French Program

French Student & Graduate Success Stories

Morgan Dasch:

Morgan Dasch-Career Following graduation as a Chemistry major and French minor in 2019, Morgan started her career as a Materials and Processes engineer at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, CO. Her main duty is to be one of four people in a FTIR lab. She likes to think the testing her company does (which is just a small part of the extensive testing) helps keep failures from happening—a pretty cool thing to be a part of! While Morgan doesn't use her French at work on a daily basis, there is the possibility that the French skills she acquired at Hendrix will advance her profession. Ball works with a lot of different companies and some of these might be French! Morgan likes to keep her French in her back pocket in case she can ever be of translation help, and she maintains her skills in French by speaking with her French-speaking co-workers.
Morgan recalls her time at Hendrix as "incredible!":
"I met the best people and had the most wonderful opportunities to set myself up for long-term success. I came in in 2015 and had no idea what I wanted to study. I took some random classes to get some of my learning domains out of the way and wanted to take French classes because how awesome is French?! My sophomore year, I realized I wanted to be a chemistry major but had no pre-req classes completed. I worked with Dr. Hales and he helped guide me through completing the chemistry major in only three years! It was a lot of work but oh so worth it! I also decided that I wanted to pursue a minor in French."
In a word, Morgan's liberal arts education set her up for long-term success!  

Madeleine Scott:

Madeleine Scott-internship
In summer 2019, Madeleine spent eight weeks at the University of Montpellier’s  Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Maladies rares in France. Madeleine is a Biology student as well as a French student, so the program was perfect for her. She studied Cystic Fibrosis and worked with Cystic Fibrosis patients under the direction of Albertina De Sario, and the research and experience perfectly combined Madeleine’s two interests. The Hendrix-Murphy Foundation was instrumental in allowing Madeleine to have such an amazing opportunity as it provided the funding for her housing, airfare, food, and transport. Madeleine also completed a Professional Leadership and Development Odyssey credit for her amazing internship.

The summer internship at Montpellier’s Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Maladies rares allowed Madeleine to get plenty of hands on experience in her primary area of interest: epigenetics. She collected sputum samples from patients, created graphics, and translated works for publication and teaching. Madeleine was also able to attend several research conferences with leading experts and researchers in the field. The best part is that she had the opportunity to work on a scientific “Letter to the Editor” with her mentor Albertina. The letter hasn’t been published yet, but Madeleine was named co-author!

Sophie Wise

Sophie WiseSophie graduated from Hendrix in May of 2019 with a major in Politics and a minor in French studies. After graduating, Sophie worked as a legal & executive assistant at a real estate development firm in North Little Rock. It was a very educational experience, and gave her some insight into what she would like to do 'career-wise'. During her time at Hendrix, Sophie had the amazing opportunity to intern at The Women's Foundation of Arkansas (WFA); this non-profit is the only one in the state of Arkansas dedicated to women and girls in Arkansas. Acting as their Policy Intern, Sophie conducted legislative research which included attending house and senate committee meetings, shadowing legislators, and members of the Governor's office. She then reported her findings to the Executive Director of the WFA. This internship allowed her to make connections which then led to the job she now has: Operations and Communications Manager of The Women's Foundation of Arkansas. It has been a very fulfilling and educational experience & Sophie could not be more excited to continue working with the foundation. She knows that she would not have had the opportunity to interview for this position if it had not been for the internship she had obtained while at Hendrix. The influence that Hendrix and its professors have in the state and throughout the country and workforce is very advantageous for students, especially since the professors are willing to put in a good recommendation for their students! The next step of Sophie’s 'big life plan' is to further her political and French education with graduate school! She states that: “having language experience on my resumé put me ahead of the competition for my position; it is a very unique skill to possess since most Americans primarily speak English. The profits I've gained from my collegiate education in the French language have heavily influenced my decision to continue perfecting that skill in order to further increase my marketability.”

