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Valpo Professor Honored for Excellence in Teaching


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Randa J. Duvick, Ph.D., professor of foreign languages and literatures at Valparaiso University, has received the American Association of Teachers of French’s 2019 Dorothy Ludwig Excellence in Teaching Award at the Post-Secondary Level.

“This outstanding achievement is a strong, external validation for what we already know — that Valpo faculty members are steadfastly committed to their students’ success,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “I am grateful for the efforts of our talented and dedicated professors, in particular for the excellent work of Professor Randa Duvick, and for all they do for our University, each and every day. Randa is a great example of the wonderful faculty members that we have at Valpo.”

According to the American Association of Teachers of French, the purpose of the award is to recognize teachers who have demonstrated excellence and commitment in the teaching of the French language and French and Francophone cultures and literatures.

Duvick has been a faculty member in Valpo’s foreign languages and literatures department since 1986. She played a critical role in helping establish the University’s exchange relationships with three French institutions — the Université de Cergy-Pontoise, the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de La Rochelle, and the Université de Technologie de Compiègne. Her work in strengthening French and U.S. relationships is extensive and includes the creation of “Conversation Partners,” a program linking Valpo French students with exchange students from France.

In October 2018, Duvick received the Officer rank of Knight (“Chevalier”) in the Order of French Academic Palms to recognize the sustained and impactful work she has done and continues to do on behalf of France and French culture.

Duvick has been very active in AATF for nearly 25 years, holding an officer position at the national level for six years. In 2003, she was named the Post-Secondary French Teacher of the Year for the state of Indiana through the AATF. Duvick has also been active locally in AATF Northwest Indiana, which organizes activities for French teachers at all levels, middle-school, high-school, and college. She formerly served as its president. Currently, she is engaged in research centered around French-Canadian fur trader Joseph Bailly, the first non-Native American to settle in what is now Porter County, and the history of French traders and soldiers in Indiana in the 17th and 18th centuries. She also chairs a task force with the national AATF that is revising the national standards for the teaching of French.

The winner of this award receives a certificate from the AATF recognizing his or her outstanding contribution to the teaching of French and a one-year complimentary membership in the AATF for 2020, a cash award, and a one-year subscription to Le Français dans le monde. An official presentation will be made at the AATF Awards Banquet in Philadelphia in July 2019.

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