SILC faculty head wins prestigious Dean's Fellowship

May 1, 2018

Frédéric Canovas is the faculty head of the French and Italian department at the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. The tenured professor is French but is also fluent in Italian and English. At SILC, he hopes to show students the tremendous value of going from monolingual to bilingual to multilingual.  

“I’ve always loved Italy and Italian culture, particularly art and architecture which have always been my true passion in life, even before languages and literature. … Lyon, my city in France, was founded by the Romans in 43 BC … so, I do feel Italian too, to some extent,” Canovas said. Frederic Canovas is the faculty head of French and Italian at the School of International Letters and Cultures. Download Full Image

He attributes his desire to learn languages from visiting southern France every summer and interacting with tourists from the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

Canovas said that he was mesmerized by the many different spoken languages. He used to collect newspapers and magazines left behind by tourists, and was fascinated and frustrated not knowing what it was trying to say. 

“It was like some sort of a magic spell,” he said.

At ASU, Canovas recently won the Dean’s Fellowship. This prestigious award joins him with a group of six scholars across a variety of disciplines. The group talks about current research topics and presents excerpts of their work. Canovas stated that the fellowship helped him fulfill his academic needs and enjoyed hearing about topics outside of his own research.

“I have always considered that my graduate courses were some sort of a forum to test my ideas and interpretations of literature, like the lab is for the scientist. It was helpful to be able to present my work to nonspecialists and to get their feedback,” Canovas said.

Looking into his future at SILC,  he hopes to develop more courses integrating both Italian and French — like the one SILC currently offers relating Florence, Italy, to Paris. Canovas believes that France and Italy have a lot in common and that students could benefit greatly from learning both languages.

“Witnessing, on a daily basis, students’ excitement to learn languages reminds me of who I was as a young man and why I’m doing what I do,” Canovas added. “It really makes me want to go the extra mile to change students’ lives.”

Kathleen Leslie

Student communications specialist, School of International Letters and Cultures


100 degrees: ASU at Lake Havasu reaches milestone

May 1, 2018

Although it took five years, ASU at Lake Havasu will soon reach a milestone.

When the graduation class of 2018 walks down the aisle on May 5, the school will have awarded diplomas to more than 100 students. It will be a proud day seeing the 17 students this year put the campus over the century mark of graduates, said Raymond Van der Riet, ASU director. Lake Havasu Class of 2017 graduates Fall 2017 graduates celebrate at ASU at Lake Havasu. Photo by Levi French/ Download Full Image

The milestone, he added, signals growth.

“You have to get to the first 100 before you can get to the first 1,000,” Van der Riet said. “But the first 100 graduates are a very special group, because they took the lead and took the risk of joining a new campus, and as we’ve seen they have done some very impressive things in this community.”

Soon, Van der Riet added, the instructors at ASU will be able to look back on the first graduating classes with nostalgia, follow their stories and embrace the folklore they will establish moving forward in life.

“These students will frame a lot of what we aspire to be in the future,” Van der Riet said.

“The pathway to growth has been blazed by the first 100, and we can’t wait to see what the next 900 will do.”

There from the start is ASU Lecturer Kerrie Anne Loyd, who is encouraged by reaching the milestone.

“I agree you have to go step by step, and growth is not something that will happen overnight,” Loyd said. “Obviously, we are very proud of the students who have graduated thus far and feel lucky with the kind of talent we see in them.”

A quick survey of professors and each will say they look forward to future graduating classes and achieving more significant waypoints along the way.

“It will be exciting to see the kind of growth that we anticipate taking place,” Loyd said.

Currently there are approximately 150 students attending Lake Havasu’s ASU campus.

Written by David Louis, Reprinted with permission.