After five years of teaching French at Hillsdale College, former Associate Professor Anne Theobald has left the college and taken a new role as faculty associate and director of the French House, a francophone residence for students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“It felt like a good time to take on a new challenge,” Theobald said. “I have the opportunity to combine the small-community atmosphere of the French House with the resources that a large research institution can offer.”
With the departure of Theobald as well as the retirement of Marie-Claire Morellec, former chairwoman of the French department, Sherri Rose is now the only returning French professor. This year marks Rose’s sixth year at the college and her first serving as the French department chair. She is joined by two new French professors, assistant professor Jan Starczewski and his wife, lecturer Whitney Starczewski.
“We brought on someone with a speciality in 18th-century literature and history whose research focuses on philosophy and religion,” said Rose, who is starting her sixth year at Hillsdale and is now chairwoman of the French department. “So, I think he’ll bring a lot to the department. I am also very happy to have his wife teaching with us.”
The French department hopes to hire another professor later this school year.
“We will be doing another job search this year to find a third tenure-line professor,” Rose said.
Theobald said she was impressed by the quality of Hillsdale’s French department and will miss her students.
“I was sorry to have to leave without saying goodbye to my students and colleagues due to the circumstances of the pandemic,” Theobald said.
Junior French major Luciya Katcher took many classes with Theobald.
“She was very much a mentor to a lot of students, even those not in the French department,” Katcher said. “She really had the mentorship aspect that made everyone feel comfortable on campus.”
With the addition of new faculty, Rose says the mission of the department remains the same and it looks forward to offering students a robust education in French culture, lifestyle, and history.
“It’s still about teaching language, literature, and culture,” Rose said. “Being there for our students to help them really open their perspectives to the world.”