Christian Ahihou (PhD ’12)
Christian is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) where he enjoys interacting with his students while transmitting to them his knowledge of the French language and also sharing with them his passion of French and Francophone cultures. Affiliated to the Global Women Studies Program and the Africana Studies Program here at BYU, he is involved in different projects and has recently organized the visit of the Senegalese women writer Ken Bugul on campus. He also is a Faculty Adviser to the BYU French Club (that for some activities has over 300 people attend).
As part of his research works, his second book: Ken Bugul – Glissement et fonctionnements du langage littéraire got published by L’Harmattan (Paris) late September 2017. He continues his works on African literature and the 20th- and 21st-century French literature. In the past few years, he presented different papers at different international conferences. Among them are “Mariama Bâ et l’émergence de l’écriture féminine en Afrique francophone sub-Saharienne,” presented at the 43rd Annual Conference of the African Literature Association, (Yale University, June 14 – 17, 2017) and “De la perception à la transcription du réel en lettres modernes: le cas de l’épisode des clochers de Martinville dans Du côté de chez Swan de Marcel Proust,” presented at the 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium: “Sense and the Senses,” (Indiana University, Bloomington, April 6 – 8, 2017).
On the top of his future projects is the Studies in Genres course, “Reading French Novels in the 20th and 21st Centuries” that he is preparing to teach in the coming months (May – June 2018). He also plans to start working on the manuscript of his third book. And finally, the idea of a visit to the Sunshine State is also emerging in his mind. Nostalgia? Oh yeah… Go Gators! Go Cougars!
Natalie Amgott (BA ’14 FFS 2014, MA ’15 Linguistics 2015)
Last year, I taught French at an independent junior high and high school in Florida. Teaching there with innovative educators inspired me to apply for a doctorate and I am now in my first year of a PhD in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona. My research interests include language program administration and curriculum design. I am also teaching Intermediate French courses to the undergraduates at the University of Arizona and enjoying being part of an interdisciplinary program that lets me join together my love of French, teaching, and language learning. This summer, I will be teaching French in Paris at the UA’s study abroad program. In my free time, I teach individual and group classes in French, Spanish, and ESL for the Take Lessons website. All of these teaching and learning experiences have provided me opportunities to grow in my language and teaching skills, to learn the importance of digital and critical literacies in the classroom, and to pursue ways to increase student motivation and agency in language learning. None of these opportunities would have been possible without the excellent education and guidance I received from my Bachelor’s and Master’s (4+1 program) in French at the UF for which I am very grateful.
Leah Booth (BA 0’12 French)
Going on a second year as a French instructor for Florida Virtual School, it’s a pleasure to connect students to linguistic and cultural opportunities while introducing 21st century skills in the classroom. It seems our French (and language programs in general) are too often relegated from brick and mortar curriculum. With an asynchronous, year-round class, it’s rewarding to know there is high, state-wide demand for French that needs support. It’s likewise fulfilling to know that following my passion in higher education not only paid off personally and professionally, but now, lays ground work for international development of students in Florida. Though this career change only recently became a goal, the inspiration, careful instruction, and encouragement of the U. F. French Department made it possible. Mes salutations distinguées aux professeurs.
Ana Curta (BA ’13 Minor French)
Very happy to announce that I will be spending the next three years on the beach as a Pediatrician at UF/Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Florida!
Delin Deng (MA ’15 French)
In May of 2015, I graduated with my MA in French (Linguistics track). After graduation, I moved to Paris to pursue my PhD degree in anthropology at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. In the past years, I was able to present at several different conferences in both linguistics and sociology in Europe and in the US. Meanwhile, two of my most recent articles, titled “How do Chinese students perceive the French spoken by Francophones and Chinese in France?” and “Oui and voilà: analysis of two discourse markers used by Chinese L-1 speakers of French in France,” were published in 2017. Several other articles are under review or in preparation. I am now working on my dissertation, which compares the Chinese community in Paris and in New York concerning their languages, identity issues, kinship and marriage. This year, I benefited from the bilateral scholarship to join University of Chicago as a visiting scholar. I am currently doing interviews and collecting data with first- and second-generation Chinese in the U.S.
Kathleen Diamond (BA ’68, MA ’69 French)
I am the new Chair of ASTM F43 Language Services and Products. The Committee has jurisdiction over standards for use-oriented language training, translation, interpreting, testing and language services companies.
Kathleen K. Diamond is Principal Consultant, Kathleen Diamond and Co. Chair, ASTM F43 Language Services and Products (ASTM), Recipient of ALC William “Bill” Graeper Award 2017 and Director, Board of Directors, Association of Language Companies (ALC).
