French alumni make news!

Mark Anthony Arceñ0, '10, Receives Prestigious Awards from French Goverment

Mark Anthony Arceño is one of 20 recipients of the Chateaubriand Humanities and Social Sciences fellowship, which is sponsored by the Cultural Services of the Embassy of France in the U.S. The fellowship funds doctoral students at universities in the United States to conduct research in France for a period of 4-8 months. Of the 20 recipients, Mark Anthony is one of six whose research is further distinguished by French President Emmanuel Macron’s “Make the Planet Great Again” initiative. The initiative, launched June 2017, invited researchers from around the world to conduct research on climate change in France.

Mark Anthony’s research, “A Year in the Fields: Walking and Talking with Winegrowers about Terroir, Place-Based Identity, and Environmental Change in Ohio, USA, and Alsace, France,” compares how winegrowers in Ohio and Alsace perceive changes in their winegrowing landscapes, how they adapt to changes in winegrowing conditions, and how changes in winegrowing practices change conceptions of terroir. (Terroir, more or less, refers to the combination of environmental and social factors that contribute to the distinctive qualities and tastes in a given product, such as wine.) In order to understand these themes, Mark Anthony conducts interviews with winegrowers and, whenever possible, also works alongside them in their vineyards, wine cellars, and tasting rooms. In so doing, Mark Anthony’s data allow him to analyze how culture, human-nature relationships, and the goût du terroir (in English, the “taste of place”) change as environments change.

The Chateaubriand Fellowship will support the third phase of Mark Anthony’s research in France from January-April 2019. He will return to Colmar, Alsace (eastern France), where he is based at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA).

Sara Sample, '15, Teaching in Orléans, France


I’m Sara Sample; I graduated from Albion College in 2015 and I’m currently working as an English teaching assistant at lycée Benjamin Franklin in Orléans, France. As part of my job, I work with small groups of students in helping them practice their English inside and outside of the classroom.  Additionally, I assist the lycée’s English teachers in organizing classroom activities with larger groups of students. I work with an average of about 15-18 students, which makes my job very rewarding. My journey up to this point has been incredible and I can’t wait for what the future has in store for me. Join me on my journey by following my blog and keep up with all of my amazing experiences.

Nicholas Diamond, '15, Goes to Boston University of Public Health


As a student of French and biology at Albion, I traveled to France, Cameroon, and Senegal to develop my interests in global health. These experiences researching abroad culminated in a French departmental honors thesis, which positioned me for graduate studies in the field. At Albion, the liberal arts training I received in both the humanities and the sciences gave me the skills to solve health problems in the developing world by using a foreign language.

Soon after finishing my degree, I started a MPH program at the Boston University School of Public Health. In conjunction with my global health concentration, I plan to work towards a certificate in African Studies through BU. In Boston, my focus is on improving health outcomes of the West African LGBTQ population. While pursuing a graduate degree, the Boston University School of Medicine’s Office of Medical Education also hired me to work as a student employee on campus.

Out East, I’m looking forward to networking with Albion alumni, eating New England seafood, and becoming a Red Sox fan. Go Brits!

Kukurugya-Rabaut, '13, Receives French Teaching Assistantship

Genevieve Kukurugya-Rabaut is the daughter of Stefan A. Kukurugya and Celeste A. Rabaut of West Bloomfield and a graduate of International Academy.

Recent graduate Genevieve Kukurugya-Rabaut heads for France later this year, at the invitation of the French government. Kukurugya-Rabaut was accepted to the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), a program of the national government that provides American English teachers for the public school system. She will spend seven months teaching in the Versailles area, near Albion’s sister cities of Noisy-le-Roi and Bailly.

“I freaked out a little—it is such an exciting thing, but seven months in a country alone is not something to take lightly!” said Kukurugya-Rabaut. “This is exactly what I need at this point in my life, so I’m getting pretty excited.”

Kukurugya-Rabaut credits professor Dianne Guenin-Lelle with introducing her to TAPIF, but notes that her overall Albion experience strengthened her candidacy for the program. “I feel confident in my linguistic abilities because of the professors here, and I already have something of a community in France, having traveled to Bailly/Noisy-le-Roi twice in the past three years and made connections with people there,” she said. “In a lot of ways, Albion’s French department has provided me with the capabilities to accept this type of position.”

Kukurugya-Rabaut graduated from Albion College magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, receiving degrees in art and French with an art history minor.

Web site features Albion alumna and her flourishing bakery

Kelly Kobus, ’07, is three years into running A Piece O’ Cake, a flourishing gourmet bakery in East Lansing. She’s also already spun off a separate entity, Le Bon Macaron, which specializes in the French almond-based confections. The cake decorator, who majored in French and minored in art at Albion, adds a certain je ne sais quoi to her matrimonial centerpieces, some of which contain multiple layers and reach 30 inches in height.

Read about Kelly in an article published on on March 24, 2015.

Read more about Kelly in an article published on the Capital Gains Web site on Nov. 3, 2010.

Brown, '07, begins clothing line to help people in poverty-stricken areas

Mallory Brown, ’07, launched in September, where visitors can purchase American-made apparel (T-shirts and sweats) for themselves, and for each item purchased, an item is donated to people in poverty-stricken areas in Indonesia, Peru, and the United States. Brown was inspired to start her business after backpacking through the countries after graduation. Brown’s endeavor gained the attention of Detroit Free Press writer Megha Satyanarayana for a story that was published Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.

Read more about Mallory in the story from the Free Press Web site.