Alumni

What are recent graduates doing?

We have had an impressive number of majors in recent years, and here is just a representative sampling of some of their current activities: a French teacher and chair of Modern Foreign Languages at the Stratford School in Macon, GA, who has won several teaching awards and prestigious national fellowships; another French teacher at the Lovett School in Atlanta, after having had a Fulbright year in Nantes, France, and having worked for the French Consulate in Atlanta; at least eight past students are pursuing, or have recently undertaken, Ph.D. work in French or Romance Languages: at Columbia University, New York University, University of Virginia, two at Emory, two at Vanderbilt, and one is working on a doctorate in French literature at the Université de Nantes in France; another has worked at the High Museum in Atlanta as a research assistant, and another French Studies major had a similar experience (though but for a summer) at the Art Institute of Chicago; yet others have gone on to law and business schools and international studies programs, with the idea of gravitating toward careers with international opportunities. And one of our early French Studies students has just finished a three-year posting at the American Embassy in Paris, having worked her way up through the diplomatic ranks.

Joe Brew

After graduation, Joe moved to Paris for a year where he did a Master's in History (at the Institut Catholique de Paris). Following that, he spent a summer in Lome, Togo (West Africa), where the national language is French. Mr. Brew is currently teaching at St. Andrew's School. He uses French on a daily basis - to communicate with friends in France and Africa, to speak with neighbors and friends from France and Quebec, and to follow world events through French newspapers and websites.

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Olivia Choplin

After graduation, Olivia pursued her French studies in Nantes, France, receiving a Maîtrise de Lettres Modernes and a Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies at the Université de Nantes. She met her husband, Arnaud, while studying and working there, and he came back to the U.S. with her while she pursued her PhD in French Literature at Emory University. She received her PhD in August of 2008, after teaching for a year at Sewanee during the 2007-2008 academic year, and is now working as an Assistant Professor of French at Elon University in North Carolina. French has been at the center of her professional and personal life, and she and Arnaud had their first child, Arthur, on December 31st, 2009.

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Angela Galbreath

Upon graduation from Sewanee in 2005 with a major in Global Studies and a minor in French, Angela taught English at the Episcopal University of Haiti in Port au Prince. Her knowledge of the French language allowed her to learn Haitian Kreyol and thus be able to communicate broadly in Haiti. Currently in her third and final year working in the Outreach and Community Service Program of All Saints Chapel at Sewanee, she maintains her activism in Haiti and helps develop the University's humanitarian initiatives there. Ms. Galbreath is currently seeking employment responding to the January 12th earthquake in Haiti, and is also studying the Kreyol rap movement, continuing her interest in self expression in former French colonies that began at Sewanee with a course on Négritude.

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Althea Jane Northcross

While studying at Sewanee, Althea fell in love with the French language and thanks to the incredible dedication and guidance of the French department, she decided to study abroad in Nantes, France for her junior year. After graduating in 2006, Althea was fortunate enough to participate in the Sewanee - University of Nantes exchange that allowed her to go back to her beloved Nantes and teach English at the University. She then acquired her Master's of Comparative Literature and after three years in France, returned to her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee where the Sewanee Alumni network promptly lead her to a teaching position at St. Mary's Episcopal School which she held until the spring of 2009. She is currently teaching French at Rhodes College, a liberal arts school much like Sewanee. "Knowing French has not only connected me to a larger global community, it has widened the scope of my interactions with my own friends and community as I now better understand the implications of my own choices and cultural inclinations. Currently I am living in Memphis and relishing the challenge of balancing the speed and excitement of life in the US with a little bit of savoir vivre that I picked up from my home across the sea."

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Ronald Oman

Ron graduated from Sewanee in 1998 with majors in French and History after spending a semester in Aix en Provence at the Institute for American Universities in 1997. In 2002, he completed an MA in International Communication at the American University and was the first AU student to participate in an exchange with the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Hired immediately by a large French bank to market alternative investments to clients based in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Ron began an exciting career in international communication for financial services firms based in Paris. In 2006, Ron became Head of Communication for the Global Equities & Derivatives Solutions division of Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking (SGCIB), the world’s largest and most awarded Equity Derivatives platform. In 2009, he was appointed Head of External Relations for the Hedge Fund Managed Account Platform of SGCIB’s asset management subsidiary, Lyxor AM.

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Sarah Oxford

Is helping the nonprofit Breaking Ground-Cameroon to construct new schools and clean water facilities in some of Cameroon's most impoverished communities.

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