Denison Students Win Competitive Teaching Assistantships in France
Posted: May 12, 2005
Two Denison students will be preparing to spend a year in France following commencement ceremonies. Brendan W. Heater of Milton, Mass., and Gratia A. Trahan of Bay City, Mich., have been awarded French government teaching assistantships through the Institute of International Education/Fulbright organization to teach English as a foreign language during the 2005-2006 school year.
Heater, who is the son of Bill and Kathi Heater of Canton Ave., Milton, will earn his bachelor's degree after majoring in economics and French. Holder of a Provost's Award, Heater has been a French tutor while at Denison and studied abroad in Paris in Sweet Briar College's program during the spring of 2004. A graduate of the Milton Academy, he contributed an essay to the art magazine, Collage, published by the modern language department of Denison. He also played offensive tackle on the varsity football team and volunteered at the Welsh Hills School.
While teaching, Heater will study the relationship between the French economic situation and the French government's devotion to the arts. As the European Union expands, he believes that the more powerful members of the group will have to compensate for smaller, less advantaged countries and that spending for the arts is one of the areas that will suffer as a result. Heater plans to return to the United States to seek a master's degree in international economics following his assignment in France.
Trahan, who is the daughter of Patrick and Anne Trahan of Englund Drive, Bay City, is a graduate of John Glenn High School and a French major and studio art minor at Denison. She has been a departmental fellow in the modern language department and holds a Heritage Scholarship. She also studied abroad in Paris under the auspices of Sweet Briar College. A consistent dean's list student, she has been inducted into the French Honor Society, Mortar Board (senior honorary), Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership honorary) and Phi Society (first-year honorary). Trahan also completed a senior honors project on Mary Cassatt and American Impressionism.
Active in the French Club and Blank Canvas Art Club, Trahan was president of the Canterbury student Episcopalian group and also served as philanthropy chair and chaplain of her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. She competed in cross country and indoor track events as well.
While teaching she plans to study the Fauvist art movement that took place in France in the early 1900s. Trahan also hopes to complete a doctoral program in France in art history and to work in museum administration.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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