Steven Daniell, dean of the school of arts and letters, has been named a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of Academic Palms) by the Cultural Ministry of France.
“I am really honored to receive this award,” Daniell said. “Understanding the importance of the sensibilities of a foreign language and a foreign culture can greatly benefit a college-educated person.”
The Order was established by Napoleon to recognize contributions to education and the French language and culture. In 1955 President René Coty established the current format of the award, which recognizes recipients as Chevalier (Knight), with the possibility of promotion to Officier (Officer) or Commandeur (Commander). Daniell was nominated for the award by Jayne Abrate, executive director of the American Association of Teachers of French.
“[Daniell] is very active and interested in all aspects of the teaching of French,” Abrate said, “from academic research, to working with teachers at all levels – he is an exemplary professor of French. He always brings expertise and good ideas to the table.”
Since receiving his doctorate in French from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1991, Daniell has been active in promoting French and francophone language and culture. Prior to coming to Texas Wesleyan, he served at the National French Contest administer for Alabama for 13 years, and was recognized as Administrator of the Year in 2002. He also served as Vice President, as well as President of the Alabama Association of Teachers of French from 1997 to 2001. He has been a Vice President of the American Association of Teachers of French since 2009, and regularly presents papers on contemporary French-language literature.
An award ceremony and reception will be planned in conjunction with the Cultural and Scientific Affairs Office of the French Consulate General in Houston for sometime after the beginning of the Fall semester.