back from Paris. She had moved there in January to take a job working in the western suburbs teaching English (she had gotten TEFL certified after graduation knowing that she wanted to move to France) and to continue speaking French. She then moved into an apartment in the 12th arrondisement and was there until July. She studied abroad the summer after her junior year with IES and spent a summer living in the south of France in Arles. It was that trip that developed her love for the language, country, culture, and people. She stayed with a host family and made incredible friends that she still keeps in touch with.
Tawny (Brinson) Brooks, attorney
Tawny graduated in 2000 with a Political Science major and French minor. She is now an attorney and she has been a law clerk, an associate attorney, and she recently opened her own practice.
Evalyn Carter, World Bank employee, retired
Evalyn graduated in 1960 with a French major and music minor. Following Hope, she attended the Latin American Institute in NYC where she studied French and English shorthand and typing as well as the construction of business letters. She then worked as a secretary for Celanese Corporation and for Air France. In 1963, she began a 30-year career with the World Bank. Two years after joining, her knowledge of French enabled her to be transferred to the Bank's Regional Mission in Western Africa, stationed in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, for 2 years and 9 months. There the written work was in English, but conversing with the local staff and the French and Ivorians in the city was of course in French. Upon return to Headquarters in Washington, she soon left secretarial work and moved into the Human Resources area. In 1993, she returned to Africa on a recruitment trip including a few Francophone countries: Burundi and Cote d'Ivoire. In 1994, she retired. Living in the Washington D.C. area affords occasional opportunities to converse in French, primarily with Africans from Francophone countries. She has been to France as a tourist several times for at least a month.
Lauren Clack, Infection Control Researcher
Lauren graduated in 2011 with a triple major in French, biology, and international studies. She participated in the French for the pre-med program in Nice in 2008 and the SIT program on global health and development policy in Geneva in 2011. She works as an Infection Control Researcher at the University Hospital of Geneva and a Human Factors Engineer in the infectious diseases department at the University Hospital of Zurich. Although she lives in the German-speaking region of Switzerland now, she often uses French to fill in the gaps where her (swiss)-German is lacking.
Ingrid (vonReitzenstein) Claussner, French teacher, retired
Ingrid, a 1962 graduate with a major in German and a minor in French, taught French at Warren Township high school from 1963-1965 and started a German Department there. She also taught French in South Korea at Seoul Foreign School. From 1980-1993, she taught German at Mundelein High School in Mundelein, IL.
Victoria Orefice Cooley, teacher
Victoria graduated in 2006 with a double major in English and Elementary Education and a minor in French. She has spent 6 years as a fourth grade teacher, 3 in Holland, MI, and 3 in Maastricht the Netherlands. And she has spent two years as an ELL teacher in Hudsonville, MI. She currently has an ELL student whose family has just moved from France. She is able to speak to him as he is adjusting to English. She was also able to use her French when they lived in an international community in Maastricht, The Netherlands. She studied abroad in Nantes in 2005.
Kathleen Davenport, sports, performing arts, and dance medicine
Kathleen is a 2004 graduate with a double major in Dance and Pre-Med and a minor in French. Directly after Hope, she started medical school, then did her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and then a fellowship in Spine and Sports Medicine. She completed her medical training and accepted a position in Boynton Beach, Florida, in sports, performing arts and dance medicine, including working with Miami City Ballet. She says, “I don't speak French regularly in my job, but majoring in French has opened traveling opportunities, and has empowered me to learn further languages. My husband and I started learning Spanish when I signed my contract in South Florida and we are continuing to take Spanish lessons.” So I am certainly using French now, and the foundation of learning languages, but not necessarily directly [in connection with] in my job.”
Elise Edwards, Director of Community Life and Missions
Elise, a French and International Studies composite major, graduated in 2006. She spent a year abroad with IES, first semester in Nantes and second in Paris. She loved all her French courses but found Phonetics particularly helpful with pronunciation. From 2007-2013, she worked for the U.S. State Department in the Foreign Service, where she was able to use French when she was posted to the Embassy in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. She began a new job as the Director of Community Life and Missions at her church and she uses French for their regular missions trips to Haiti.
