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UC’s Dr. Laura Dennis promoted to Professor of French and receives tenure


Williamsburg, Ky. – University of the Cumberlands (UC) Associate Professor of French, Dr. Laura Dennis has been promoted to Professor of French and has been awarded tenure as announced by Dr. Larry Cockrum, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Dennis earned her M.A. in French Literature from Indiana University. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in French Literature with a concentration in Spanish Literature from Indiana University.

She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association of Teacher of French, Modern Language Association, Women in French and American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages. She is also an officer and Foreign Language Representative in Kentucky Philological Association. She has received numerous grants, awards and other honors, and she was recently nominated for US Professor of the Year, sponsored by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Those results are expected to be released in September.

Dennis is a film studies reviewer for the French Review, which is one of the leading publications in her field. She also worked a translator for the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky. She spends her summers grading AP French exams.

Dennis has been teaching at UC since 2001. She teaches all levels of French and some courses in Spanish. She also serves as an advisor for all French minors as well as some Spanish majors and minors. In addition to teaching, Dennis serves on the International Studies Committee, as coordinator of the study abroad program in Montpellier, France and actively participates in the QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) on Critical Thinking.

Dennis lives in Whitley County with her three kids, three cats, and a dog. She enjoys reading and writing, playing piano, going for long walks with her dog and horseback riding. She is an active member of Pleasant View United Methodist Church. She also moderates and participates in support groups for adoptive families.

In addition to performing on an adequate level, professors applying for tenure and promotion must also show evidence of distinction, promise of continued growth as well as demonstration of service to the university and the community. Faculty members who apply are required to compose a narrative explaining their teaching philosophy, collect letters of recommendations from supporting faculty and students and appear before the Tenure and Promotions Committee for an interview. Tenure is usually awarded after seven years of full-time service at the university and promotion to associate professor.

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.