French to Address Honors Convocation

Linda French

March 25, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University will hold its annual Honors Convocation on Wednesday, April 6, at 11 a.m. in Westbrook Auditorium.

Honors Convocation is dedicated to the Class of 2016 as well as IWU students who have earned activity and academic honors. The 2017 winner of the Kemp Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, the university’s highest teaching honor, will be announced at the Honors Convocation.

Professor of Physics Linda French, the 2016 recipient of the Kemp Award, will deliver the keynote address entitled “The Long and Winding Trail."

A professional astronomer for over 30 years, French is frequently a guest at prominent observatories, including the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory. Asteroid 3506 French is named in her honor, in recognition of French’s educational and research achievements. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and she is a recipient of a Cottrell College Science Award.

French joined the IWU faculty in 2002 and has taught astronomy, astrophysics, and observational astronomy in addition to other physics courses. She worked with IWU students to improve the facilities of the Mark Evans Observatory. French has also served as chair of the physics department and led the IWU London Program twice. She has published widely and presented lectures and papers on 18th-century English astronomer John Goodricke.

A native of Hagerstown, Indiana, French earned a bachelor’s degree in astronomy from Indiana University before completing a master’s and Ph.D. at Cornell University. She also did post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

By Lydia Hartlaub ’16