Rachel Elzinga, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Nepal
Rachel is a 2013 graduate with a major in elementary education a minor in French. She spent a semester in Cameroon with SIT and she still remains in contact with her host family there and they email back and forth in French. Currently, she is one of nine 2013-2014 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants in Nepal. She teaches English to students in grades 1-5 at a Nepali government (public) school. When her grant is finished, she plans to pursue a teaching position back in the States; one of the school districts she has interviewed with runs a large French immersion program. In Nepal, she is not using French, but she is using many of the language learning/instruction skills as she studies Nepali and teaches English.
Fitemi Forgwe, Data Services
Fitemi completed Hope’s pre-med program and graduated in 1994 with a double major in French and Spanish. She works for a HR Consulting firm called Towers Watson as an account manager in the Data Services department. Her company helps employers determine at what level they should remunerate and/or provide benefits to their employees based on certain criteria. Towers Watson’s headquarters are in the United States, but she works in the French subsidiary based in Paris, France. She has been living and working in France for 17 years now. All three of her daughters were born and raised in France, and have dual citizenship.
Brandon Guernsey, Visiting Assistant Professor of French at Hope College
Brandon, a 2003 graduate with a double major in French and International Studies and a minor in biology. Right after graduating from Hope, he joined the US Peace Corps and served in Selibaby, Mauritania as an agroforestry volunteer for 3 years. Upon his return to the U.S., he began graduate school at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA to study French literature. He received his Master's in French in 2009, and continues to work toward completion of his PhD in French African literature and culture. As of this fall, he has also joined the French faculty at Hope, and is serving as Visiting Assistant Professor of French. He said, “I had an excellent experience while at Hope as a student of French, and it is an honor to now join the faculty. As professors and mentors, Anne Larsen and Brigitte Hamon-Porter were instrumental in developing my passion for the French language and francophone culture, and it is truly a privilege to now have the opportunity to work and collaborate with them as colleagues.”
AnnMarie Carlson Hardin, teacher to students of English as a second language
AnnMarie graduated in 2004 with a major in English and minor in French. In the past, she has worked in book publishing. She has transitioned into teaching English as a second language. She uses French to speak with the Francophone students in the program where she works. She also uses it to understand other Romance language speakers and to help them understand the connections between their home language and English.
Katelyn Hemmeke, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in South Korea
Katelyn, a 2012 graduate with a double major in Spanish and English (with a creative writing emphasis) and a minor in French. In the summer of 2012, she started a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in South Korea. She is currently in her second grant year with Fulbright; she will be in Korea until the summer of 2014. She keeps up with French by staying in contact with her francophone Fulbright friends and occasionally finds chances to have conversations in French with friends or at language exchange cafes and she tries to read in French as much as she can. She also uses a website called Memrise to keep up with vocabulary in all of her foreign languages, which she highly recommends!
Vicki Hill, literacy program
Vicki, a 1966 graduate with a major in English education and a minor in French, wrote for firms such as Amway and Herman Miller. Under a Barbara Bush literacy grant, she began a family literacy program for Kent County and worked on it for eight years before retiring in 2000 (1400+ families were served on this grant). She added on federal grant-writing done for the first time in the 1970s to standardize oncology care guidelines nationwide. She continues to write PR and marketing materials for Manistique Community Foundation and Manistique Community Chorus. She has used French in her travels.
Karl Hoesch, Hope College Admissions Representative
Karl is a 2007 graduate with a double major in Spanish and International Studies and a double minor in French and History. From 2007-2009, he taught for America Corps Member, in Memphis, TN. He taught high school Spanish in Memphis. He worked with Spanish, French and a bit of Mandarin at Small Talk for Kids World Language Company for Kids ages 0-5 from 2009-2010. From 2010-2011, he taught as an assistant teacher to 1st grade students in a Zeeland Christian Spanish Immersion classroom. Since 2011, he has worked at Hope College Admissions. He recruits high school students and reviews them for admission to Hope.