Mackenzie Theall:

Mackenzie Theall
Mackenzie was a student in French throughout her time at Hendrix, and she has found tremendous success   and reward in her post-Hendrix career as a high school French teacher. She teaches French 1-4 and AP French at Mesquite High School near Dallas, Texas. Mackenzie has really taken the cultural attitude that Hendrix College provides along with the motto of Mesquite High School, “Excel through Love,” to greatly inform her teaching style.
One example of this is her “You Betta Werk” station that is complete with a picture of Mackenzie’s personal hero RuPaul. This area is for students who are emotionally compromised, anxious, or distressed and need some time to cool down and work by themselves.

Ms. Theall, as her students know her, also sponsors the French club and the anime club and proved that Hendrix graduates are always looking to go above and beyond when she organized a concert during last year’s French Week starring French musician, Eric Vincent! Mackenzie credits her success as an educator to the faculty and Hendrix College, especially Dr. Jellenik who taught her, “Often, all a young person needs is a little encouragement and for someone to believe in them.” 

Clare Zarker

Clare graduated Hendrix in 2017 having majored in French. Following graduation, Clare began working in Austin at an organic farm where she had interned for an Odyssey project learning about food access and farming. To continue speaking French, she volunteered at a local Immigration Legal Services Clinic, which serves many immigrants from Francophone African and Caribbean countries. She worked with people emigrating from these countries, providing translation and interpretation services and learning from the interactions she had with each.

 The following year, Clare lived and worked in France through TAPIF, teaching English to French high schoolers in the Académie de Toulouse. The experience was not only fun but challenging, which is exactly why it was valuable for her. Clare loved working with young people motivated to open the world for themselves, and enjoyed learning from the cultural exchange she had with her students every day. Her time outside work was equally valuable, building friendships and navigating life in a different country and culture. She loved that living in France allowed more opportunity for learning new words/vocabulary and modes of expression almost every day.

 Clare returned to Austin in 2019, where she now works at Indeed as a Query Analyst on the company's French job site. Clare uses her French daily in this role to research the French job market, analyze French users' language, and speak with her international colleagues. She is thrilled to have majored in what she loved at Hendrix, and to now work in a role where she uses her language skills functionally and theoretically. She is always grateful for the excellent education she received at Hendrix, especially from her French professors who taught her that learning any language is valuable in itself, but also as a way to connect to the rest of the world and achieve cultural understanding.

Emily Hardick:

Emily graduated from Hendrix College and began her post-graduate life as an English teaching assistant at Lycée Anatole-France, through the program TAPIF. She taught in Lillers, France and significantly improved her spoken French skills. Emily then spent a year living in Nord-Pas-De-Calais and traveling around Belgium. Finally, Emily made her way back to the United States and entered a PhD program in African History at Ohio State University. She studies under Dr. Sarah Van Beurden and Dr. Alice Conklin, and her research concerns exhibition history, trade routes of Central African art, and the role of African cultural heritage in colonial and decolonial politics. 

In 2019, Emily was the recipient of the Joseph H. Lynch Memorial Scholarship and the Phyllis Krumm Memorial International Scholarship. This past summer Emily had the opportunity to conduct research at the AfricaMuseum in Tervueren, Beligium; the KADOC, in Leuven, Belgium; the Africa Archive at the Foreign Affairs office in Brussels; and the Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. All of these amazing opportunities and achievements and Emily is just entering her second year of the PhD program at OSU. 

Gretchen McCarthy:

GretchenMcCarthy A 2016 graduate, at Hendrix Gretchen double-majored in French and Spanish, which allowed her to increase her vocabulary in each language as well as learn more about Francophone and Hispanophone cultures. To this day Gretchen find that her vocabulary in both languages is incredibly vast, due to studying various pieces of literature at Hendrix. Gretchen’s ability to write and speak in both languages also drastically improved thanks to the essays and presentations she worked on each semester. In addition to classes, Gretchen also participated in extracurricular activities through the French Department. From tutoring middle school children in French to coordinating National French Week each year, Gretchen has many fond memories of her language-related activities at Hendrix, her favorite being the raclette dinners at Dr. Jellenik’s house. Gretchen was fortunate to go to Tours, France to participate in Hendrix-in-Tours during the summer after her sophomore year, and studied in Lille, France the following spring semester.