Chizoba Ezenwa (BA ’17 International Studies – Africa, minor in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance, FFS)
My name is Chizoba Ezenwa and I am a recent Gator grad currently serving as a Sustainable Agriculture Systems (SAS) Volunteer in Peace Corps Benin, Africa. Benin is a small Francophone, West African country wedged between Togo and Nigeria. Though small, Benin boasts hundreds of local languages, colorful and patterned clothing, amazing hospitality, and flat lands that transform into hills as you travel north. Here, every older woman is a “Mama,” motorcycles are your average source of transport and greetings are an expectation amongst strangers and friends alike. In just four months of living in Benin, I have greatly improved in my French proficiency, which was a big goal of mine when considering service in a Francophone African country. I have seen how the concept of time and productivity differs from that of the U.S. context, and therefore how important it is to be patient with transitioning into a new community and with project development. During our three-month long training, I have grasped technical skills, from gardening to marketing practices, that I only hope to further develop upon throughout my service. As an SAS Volunteer, I am targeting efforts to improve the agricultural production and incomes of households while targeting food insecurity. In my village, located in the Donga department of northwestern Benin, I will be working with numerous women’s and men’s groups, including farmers, product transformers, beekeepers and more, alongside a new NGO to better organize and support these groups that are such integral parts of their community. I definitely learned a lot during the training process here, but I have to give a shout-out to my professors, courses and organizations at UF for setting a foundation for me to discover my love for learning, leadership, and global affairs. If you’d like to follow my journey, please feel free to check out my blog [cezenwa1.wixsite.com/bnblog]. The personal and professional development has been inevitable during my short stay here, and I’m excited to see what the full two years of service teach me along the way.
Go Benin and Go Gators!
Danielle Flanagan (’18)
She has been accepted to Georgetown School of Law where she will use her third year there to study at Sciences Po for a joint J.D./Master’s in International Economic Law.
Cynthia Lees (PhD ’06)
For the past eleven years, Cynthia Lees has taught French and Francophone literature at the University of Delaware and has served as Coordinator for the undergraduate and graduate Foreign Language Education program. She retired from UD in January 2018 and lives with her husband Daniel and Boston Terrier Rudy in Warwick, Rhode Island. They look forward to sailing on Narragansett Bay in the summer and to their annual trip to Quebec and the Maritime provinces.
Valerie Lugo (BS ’13 Psychology, BA ’13 French and Francophone Studies)
I’ve been working for Google as a UX Researcher and Designer for the past 2 years in San Francisco, and I recently relocated to New York City. I travel conducting field research quite often, and my degree from UF has been incredibly helpful (I’ll be in Paris conducting research next month!)
Lane Nieset (BA ’10 Journalism and French)
Lane Nieset is a travel journalist. She has published in Vogue, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, National Geographic….. She currently resides in France. Visit her website.
Paul Selçuk Merter (MA ’92 French, minor in English)
Après avoir terminé ma maîtrise en 1992 à l’Université de Floride, je suis rentré en France où j’enseigne l’anglais en tant que professeur certifié à l’Institution Mongazon à Angers. Depuis plusieurs années, je pilote un programme d’échange avec le collège La Salle II de Chicago. Tous les deux ans, nos élèves de 4ème et de 3ème passent deux semaines dans l’Illinois, reçoivent leurs correspondants américains la même année en France et en sont ravis.
L’idée de repartir aux Etats-Unis pour enseigner fait partie de mes projets. En effet, je suis dans l’attente d’une opportunité qui me séduirait et dans cette perspective je suis la publication des postes de près via Linkedin où mon profil est visible.
En dehors de l’enseignement, je pratique la poterie dans un atelier sous la direction d’un maître-céramiste. J’ai présenté mon travail en céramique dans trois expositions collectives internationales. La dernière exposition locale est en cours à Sainte-Gemmes-sur-Loire où des artistes peintres et sculpteurs exposent leur œuvre.
Prisca Piccirilli (MA ’17 French and Francophone Studies, minor in Linguistics)
I completed my MA in French and Francophone Studies with a minor in Linguistics in the fall 2017. I still cannot believe that two years and a half have passed already! My experience at the University of Florida has taught me so much and I will forever be grateful to have been given the opportunity to teach French to American college students. During this program, I also had the chance to complete my master’s thesis under the great supervision of Dr. Blondeau: Attitudes et perceptions langagières en Belgique: le role de la langue anglaise sur le marché linguistique bruxellois. I am now back in France for a few months before leaving to Germany to pursue my studies in the field of computational linguistics. My time in Gainesville and at the University of Florida led me to where I am today and I am thankful to all the professors who have always supported me, helped me, and guided me in my choices.
Angélique Talmor (BA ’16 French and Francophone Studies, Political Science)
I’m currently finishing my MA in International Public Management at Sciences Po Paris. In addition to my studies, since graduating I have worked as a communications advisor on a French primary campaign, interned at the French ministry of Defense and also at the Hudson Institute in DC. After obtaining my degree in May, I will spend six months interning at NATO before going back to school to prepare for the civil service exams.