Jami Grant Hollandsworth, French teacher
Jami graduated in 2001 with a major in Biology and a double minor in French and Religion. She has been teaching high school Biology and French I, II and III at Traverse City Central High School for the past 10 years. She says, “My junior year at Hope, Professor Judy Motiff asked me to lead a French I drill course... and the teaching seed was planted in my mind. Upon graduation from Hope, I spent a year getting certified to teach through GVSU. I was initially hired in Traverse City to teach biology, but slowly have transitioned to all French classes. I absolutely love my job!”
Phyllis Hudson, elementary school teacher, retired
Phyllis is a 1966 graduate with a major in English and a double-minor in French and psychology. She taught elementary school for a total of 22 years. She also worked in the business world as an executive secretary at IBM for several years. While raising her children, she worked for a group of physicians in the Chicago area as a medical transcriber.
David James, English professor at Hope College
David graduated in 1976 with a double major in English and French with secondary certification. He went to Grenoble, where he spent the fall semester of his junior year with several other Hope students. He taught high school English and French (in Saugatuck and Holland) for around 5 years. He has since been teaching English and working in the Academic Support Center at Hope for almost 30 years.
Carrie (Olson) Jeruzal, Visual Arts teacher
Carrie, a 2001 graduate, double-majored in Art and French. She is now a K-12 Visual Arts Instructor in her 13th year of teaching. She is taking a group of high school students to Paris and Barcelona for a week in November. She studied in Paris in the fall of 1999.
Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, professor of Linguistic Anthropology
Karen graduated with a double major in French and History in 1975. She went on to get an MA in English/TESOL (Michigan State '76) and a Ph.D. in Linguistics (McGill University '84). She is currently a professor of Linguistic Anthropology at SUNY Potsdam, and her research focuses on the Old Order Amish (she has 3 books out about the Amish).Her degree in French helped to introduce her to the world of language study. As a student, she studied with Hope's program in Grenoble ('73-'74). She has since had the opportunity to live for a couple of extended periods in Rouen, France, while her husband, Bruce Weiner, a professor of American Literature, led the program for St. Lawrence University. They have a number of good friends in Rouen and have hosted their children here in upstate NY. Time spent in France also allowed her to do some research in Belfort, at the Mennonite archives, and she was able to spend some time in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, where she gave two addresses (Amish history and Amish schools) at the annual patchwork conference. It was great fun to be in this region, which is where Jacob Ammann lived and the Amish originated. Living so close to Quebec, we also have the opportunity to use French on this side of the Atlantic, and we travel regularly to Ottawa/Gatineau and Montreal, two of our favorite cities.
Emily Kirschbaum, graduate student and social worker
Emily graduated in 2012 with a major in Social Work and a minor in French. She is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Jane Addams College of Social Work for her Masters of Social Work and she is currently a social worker at Cabrini Green Legal Aid in Chicago, IL. She has used a little bit of French at her job, for example, she has had a client whose first language is French and is an immigrant from West Africa, and she has used it with her when she can't think of the right English word.
George P. Khoury, tourism in Palestine
George graduated in 2009 with a double major in French and Computer Science. He has held the position of Operation Manager for Shepherds Tours & Travel in Bethlehem in Palestine since his graduation, where his responsibilities are primarily between incoming group sales and tour operation. He currently uses French to help open new markets for his company and it has been very useful in communicating with his clients. He says, “Honestly my French classes are some of my best memories of Hope. I learned more than what is offered on the curriculum, and how would I not with an amazingly dedicated group of professors. As for my 6 weeks in Arles in the summer of 2007, it was an altogether growing experience personally and academically that I would highly encourage all students to undertake.”
