What Alumnae Have Done with French Studies
Those majoring in and studying French can pursue many different careers. Our majors have gone on to teach at all levels, from elementary education to college; to work in the foreign service and the Peace Corps or in the arts; to study law, business and medicine; and to pursue advanced degrees in French literature, music, translation and theatre. Some have returned to France or Geneva to continue their studies or to work.
What do our alumnae do after Smith? Here’s a sample of careers and jobs that French Studies alumnae have found:
- Eve Whitehouse '11 Art and French Studies (JYA Paris) is currently a French Teaching Fellow at Philips Academy.
- After learning Italian and spending two years in Rome teaching English after graduation, Laura Izkowitz '09 entered a Master's program in creative writing at Columbia University in the fall. She is currently writing a memoir of her JYA in Paris. Check out an excerpt at http://paris.untappedcities.com/2012/01/06/left-bank-nostalgia/
- Nadia Rivera-Nieves J'09 spent a year as the ENS fellow in 2009-10, where she found mentors who continue to guide her work. Still under the auspices of the ENS and the EHESS, she is now drafting a Master's thesis on the impact that the philosopher Derrida has had on Emmanuel Levinas’s work on alterity.
- Erika Faller '09 is now a graduate student in the doctoral program of French Studies at New York University.
- After spending a year in Kazan, Russia, Alyson Faller '09 has moved to warmer climes. She’s been teaching English in an international high school in Dakar, Sénegal for more than a year and thinking of undertaking a Master's in education either in Leuven, Belgium or Canada.
- Rebecca Weiner '10 is a first year Master’s student in French literature at Penn State. Before going to Penn State, she was an English language teaching assistant at three elementary schools in Parisian suburbs.
- Caroline Winschel '09 recently met up with Jonathan Gosnell and Janie Vanpée at the Modern Language Association convention in Seattle this January 2012. She is an assistant editor at the University of Pennsylvania Press and has been enjoying the spare time that comes with having recently completed her Master’s in English literature, also at Penn.
- Meredith Duncan '08, who works and lives in NYC, launched the blog, CubicleChic, in 2010. The blog focuses on fashion for the work place. Check it out: http://www.cubiclechicblog.com/tag/meredith-duncan/
- Eileen Friedman, CLT and French Studies major, '08 lived in Buenos Aires for two years where she taught English to teens and adults. Janie Vanpée met up with her for a great dinner in the colonial San Telmo neighborhood in July 2010.
- Sarah Muffly '08 spent two productive years as an assistante d’anglais in the Académie de Versailles. She began a Master's program in international education development at Teachers College of Columbia University this fall.
- After graduation, Mary Morgan Childs '08 spent a summer studying in Poitiers, France followed by a year in Bruxelles, before finishing her Master's at Middlebury in 2009. Since 2010 she has been teaching French at the Beverly Hills Lingual Institute in Los Angeles.
- Korin Kane '07 obtained her Master's from the Institut d’études politiques de Paris in 2009 and is now a Policy Analyst at the OECD in Paris.
- Eliza Zingesser '05 Congratulations to Eliza for finishing her dissertation, French Troubadours: Assimilating Occitan Literature in Northern France, which explores the reception of Occitan lyric in France in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, in the period corresponding to the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229) and its aftermath, which witnessed France’s political and cultural annexation of Occitania. Eliza’s other research interests include the history of the book, gay and lesbian studies, and late medieval and early modern writers including Guillaume de Machaut, Jean Froissart and Rabelais.
- Caroline Whiteman '05 received her Master's degree in Etudes Basques from the Université de Bordeaux III - Michel de Montaigne in 2006 with a mémoire de maîtrise titled "Le linteau à Ostabat: relève, lecture sémiotique et analyse socio-historique". Following her Master's, she spent a year in an intensive Basque language school in Gernika (Guernica), Spain. Currently in her third year of the PhD program at the University of Colorado, Boulder her interests focus on literary regionalism; politics and sociology in literature; translation and adaptation theories.
- Jill Falk '05 is currently completing the research for her PhD thesis at MIT. Could the internship experience she had working in Professor Verssac’s lab at INSERM in Paris during her JYA have led to her current research?
Here is what she’s researching now: Checkpoints are surveillance mechanisms that couple cell cycle events such that one event is contingent on the occurrence of another. During mitosis, the spindle position checkpoint ensures that the mitotic spindle elongates along the mother-bud axis before mitotic exit, so that both mother and daughter cell receive one full DNA complement. One component of this checkpoint, the kinase Kin4, functions as a negative regulator of mitotic exit by blocking Cdc5 phosphorylation of Bfa1. She is interested in how Kin4 itself is regulated as well as how mitotic exit, in general, is controlled in budding yeast.
