by Molly MishlerStaff Writer

The newest French teacher on campus is Sharon Wilkinson, associate professor of French.

Wilkinson received her undergraduate degree at Elizabethtown College, her masters at the University of Delaware and her Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University in language acquisition.

Wilkinson didn’t always want to be a French major. She took courses in the language for a couple years in high school to get into college but didn’t think of it as anything more than that.

After high school, she did an exchange program to Switzerland and later, she went to Elizabethtown majoring in their occupational therapy program. Wilkinson later decided to switch majors to French.

She spent a year in France her senior year. Wilkinson still visits France today–her most recent trip was four years ago.

After she graduated from Pennsylvania State, she began working at West Virginia University. Even though she wanted to be teaching at a small liberal arts college, she thought working at the large university was a great experience. She stayed there for 11 years before looking for another job.

“I was missing the contact with students and having the possibility for creativity in the curriculum,” Wilkinson said.

She looked for a job for four years before she found Simpson.

“Having to move from my friends, and the roots that we planted there was hard, but Simpson is great, Wilkinson said.

Although she’s only been in the Indianola for a year, she sees why people love the Midwest.

“I love the draw of what is offered here at Simpson and in the Midwest,” Wilkinson said. “The culture and strong family ties make it a welcoming home.”