Marianne Bessy, associate professor of French in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Furman University, has been awarded a 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (SCICU) organization.
A faculty member from each of SCICU’s 20 member institutions is nominated for the award according to rigorous guidelines. Recipients are honored at a special dinner in April, and are each awarded a $3,000 professional development grant.
A Furman faculty member since 2008, Bessy is French Section Coordinator in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. She earned a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and holds master’s degrees from the University of Limerick (Ireland) and the Université Rennes 2 (France).
Bessy teaches French language, French and Francophone civilization and literatures, and first year seminars. Her research interests focus on the works of author Vassilis Alexakis as well as on the literary and filmic depiction of migration and identity in the Francophone world.
To foster academic development, Bessy incorporates hands-on projects. Her students have staged mock French presidential elections, created documentaries on the Greenville Haitian community, acted as interpreters for refugee relocation services, and presented at conferences.
Bessy designs unique language and culture immersion opportunities on Furman’s study abroad program in Versailles, in the French House residential program, and through the programming of French-related extra-curricular events.
Because Bessy is a committed and passionate teacher and advisor who places emphasis on student growth, students often seek her guidance for post-graduation plans or internship projects. Her students applaud her interest in their individual trajectories, and her high expectations, enthusiasm, and organizational skills.
Bessy has published two books, authored numerous book chapters and articles, and was recently named “Honored French Citizen” of the month by the French Consulate in Atlanta.
Previous Furman winners of the SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award are Gil Einstein (Psychology), Elizabeth Smith (Political Science), Brannon Andersen (Earth and Environmental Sciences), Lloyd Benson (History), Scott Henderson (Education), Victoria Turgeon (Biology), Anne Leen (Classics) Jim Guth (Political Science), Alicia Powers (Health Sciences), Leslie W. Hicken (Music), and Kevin Hutson (Mathematics).
For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107, or visit the SCICU website.