Sharon Wilkinson

Dept Chair World Lang & Cult, Professor of French

Email:
sharon.wilkinson@simpson.edu
Phone Number:
515-961-1525
Office Location:
Mary Berry Hall 207
Office Hours:
My official office hours are Monday 12:30-2:30, Wednesday 11:30-12:30, and Thursday 10:00-12:00, but I am generally available MWF afternoons and TTH mornings. If I’m in my office, I would be happy to meet with you!
Credentials:
Ph.D. in French with a concentration in Foreign Language Acquisition, Penn State University, University Park, PA, 1995.

M.A. in Linguistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 1992.

B.A. in French, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA, 1990.

My path to becoming a French professor was not a straight one.  Little known fact:  I did my first 5 semesters of college as an occupational therapy major!  However, I had already spent a “gap year” between high school and college as an exchange student in French-speaking Switzerland, and by the middle of my junior year in college, the impact of that intercultural experience was becoming clearer and clearer.  (The underlying lesson here is that study abroad can definitely change your life!)  I no longer felt “called” to work in a medical profession.  I needed to do something where I could share my passion for linguistic and cultural learning with others.  After graduate school and 11 years as a professor and program coordinator at West Virginia University, I found my dream job at Simpson College.  Check out the French program.

Why do I love working at Simpson so much?  Because it is a place where learning is a shared experience among students and faculty.  Because it’s a place where courses and curricula are creative and dynamic and are not limited to classrooms.  Because it’s a place where collaboration stretches across disciplines and where people really get to know each other.  This type of environment is definitely a good fit for me.

In my professional spare time, I love to attend and present at conferences, serve on professional boards, and continue reading and learning about history and modern cultures in the French-speaking world (and in the wider world, in general).  Thanks to a recent year-long stay on the island of Tahiti, I have become fascinated by the cultural diversity of French Polynesia and am working on an article to share the findings of an interview project I conducted there.  In my personal spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family.  As you can see from the picture, we recently spent some time in Europe.  You might recognize my husband, Jay Wilkinson.  He’s the Director of International Education at Simpson, so we share a passion for things international.

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