Jill’s sister, Zoe Falk '15 is now at Smith and looking forward to spending her JYA in Paris next year.
- Elizabeth Applegate '02 is currently Assistant Professor of French at Saint Mary’s College of Maryland after receiving her Ph.D in 2010 in French Literature at New York University. Her dissertation focused on various modes of bearing witness in fiction and survivor testimony about the Tutsi genocide. She spent time teaching English in Rwanda in the summer of 2009, and she serves on the board of Friends of Tubeho, a fundraising organization that provides scholarships for university students who were orphaned by the genocide. She has recently published articles on the theatre of Togolese playwright Kossi Efoui and on the Rwandan novelist Gilbert Gatore. Her current research focuses on theatre and reconciliation in Rwanda today.
- Hannah Freed-Thall '02 has garnered a prestigious Perkins-Cotsen Fellowship at Princeton University for 2011-12, where she will also be a lecturer in French and Italian. She received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California-Berkeley. She is revising her dissertation for publication and conducting research on a second book project tentatively titled "'C'est vraiment dégueulasse': The Rhetoric of Revulsion in 20th-century France."
- Jennifer Hadden '01, French Studies and Government double major at Smith, was a fulltime student at Sciences Po when on the JYA program in Paris in 1999-2000. She recently received her Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University in 2011 and is now Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on the role of civil society participation in climate change policy-making in the European Union and the United Nations. This work has been supported by a Fulbright Fellowship to the European Union, as well as by grants from the European Union Studies Association and the Cornell Institute for a Sustainable Future.
- Noelle Giguère '00, defended her dissertation, “Writing the Unseen: Evnisioning the Face in Works of Marguerite Duras and Hélène Cixous” at Emory University in 2010. She is currently Lecturer of French at Christopher Newport University in Virginia.
French Teaching Assistantships
Every year a number of French majors successfully apply for one of the 1,500 openings for French teaching assistantships to teach English in a French lycée. Consult the "Teaching Assistant Program in France" site for the latest information on how to apply.
- Alexandra Ankudowich '12 (Académie de Toulouse)
- Christianne Beasley '12 (Académie de Rouen)
- Kayla Carpenzano '12 (Académie de Lyon)
- Alyssa Park '12 (Académie de Paris)
- Shakwana Etienne '11 (Académie de Paris)
- Quinn Fusting '11 (Académie de Versailles)
- Elyse Martin '11 (Académie d'Amiens)
- Olivia Mohler '11 (Académie de Versailles)
- Jeannie Stranzl '11 (Académie de La Réunion)
- Eve Whitehouse '11 (Académie de Toulouse)
- Jamie Meliado '10 (Académie de Toulouse)
- Estelle Dolan '10 (Académie de Rouen)
- Sarah Lotter '10 (Académie de Grenoble)
- Jennifer Han '09 (Académie de Créteil)
- Megan Burbank '09 (Versailles)
- Erin Whelchel '09 (Montpellier)
- Elizabeth (Lizzy) Ankudowich '08 (Aix-Marseille)
- Elizabeth Cummings '08 (Réunion)
- Jennifer Daley '08 (Rennes)
- Melissa Dimetres '08 (Créteil)
- Sarah Muffly '08 (Versailles for two years)
- Sara Conneighton '07 (Versailles)
- Allison Schein '07 (Versailles)
- Eleni Andre-Wolking '06 (Lyon)
- Meghan Hoke '06 (Montpellier)
- Laura Libman '06 (Nice)
- Christina Presley '06 (Lille)
- Elizabeth Tolmach '05 (Versailles)
- Sarah Schweitzman '05 (Créteil)
- Katrina Baker '05 (Paris)
- Joanne Dufy '05 (Paris)
- Noëlle Opsahl '05 (Créteil)
French majors and students have an excellent track record of garnering Fulbright Fellowships.
- Alyson Faller '09: Teaching English in Russia
- Eve Grinstead '09J: France: Art and Architectural History, "Power Accrued through the Objets d'Art of a Dowager Queen"
- Kristen Sobeck '06: Economics, Educational Choices of Swiss Women (Switzerland)
- Laura Medina '05: Teaching English in Paris
- Elisa Zingesser '05: Musicology, A Catalogue of the Complete Musical Works of Gabriel Fauré (France)
- Elizabeth Mayer '02: Public Health, Women's Aids Project (Morocco)
- Jannine Stouch '96: Education, Education and Child Development (Haiti)