Through the end of May, Marian University will have a showcase up at Central Library, celebrating the university’s many connections to France and French culture.
Organized by Martine Camblor, assistant professor of French, the showcase illustrates Marian University’s past, present, and future connections to the French language and culture. Among the connections on display are Jessica Skrobul ’15 and Alan Guillen’s ’16 internships teaching at schools in France, a look at the 2012 “Maymester” where Marian University students explored the country, and a profile on Aidan Kessner, a Marian University scholar-athlete who has been in France since January—studying abroad and training at the French National Velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
The showcase is being held in conjunction with photography exhibit, “American Women Rebuilding France: 1917-1924.” The exhibit tells the story of American volunteers who devoted themselves to relief work in France during and after World War I. The photos document the efforts of Anne Morgan and a group of American woman volunteers as they worked to aid France in reconstruction efforts following the devastation of the war.
This exhibit, sponsored by The Alliance Francaise d’Indianapolis and the American Friends of Bierancourt, held an opening reception on Wednesday, May 6, where Marian University students, faculty, and staff gathered with Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard; Jackie Nytes, chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Public Library; Diane Thomas, Honorary French Consul; and many others.
Marian University has a long history with The Alliance Francaise d’Indianapolis, where students have earned special recognition for their French proficiency and cultural engagement. In fact, a 1947 issue of Marian University’s student-run newspaper The Phoenix reports that then-student Antoinette Pangallo received the silver Petri medal from the alliance in 1947.
Just last year, Skrobul earned the “Outstanding Student Award” from the alliance for her achievement in the study of the French language and culture. Skrobul, who graduated last weekend, has accepted a position through the French Ministry of Education as an English teaching assistant for the 2015-16 school year. Beginning in October, she will be teaching at the Académie de Montpellier in France.
Camblor, a French native, has used her many connections in the country to place Marian University students in their first international internships, and, in the case of Kessner, the chance to train and study in another country.
Beyond student experiences abroad, Marian University faculty brings French culture to campus through events like the annual French film festival (sponsored by the Embassy of France in the United States) and faculty scholarship like Diane Prenatt’s, research on Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, an American writer and war correspondent during the First World War.
This May, be sure to stop by the Central Library in downtown Indianapolis to see this incredible photography exhibit and Marian University’s showcase.