This is my last alumni newsletter for the Department of French and Italian since I will be leaving my position as Department Administrator in August. I started in the Department in January 1996 as Graduate Secretary, moving to the Department Administrator position in July 1998. During my time in FRIT, I have had the pleasure to work with a friendly and dedicated group of faculty members (which itself has evolved over time) and countless graduate students from all parts of the US, as well as Italy, France, and several other nations. I have learned about their cultures and scholarly pursuits as I guided them through the IU bureaucracy and ensured that employees were paid, students received their fellowships, guest speakers had hotel rooms, courses were scheduled, bills were paid, etc. To say I have worn many hats is an understatement, especially since there were months, in particular during the last few years, when one or both of our support staff positions were unfilled.
When I began in the Department, I was the same age as many graduate students, participating in their TrueVers poetry journal and attending their parties. Now I’ve become the mother figure who tells students to do their dishes in the FRIT kitchenette but also feels pride when a student obtains an outside fellowship, represents IU at a conference, or finishes their dissertation. I remember when they were just a nervous 22-year-old finding their way around campus, and look at them now with a tenure-track job lined up!
Editing and designing the annual newsletter was always a high point of every summer since I took over in 2009. Prior to 2008, a faculty member was the editor of the newsletter, and the IU Alumni Association took charge of the design and publication. In 2008, then-chair Sonya Stephens decided we should revamp the design with the help of a freelance designer, and I became editor. Since 2009 I took that basic design template and launched my foray into graphic design, which has been a lot of fun. I hope you too have enjoyed the annual newsletter and that you will stay in touch with FRIT as I intend to do.