By Christina Masciere Wallace
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Angèle Kingué has been selected as the first David Morton and Leanne Freas Trout Professor of French and Francophone Studies, President Brian C. Mitchell announced today. The endowed position recognizes a distinguished teacher-scholar at the University for academic and teaching excellence and provides the recipient with resources to pursue scholarly interest in the field.
The professorship is part of a recent gift to Bucknell from Leanne Freas Trout, Class of '50, in memory of her late husband, David Trout, also Class of '50 and an emeritus member of the University's Board of Trustees. It is the first endowed faculty position funded by the University's $400 million comprehensive campaign.
"Bucknell's academic strength depends on teaching and scholarship at the highest level," said President Mitchell, "and we are grateful to Leanne Trout for this commitment to the core mission of the University. Her gift will benefit the University for generations to come."
The professorship is a renewable appointment of up to five years awarded to a current faculty member through a highly competitive process. It provides the recipient with funding for research related to the pursuit of scholarly interests. The position also provides revenue that will enable French faculty to develop new courses based on scholarly study pursued during year-long sabbaticals.
Trout's gift includes two endowed scholarships for outstanding students of French. The professorship and both scholarships will benefit the University in perpetuity.
"Mrs. Trout's support for both student scholarships and professorship recognizes the importance of the teacher-student relationship at Bucknell," said Provost Mick Smyer. "We appreciate this generous commitment to our students and teacher-scholars and the benefit it will bring to our French program long into the future. She has made a fundamental investment in the excellence of our University."
Kingué, a native of Cameroon, has taught multiple courses on Francophone African since her arrival at Bucknell in 1988. Her scholarship and teaching focus on Francophone literature of sub-Saharan Africa. She has combined her specializations in foreign-language pedagogy and African literature in many articles and presentations at national and international conferences and universities. Most significantly, Kingué is a world-renowned Cameroonian author who has published novels, short stories and children's stories. The longtime director of the Bucknell en France program, she will spend the 2010-11 academic year on-site at the Université François Rabelais in Tours.
During her Trout Professorship, Kingué will finish her current novel, which examines the adoption of a Rwandan girl by the Amish community in central Pennsylvania. She will also embark upon an oral history project in which she will interview members of various Cameroon communities, record their life stories, and post them online to facilitate dialogue among members of these different ethno-linguistic groups as well as the African Diaspora.
Leanne Trout, who majored in French at Bucknell, also established the Leanne Freas Trout Scholarship in French and Francophone Studies. Two renewable $5,000 awards will be given to outstanding French majors who maintain at least a 3.5 GPA in French, demonstrate leadership in the classroom, and spend a semester or year abroad in the Bucknell en France program. Jillian O'Mara and Jeffrey Church, both Class of '12, are the first recipients of the new scholarship.
"Mrs. Trout's gifts strengthen the entire program," said Associate Professor Renée Gosson, director of French and Francophone studies. "The professorship will enrich our academic program through the development of new course material grounded in original research, while the scholarships reward student achievement and encourage further excellence in French studies. It is a tremendous opportunity, and we are grateful."
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