After graduating from Hendrix in 2016, Gretchen moved to Zhuhai, China, to work as a Foreign Intern in the English Language Centre at United International College. Gretchen was able to participate in this program, as UIC has a relationship with Hendrix, and accepts interns from various colleges around the US each year. Gretchen spent two years in China teaching English and one in Hong Kong. During her time abroad Gretchen was able to get a better idea of what she wanted to do in the future, in regards to her career, but was also able to keep working on skills that she had developed at Hendrix, particularly public speaking. In 2019, Gretchen returned to the US to start the Professional French Masters Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a concentration in International Education. Gretchen remains grateful for the opportunities that her language courses, professors and Hendrix in general gave her. 



Doug Phillips:

dougphillips2 After graduating from Hendrix College in 2017 with a major in French and a minor in International Business, Doug relocated to Fayetteville, AR and started a career as a Fleet Manager in logistical operations with J.B. Hunt. There, Doug was responsible for legal, corporate, and financial compliance of fourteen direct reports. Upon taking the job, Hunt was experiencing a very high turnover percentage from their employees, but Doug managed to deeply connect with his team, drop the turnover percentage down by over half, and produce record-breaking revenue figures in less than one year’s time.

Next, Doug moved on to another job with J.B. Hunt as Area Service Manager. As an Area Service Manager, Doug was responsible for working as a bridge between the sales and marketing departments. He helped identify profitable business avenues and successfully onboard new clientele.

In 2019, Doug helps manage a top-five national account and serves as an Operations Manager. He helps fill in for all things business-related from operations, to accounting, to recruiting. It’s a lot of work, but it’s life experience.

Doug says that he’s enjoyed his career to-date, but his goal is to eventually move on to a private investment, consulting, or marketing firm. He would love to have an opportunity to work more closely with business partners and ultimately enjoy one another’s growth and success. He has been keeping up with his French since graduating, and hopes to be able to use his French in International Business arrangements such as those mentioned above in the future. 

Lauren Stansbury:

Lauren graduated from Hendrix in 2013 and has spent the years since her graduation taking her Hendrix education and applying it to the world around her. She moved to Asheville, North Caroline to work as a field guide for a wilderness therapy company. A year and a half later, Lauren started volunteering for an alternative education foundation, and she traveled to New Zealand to join an organizing team for the International Democratic Education Conference. Lauren spent the next year traveling around New Zealand and Australia, became certified as a massage therapist, and she learned about sustainable building through volunteer experiences. Finally, in 2016 she returned to the United States and spent the following three years as an instructor at an outdoor science school and as the assistant director of a wilderness French immersion summer camp. Lauren now lives in Denver as an alternative school pre-school teacher. 


Melissa Joiner

In 2019, Melissa Joiner is working as an intern at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health, in the Office of Community-Based Public Health. She started as a summer intern through the Stead Scholars internship, a program held jointly between the Arkansas Department of Health and UAMS that seeks to educate college students about the breadth of the field of public health. Her mentors subsequently offered her a part-time position to continue working with them throughout the school year! As an intern, Melissa is specifically involved in a project funded by an engagement grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute; her mentors received the grant as part of a two-year project to develop a collaborative in the South that focuses on improving healthcare for transgender and non-binary individuals. This collaborative, the Trans Health Research and Advocacy Network in the South, or TRANSnetwork, is based in partnership between trans/non-binary folks, researchers, healthcare providers, and allies to the community as a whole. A big part of Melissa’s job involves reaching out one-on-one to new members of the collaborative in order to engage them in the group, as well as to ensure that all members are heard as partners in TRANSnetwork. As a psychology and French double-major, both of majors have been highly-yet-indirectly part of her duties as an intern. In terms of French, her abilities in speaking the language have not explicitly been involved in my work, though I think that the confidence sge gained over the years through speaking French has enabled her to skillfully engage with strangers and communicate clearly to the group as a whole. She also found that mentioning her French major helped her connect better with others who also speak another language, which is sometimes French!