"I am tremendously grateful to the French and Italian Department at CU for a rigorous international education." - Kenneth Landers - French BA 2015
"Studying Italian at CU Boulder was an unforgettable experience that created life-long bonds and passions." - Marlene Aramburo - Italian BA 2017
Nick De Toustaint - French BA 1993
Nick De Toustaint received his undergraduate degree at CU in French with a double major in Math in 1993. He continued on for his graduate MBA plus M.A. at BU in International Relations, then in 1997 worked in Paris for Valtech, a French IT consulting company. He then moved to London and finaly New York City with the same company.
"I have literally put my French degree to work as an employee of now 3 different French companies. It's interesting because some of those three companies are unabashedly French, whereas others (e.g. my current one) prefer to downplay it or not bring it up at all. French origin: asset or liability? In any case, being able to communicate in the language of Moliere both verbally and in writing with my French managers has served me well. It not only helped me get the job in the first place but added to the value I'm able to deliver to the company.
I will always be grateful to my CU French professors who taught me, challenged me, and yes, entertained me. Ever hear Prof. Braider's rendering of the "tarte à la crème" passage from l'Ecole des femmes? No? You're missing out!"
Philippe Brand - French PhD 2011
"I will always be grateful for my time in the Department of French & Italian at CU-Boulder. I was accepted to several excellent graduate programs, but the deciding factor for me was hearing from other students about how closely they worked with their professors. When I arrived in Boulder, I quickly discovered that in addition to being excellent scholars and fine teachers, my professors were kind people. I enjoyed a great deal of support beginning in my first semester in the M.A. program and extending all the way through my time on the job market. Now that I am a professor myself, I am all the more cognizant of the excellent mentorship that I received as a student, and I’m thankful for the friendships and professional relationships that continue to the present day."
Samuel Teets - French BA 2014
Sam Teets is a second year MA student whose research interests include comparative race, Third World, LGBTQ, performance, and women of color studies. After attending the University of Colorado at Boulder for his undergraduate's (majoring in French and English literature, minoring in Dance), he taught high school English in New Haven, Connecticut for two years. Outside of class, he loves to dance, work with and tutor students of all ages, make art (mixed media sculpture and water color), and explore new parts of the city with his new English department friends. He currently lives in the Upper West Side with his wife, cat, and collection of books. Feel free to contact him regarding any questions, suggestions, or ideas regarding GEO or departmental programming!
Tess Edmonds McLoud, Master’s Program 2014-2015
With a BA in French and anthropology from Dartmouth and two years served in the Peace Corps, I came to CU to sharpen my French skills to use in international work and to gain a deeper, more nuanced grasp of the language. I had the opportunity to study at CU from 2014-2015 in the Master’s program, teaching an undergraduate French course and honing my French skills while being exposed to ideas and authors that opened up my mind. I’ll never forget discovering Proust with Professor Bloomfield or the joys of extreme contemporary literature with Professor Motte!
My French study has opened doors for me to a unique and international career. After CU I had the opportunity to spend a year in Paris, where I interned at UNESCO’s headquarters and had a chance to combine my passions for language, culture, and the environment. While there, I drew on my French to collaborate in cofounding an international nonprofit focusing on cultural heritage protection in developing states threatened by climate change, and become a contributor and translator for a book published at UNESCO. Since then, for the past three years, I have worked in the nonprofit sector using my French as a program manager of international development projects across Africa.
Jasmine Vojdani - French BAMA 2015
"In my five years studying at CU Boulder, the French department became my home. The program offers a 5-year BA/MA track, which I pursued thanks to the support and encouragement of my professors. Having the opportunity to study alongside such excellent faculty, to teach my first class, and to come out with an MA in the process was pivotal in my professional development. This program gave me the tools necessary to go on to teach language, to hold a management position at a bilingual non-profit, and to pursue an MFA in writing.
The French program at CU Boulder is outstanding in terms of its faculty’s passion and commitment to their subject and to their students, and I believe that motivated students will find a home there, too."
Emma Carroll - French BA 2015
"Currently I'm wrapping up my 2-year service in Egambo, a small rural village in northern Namibia (August 2015-November 2017). I am an English as a second language teacher for grades 7-10, with a total of 110 students (called learners here). Aside from teaching I have been working with my Namibian colleagues on a library project at school. We have constructed a new building to house over 1000 books and have established a check-out and management system so learners and teachers can efficiently utilize them. Our goal was to promote a stronger reading culture among the learners and get them passionate about reading by providing them with a wider variety of reading materials and a safe, enjoyable place to read and study.
Namibia has approximately 17 different languages. Though French is not one of them, my French degree has still helped me quite a bit. After having learned French, learning Oshikwanyama was much easier because I already had some ideas of language-learning strategies. In addition, having been a language-learner myself, I was a more sympathetic and effective language teacher. Though I haven't directly used my French degree since graduating, many careers in the international field that I have been looking into list French as a highly desired skill. I am eager to use French more directly after finishing my Peace Corps service and am thankful for the opportunities the degree has provided."
Kenneth Landers - French BA 2015
"My work is focused on advancing philanthropic support for Harvard University internationally. I am tremendously grateful to the French and Italian Department at CU for a rigorous international education. Everyday I draw on the analytical tools of my education to understand how Harvard, along with its friends and alumni, can make meaningful contributions to other parts of the world. I can't think of more satisfying work!"
Maiji Castro - Italian BA 2016
Maiji Castro graduated summa cum laude in Art History with a minor in Italian in the fall of 2016. She is currently pursuing her MA in Art and Museum Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and working with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to create a non-profit foundation to support national historic preservation efforts. Next year she will be continuing her studies in London at Sotheby’s Auction House.
Marlene Aramburo - Italian BA 2017
"My name is Marlene Aramburo and I graduated from CU Boulder in August 2017. I declared a Humanities major the day of freshman orientation- having no idea what that meant- after looking at the degree audit for an Integrative physiology major. How did I chose to study Italian? To begin with, my freshman advisor told me I had not taken enough language courses in high school and thus had to take three semesters of a language of my choice at CU. Annoyed at the already-confusing university curriculum, as my advisor read the endless language possibilities, I stopped her at Italian. Three semesters quickly flew by and I realized that my Italian classes gave me a thrill that no other class gave me. I asked about a minor- then soon after, a major. I simply did not want to stop taking Italian classes.
Four years later, I am using my Italian major more than I ever imagined. I studied abroad in Ferrara during fall semester of 2016, where I lived with a host family and took classes at the local university. By May of 2017, three months before my official graduation, I had a job waiting for me in Milan- lacittà metropolitana. As you can imagine, summer was filled with prospect. Forward to now and I use my Italian every single day.
If it had not been for the Italian department always procuring not only my academic but also my professional life, I would not be nearly as happy as I am today. More than a “department”, I learned to view everyone as la mia famiglia. Out of a mass of 30,000 students trying to make it into the “real world,” the staff in the Italian department truly sought out my potential and provided me with a plethora of resources that enabled me to thrive with my Italian major. Studying Italian at CU Boulder was an unforgettable experience that created life-long bonds and passions."