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2 Recent A&S Grads Selected to Teach in France

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2020) — University of Kentucky graduates Calli Brooks and Tsage Douglas have been selected to participate in the Teaching Assistant Program in France.. The program offers recipients the opportunity to work in France for seven months teaching English to French students of all ages.

As part of the program, each year more than 1,500 Americans teach in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France or overseas in French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion. The American cohort is part of the larger Assistants de langue en France program, which recruits 4,500 young educators from 60 countries to teach 15 languages annually in France. The Assistants de langue en France program is managed by France Éducation international.

A 2020 UK public healthforeign language and international economics/French and Lewis Honors College graduate, Douglas is the daughter of Michelle Douglas of Georgetown, Kentucky, and Juan Douglas, of Richmond, Kentucky.

As part of the program, Douglas will teach English in Reims, France, where she will also pursue an internship with Bollinger Champagne house. In addition to these positions, she will also have the opportunity to explore graduate studies and travel while utilizing her French skills to better prepare to work in France in the future. Douglas credits Jeorg Sauer, senior lecturer of French and Francophone studies, and Nisrine Slitine El Mghari, assistant professor of Arabic and Islamic studies and French and Francophone studies, of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the UK College of Arts & Sciences for encouraging her to pursue the opportunity.

Douglas first traveled to France on summer vacation at 14 years old. After this trip, she pursued language and foreign affairs through the rest of her academic career. During her undergraduate years, the Chellgren Fellow taught economics and coding in the summers and served as president of UK’s Black Student Union. Douglas also had the opportunity to work at the Federal Reserve Bank, where she was specially assigned to assist in a collaborative project on the Haussmann Renovation of Paris, utilizing her French to create bridges with the French national bank — Banque de France.

After completing a master's degree in France, Douglas hopes to work for the French national bank or a similar institution.

Calli Brooks is a 2018 international studies and Spanish language and linguistics graduate of UK. The daughter of Lisa and Randi Brooks of Goodlettsville, Tennessee, she previously taught English in Spain as a North American Language and Culture Assistant in 2018-19 and last year in Brazil on her Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

Brooks' fascination with languages and cultures began in high school and was nurtured at UK by Department of Hispanic Studies faculty; her education abroad experience in Seville, Spain; and her senior capstone, where she researched the correlation between the use of Spanglish among second-generation Spanish speakers within Lexington, and how the use of Spanglish affected their identities and perceptions of themselves.

Brooks plans to one day pursue graduate studies in Hispanic linguistics and would like to eventually work as a professor in Romance linguistics.

The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with the office, housed in the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Student and Academic Life, well in advance of the scholarship deadline. Staff is available for virtual appointments to discuss opportunities for the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.