Jennifer Rawlins Ferrence, '00

Jennifer FerrenceMajors:French Education and Music Performance

Hometown: Johnstown, Pa.

Further degrees: M.A. in French from Middlebury College (studied in Vermont and in Paris, France)

Current job: Taking care of Jozef, my toddler, and guiding his early education in French and English (I am working my dream job and loving it!)

Enhancing experiences while at IUP: My first experiences immersed in French culture and language gave me some of my best memories and provided me with an enriching supplement to my education. While at IUP, I was able to study at the Universit de Qubec Chicoutimi and also complete an internship as a teaching assistant at a French elementary school in Lunville, France. Preparing for and performing my junior recital as a cellist in the Music Department was also very rewarding; I was challenged to master difficult pieces of music and to overcome my fear of playing my instrument as a soloist.

How my major helped me and what it was like: As a student in the Department of French and German at IUP, my studies in Qubec and in France were invaluable to my cultural knowledge and fluency development . On campus, I improved my language skills drastically as well, with classes taught only in French and through extracurricular activities with native French speakers.

HC's impact: One of the most valuable parts of the HC, for me, was the emphasis on critical thinking skills. If there is a way to teach someone to be an intellectual, this is it! I learned to question what is "known" in order to develop my own individualized foundation of knowledge. I have built upon this very strong foundation for years, and it has helped me to become the person I am proud to be.

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