Linda French has repeatedly been awarded time at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory near La Serena, Chile, to study asteroids. She served on the Executive Committee of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society when it re-evaluated Pluto's designation as a planet.

Your hometown? Hagerstown, Indiana, a small town near the Ohio border.
Alma mater? A.B. Indiana University, Ph. D. Cornell University, postdoctoral work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Why Wesleyan? I've taught at large institutions such as MIT and smaller places such as Bates College and Wheelock College, and I love the small liberal arts college environment. 

Here I work with physics majors as well as non-science majors, and I enjoy having faculty friends from all over campus.

Your teaching? I enjoy introducing students to astronomy and astrophysics. I get a thrill out of working with students at all levels. Seeing a general education astronomy student master problem solving is rewarding, as is taking a physics major on an observing trip.

I also teach physics classes and Gateway, where my favorite topic is The Music of The Beatles.

Wesleyan students? Motivated, bright, hard-working, and really nice people.
Biggest thrill? Having an asteroid (3506 French) named after me and receiving an award for climbing all 48 of the 4,000-foot mountains in New Hampshire.
For fun? In the winter, Illinois Wesleyan basketball! In the summer, gardening and the aforementioned hiking. Year-round, singing and listening to music, and spending time with my husband, Ron Emmons, and my daughters.
The best? Hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or the Yorkshire Dales; planning new adventures with Ron.
Favorite book? Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers.  I also enjoy reading English detective novels and police procedurals by authors such as Bill James, Peter Robinson, Reginald Hill, and Elizabeth George.
Favorite movie? A Hard Day's Night, Diva, or Hoosiers, depending on whether I'm in the mood for rock music, opera, or basketball.
Favorite music? Too much! The Beatles, of course, plus Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Ruben Blades, Victor Jara, and bluesman Robert Johnson. I also love opera, especially Verdi, and I think Maria Callas is the greatest singer ever.
Favorite quote? "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." – John Lennon

Linda French

Linda French was named a Visiting Professor of Physics at the University of York, England, for her spring 2010 sabbatical. While there she researched the life of York astronomer John Goodricke (1764-1786).

After joining Illinois Wesleyan's faculty in 2002, French received a prestigious Cottrell College Science Award in 2005.

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