Ruth Koizim

Senior Lector, French

Ruth Koizim, B.A. Douglass College of Rutgers University, M. Phil. Yale University, faculty member at Yale since 1982: When you retire from teaching the French language this year, Yalies all over the world who learned to love France and its language through you and who are grateful for your devotion, will shed more than a few tears. For forty years—actually more, if one considers your graduate student days—you have been une force majeure in teaching French to Yale students and inculcating in them a love for the language. You have taught every French language course —beginning, intermediate, and advanced, from French 110 to French 151. You have trained and supervised and mentored teaching fellows and acting instructors. You have been course chair, responsible for materials, test preparation, and test supervision. You have created video presentations for French in Action, of which you have been a strong proponent, been Language Program Director in French, and hosted the Table Française at Saybrook College. It is fair to say that where the teaching of the French language is concerned at Yale, there is simply nothing you have not done and done magnificently.

All that is praiseworthy. But that long list of courses you have taught, the positions you have held are only the outward and visible signs of what you really have been – the heart and soul of French language teaching at Yale. In high school you had a teacher - Carmen Prezioso - who galvanized you. In turn, you seem to have taken him as your model, imbuing your students with your special joie de vivre, and the joys of the French language and of all things French, inspiring them, and indeed pushing them to go to France themselves, where they could become as enamored with the country as you are. And you’ve brought your knowledge of teaching French to workshops around the country and even abroad, inspiring those beyond Yale’s walls with your methods and your spirit. For all of this, you have been awarded the Yale College Teaching Prize for Excellence by a lector or lecturer and have been made a Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes académiques, an award bestowed by the French Republic.

It has not all been about your teaching. You have loved Yale with the same passion as you have loved and promoted all things French, bringing your energy and firm educational ideals to the community. Among many other activities, you have been on the Committee for Teaching and Learning and on the board of Phi Beta Kappa. You twice held terms on the FAS Faculty Senate, where you advocated for your colleagues and students. With unstinting dedication, you have devoted yourself to Yale—and Yale returns that devotion now by offering you tous nos remerciements and a grateful and affectionate Salut!