Jennifer Lane, French and ESL teacher
Jennifer is a 2000 graduate with a double major in French and Secondary Education and a minor in Social Studies Education. She has been a middle and high school teacher, an ESL teacher, translator, and French tutor. And she teaches French to her children.
Courtney Long, Laboratory/Classroom Services Technician
Courtney, a 2012 graduate with a major in Biology and a minor in French, is currently a Laboratory/Classroom Services Technician at the University of Michigan. She likes to use French with friends, when reading or when watching French movies without subtitles! She spent a semester in Rennes, France, and thinks about her experience there almost every day, not only because her souvenirs became her decorations, but because the same fountain of courage and strength that took her to France and kept her there for a whole semester is what she has been drawing upon to keep being the confident person she is today.
Carla Masselink, financial advising
Carla graduated in 1965 with a double major in French and English and a minor in History. She works as the Senior Vice President of Raymond James, a financial advising company. She uses French now, since her son and his family live in Bourron-Marlotte outside of Paris, France. She travels there frequently and speaks French.
Zach Nielsen, MBA candidate
Zach, a 2010 graduate who majored in French and minored in Chemistry, was in a management training program at Target Corporation, then spent two years as a project manager with the nonprofit World Vision. He is currently a full time MBA candidate, class of 2015, at Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He uses French every day when speaking to his 15 month old son (named Leo) and occasionally he uses French to speak with other francophone neighbors.
Anna Park, teacher
Anna graduated in 2010 with a Language Arts Composite major for Elementary Education and a minor in French. She studied abroad in Arles in 2009 with IES. She is now a 3rd grade teacher at a private school in Philadelphia.
Katherine Reynolds, French teacher, retired
Katherine graduated in 1961 with a major in French and a double-minor in German and Psychology. She taught French at the high school level, and is now retired. She studied in Grenoble, France, in the summer of her junior year with Classrooms Abroad. She took students to Quebec and Paris when she was teaching and has returned to Paris several times on her own since then.
Jessica Roberts, customer experience worker
Jessica graduated in 2012 with a major in psychology and women’s studies and a minor in French. She has worked as a residential aide for Ottagan Addictions Recovery. She currently works at the front desk of Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse and she is on the customer experience team at Herman Miller.
Justin Rose, French and History teacher
Justin is a 2005 graduate with a major in History Education and a minor in French Education. After he graduated, he worked at Brandywine High School in Niles, MI, as a French and History teacher for 5 years. He recently moved to Peoria, Illinois, where he is in his second year as a French and History teacher at Dunlap High School, in Dunlap, IL. His foreign language colleagues and he are taking 30 students to France and Spain next summer. He is thankful for his experience with French at Hope, as it has prepared him very well for his career in education!
Kevin Soubly, Operations Manager, researcher, analyst
Kevin, a member of the Class of 2011, graduated in December 2010, with a double major in Political Science and International Studies and a double minor in French and Environmental Studies. He spent the fall of 2009 in Switzerland, studying International Organizations, Multilateral Diplomacy, and Social Justice. In the past, he was an intern for the US Department of State, and an intern for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council. He currently holds a job as an Operations Manager for a subcontractor to the US Federal Government and as a part-time Researcher and Analyst for Wikistrat. He uses French at his job at Wikistrat to read foreign press articles. His experience has included independent and facilitated research and field excursions in Switzerland, France, Belgium, the UK, and Croatia focusing on challenges in geopolitics, 21st-century national security, multilateral diplomacy, international development, peace building, nation-building, disaster recovery, human rights, environmental accountability, international trade, and global cooperation.
Julie TeWinkle, French and Spanish teacher
Julie graduated in 1999 with a major in French and a minor in Spanish. She now teaches Spanish and French to 7th and 8th graders.
