Along with a new class of students, some other new faces have arrived on campus, including Dr. Sonia Kpota-Richardson, the newest addition to the Department of Foreign Languages.
Born and raised in Abidjan, the largest city of the Ivory Coast, and living for years in Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa, Richardson has spoken and embraced the French language throughout her entire life. She grew up in a busy home with her parents, two sisters, and a brother.
After grade school in Burkina Faso, she continued her education and received her B.A. in Communications at the University of Ouagadougou. She earned her Masters in Journalism as well, after which she moved to the U.S. to earn another Masters in French Literature at the University of Delaware. Finally, she completed her education with a Ph. D. in Francophone Studies from the University of Iowa. Her admirable background makes her a great addition to McDaniel.
“Not only is our new French professor friendly, but she teaches French to us, the students, in a way that challenges us to think critically about the influence of the French language in African countries,” said Senior Jami Lephew.
Richardson first taught French at the University of Delaware, where she has many memories.
“I had a class of students who surprised me with a play in class one day incorporating many of the things that they learned from class,” said Richardson. “I don’t know when they organized it all, but it was very touching.”
She also loves when a struggling student has an “A-ha!” moment, as she truly cares about her students and loves to see all them succeed.
Besides her career, Richardson has many hobbies, including tennis, cooking, and traveling. She has traveled to multiple countries in Africa as well as France and Canada, and “loves discovering new places and learning about different cultures.”
Besides the French and English languages, Richardson is also fluent in Fon, an African language, and has taken some classes in Spanish, German, and Latin.
A versatile and enthusiastic addition to McDaniel, Richardson finally feels like she has found her place.
“I saw the website while looking for a prospective job, visited, and fell in love with this college. It is the perfect environment, exactly what I wanted, and the college’s values match mine.”
Both staff and students are looking forward to the unique insight that Richardson has to share with McDaniel.