Prof Karen Fowler
I have enjoyed being part of the Valencia Faculty team since the 2009-2010 academic year, after teaching at both USF and UCF.
I earned my Master’s degree in French Literature and Language at the University of South Florida, with a minor in Foreign Language Education. During my collegiate journey, I was privileged to spend a semester studying in Paris at l'Université de Paris. This opportunity opened my eyes to the wealth of knowledge that can be gained through experiential learning. Beyond the lessons learned in the classroom, I developed a deeper understanding of another culture and its people. Through my affiliation with a non-profit educational organization in France, I have had the opportunity to work with countless numbers of students from France and stay with several families throughout various regions of the country.
My goal as a teacher of French is to instill not only an appreciation of this beautiful language, but to inspire learners to embrace the culture and continue to explore French beyond the minimum requirements to satisfy a degree.
As a result of my opportunities to study abroad and work with educational programs in France, I have a strong passion to provide similar occasions for my students to learn through experience and exploration. I am currently organizing a study-abroad experience for Valencia students in France. This will be a interdisciplinary program in which we work on a French-government restoration project of a medieval structure. In addition to the medieval project, we will be touring the Loire Valley, Chartres, and Paris. Please contact me for more information. Don't be satisfied to merely study history and culture from a book ... become a part of it!
MY PERSONAL GOAL, AS A PROFESSOR ...
My personal goal is to prepare students for the workforce. While my love of the French language and culture is profound, and I feel that everyone would benefit from understanding and learning a language, I do recognize that not everyone will actually use the language itself in their given careers. Many of the course policies and assignments go beyond simply learning the language; many have a direct correlation to functioning effectively in the workplace.
Students can expect to benefit from participating in my course by:
1) Learning some degree of another language: an appreciation and degree of understanding of another culture; an appreciation of how hard future colleagues from other cultures have worked to be able to function in English; how to think, figure out patterns, discipline;
2) Acquiring critical skills that will help in almost any career or life: how to work in groups effectively; how to prepare and give presentations;
3) Developing a stronger work ethic and guidelines of professionalism: learning the importance of on-time attendance and understanding sick days; submitting work in a timely fashion; self-checking work for accuracy to submit a quality product/creation; being a positive team member.
These are all effective skills and qualities that you can promote in future job interviews, as they are virtues that your future employers will value in an employee. As our world has become a global community and marketplace, employers want to know that their workforce has learned to interact constructively with diverse groups of people, has gained what is known as “cultural capital” and “global competency”; established a positive attitude toward the workplace and company goals; can recognize the importance of being a team player; and has developed a strong work ethic. These are great buzz words; feel free to use them in a cover letter or interview.
TO MY STUDENTS, CURRENT AND FUTURE:
I do not want you to be a passive learner; doing only what is asked of you and not understanding why. So many times, we complete a task, follow “rules” without ever considering the “why”. I believe that every student is fully capable of learning, and that understanding the why, and how, a task/policy will benefit the individual student, is important for full learning to occur. Otherwise one is simply going through the motions. For this reason, you will often see added commentary to sections of the course that will explain the “why and how” a task or policy exists … its purpose, if you will. Read these offerings, don’t read these offerings … that is up to you. It is provided, should you be interested in learning the why and how of our course elements/policies.
If anyone ends up offering an overview or evaluation of what he/she has learned in this course, or the relevance of this course to individual career goals, and he/she can answer “nothing” or “very little”, then that person either did not participate in the course, or does not have the ability to think outside the box. You have paid a hefty price for this course, both in terms of money and of personal investment of time … make the most of your time here!
In the words of Captain Jean Luc Picard, “Engage.”
|see contact info below|
By appointment; please email or call me (leave a message, if I am not available); all office hours are virtual, unless an appointment is made for a F2F meeting.
For contact during Virtual Hours, I may be reached at: 407-405-1896, students only (Please leave a brief message and best contact number, if I am not available); for voicemail only contact, for non-student callers, please use 407-582-2043.