Heather (Thompson) Todd, medical transcriptionist and piano accompanist
Heather, a 1990 graduate, double-majored in Music and Fine Arts and minored in French. She works as a piano accompanist and a medical transcriptionist. Her husband is a professor of German and French, and they have made friends through the Hospitality Club and Couchsurfing (as guests and hosts) with people in various parts of Europe, mainly France. Their best friends are a French photographer and his wife. They took their two kids to France three summers ago, and this summer she and her husband visited friends in Paris, Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon and Châtenois (Alsace).
Adina Van Buren, docent
Adina graduated in 1961 with a French major and a music minor. She is currently a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation, leading tours in English and French. She is also occasionally a substitute teacher in French at her former school before retiring in 2004. While teaching, she arranged trips to France at the culmination of the school year. Over the years, she has taught at various levels: elementary, secondary and junior college. Her last position, which she held for 19 years, was the French Department Chair at a private school for gifted students. Since retirement, she tutors students of French during the school year, and arranges yearly European travel for several Hope graduates from the Class of 1961. She and 19 others will soon be going to France for a river cruise along the Seine.
Stephanie Van Stee, Assistant Professor of Communication
Stephanie, a 2006 graduate, double-majored in Communication and Business Management and minored in French. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
Gina Veltman, MA candidate in TESOL
Gina, a 2012 graduate and French and International Studies double major, is currently in her second year of a Master’s program at NYU entitled "Teaching French as a Foreign Language" with a concentration in TESOL. She spent last year living and studying in Paris while also holding a position as an English Teaching Assistant in a collège/lycée. She uses French now at her student teaching position in The High School for Language and Diplomacy in Manhattan working in a French classroom and she loves it!
Deanne Weissflog, health care and business operations
Deanne is a 1972 graduate with a major in French. She spent a semester in Grenoble, France, in 1970. She has worked in Health Care Administration and Business Operations for roughly 30 years. In 1992, she received a dual MBA and an executive MBA.
Katherine Wilbur, attorney
Katherine is a 2009 graduate with a double major in International Studies and Art History and a double minor in French and Political Science. She is an attorney at Varnum LLP., focusing her practice on issues relating to international tax, corporate tax, partnership tax, state income tax, and state sales and use taxes. She uses French when she travels, when she watches French films, and when she listens to French music. In her professional career, there was one request for a French document translation, and she has done some business with Quebec.
David Wilkin, professor of French, retired
David is a 1961 graduate with a French major. After he spent 1961-1962 in Dijon as an English assistant at the Lycée Carnot, he spent two years at the U. of Pittsburgh, earning his M.A. in French and teaching beginning French classes. Then he taught for four years at the College of Wooster, and returned to Wooster after finishing his Ph.D. at Brown U. He retired from the College in 2002. He has done French translation work for the Huguenot Historical Society and Huguenot Heritage. He has researched and is working on a book about the history of a French-speaking settlement near Wooster where there are now mostly Amish. He has also used French in picking up the work of a deceased colleague, who'd spent much of her career on the lives of two children of Victor Hugo, but especially his daughter, Adèle. He says that, “For all of that, I am indebted to two extremely dedicated profs at Hope: Nella Meyer and her sister Marguerite Prins, both long gone. I didn't know a word of French before college, except maybe for cognates that I only knew as English words. Those two ladies took my imagination for a ride, with the result summarized above.” His wife was a French teacher, and their daughter, who is married to a Frenchman, teaches French at Pacific Lutheran University. From time to time their son uses French in his work, along with English and Spanish.
Sarah Williams, ballet teacher and choreographer
Sarah is a 2009 graduate with a double major in Dance and French and a double minor in Management and Accounting. After spending a year as an Assistante de Langue in Laval, France, she moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Dance History and Criticism. Now, she is the core ballet teacher for Keshet Dance Company as well as being a lecturer for the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of New Mexico. As a ballet teacher, she uses and teaches French to all of her students, ages 6 to 66. French has been essential in her research as a Dance Historian, turning to the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris for primary sources related to Baroque court dance, Romantic Ballet, and the tours of the infamous Ballets Russes.