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Glendon’s Louise Lewin Named Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques


<p><a href=""><img style="float: right;" src="" alt="" width="116" height="142" />Dr. Louise Lewin</a>, former Associate Principal Student Services at Glendon, and currently Director of the Ontario Rhone-Alpes Exchange Program situated in York University, was recently named Chevalier in the <a href="">Ordre des Palmes Acad&eacute;miques</a> awarded by the government of France. Lewin was one of three recipients to receive this honour this year, at a special celebration held at the home of the Consul G&eacute;n&eacute;ral of France in Toronto on April 7.</p>
<p><span class="image_caption">Right: The Palmes Acad&eacute;miques</span><br /><br />Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts, Asssociate Principal Academic and Research Fran&ccedil;oise Mougeon, Glendon French Studies professor Christine Besnard, and former acting Principal and Glendon sociology professor Fran&ccedil;oise Boudreau were in attendance, as well as members of Lewin&rsquo;s family.</p>
<p><img style="float: left;" src="" alt="" width="300" height="225" /><span class="image_caption">Left: L-r: Louise Lewin receives the Palmes Acad&eacute;miques medal from J&eacute;r&ocirc;me Cauchard, Consul General of France in Toronto</span><br /><br />&ldquo;As Academic Director of the Ontario / Rh&ocirc;ne-Alpes Student Exchange program, you have achieved a brilliant career&rdquo;, said J&eacute;r&ocirc;me Cauchard, Consul General of France in Toronto, when he presented Lewin with the Palmes Acad&eacute;miques medal on April 7. &ldquo;Your PhD thesis from the University of Toronto&rsquo;s Faculty of Education, focused on teaching French as a second language, reflects your numerous involvements [in this field] from the beginning.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lewin came to York University in 1970 and has filled a wide variety of increasingly responsible positions both in the academic field, and in leadership and administrative roles. In the 41 years of her presence at York&rsquo;s Glendon and Keele campuses, she has demonstrated complete dedication to promoting students&rsquo; success and the university&rsquo;s goals. Her career path is detailed in the section below, with the title <a href="#about"><em>About Dr. Louise Lewin&rsquo;s Career at York University</em></a>.<br /><br />Cauchard commended Lewin&rsquo;s faithful devotion to Glendon and her dynamism in fulfilling her extensive activities as Associate Principal Student Services, &ldquo;praised by all concerned, as much for the remarkable exchanges established [in a 14-year collaboration with York International], as for the encouragement you demonstrated for the campus&rsquo; vibrant cultural life.&rdquo;</p>
<p><img style="float: right;" src="" alt="" width="300" height="262" /><span class="image_caption">Right: L-r: Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts with Louise Lewin</span><br /><br />Cauchard added that the medal also honours Lewin&rsquo;s team: those who accomplished the day-to-day activities that led to such success, as well as Glendon&rsquo;s faculty. &ldquo;The teaching excellence provided [at Glendon], as well as the outstanding environment benefiting those students who wish to pursue their studies in the two official languages, are recognized by all concerned, and you have played an important part in its excellence.&rdquo;<br /><br />Outlining Lewin&rsquo;s numerous contributions to Glendon and York, Cauchard added that since 2009, when Lewin assumed her current role of Academic Director of the Ontario / Rh&ocirc;ne-Alpes Student Exchange program, her &ldquo;dynamism has significantly enhanced and enlarged this program&rdquo;, which will be benefiting from a recently announced additional funding for expanding new programs within the regular exchange program with the region of Rh&ocirc;ne-Alpes.&nbsp; <br /><br />&ldquo;This award is a most fitting recognition of the many years that Louise Lewin devoted to developing Glendon's Student Services operation, whose success is clearly illustrated in both the high levels of satisfaction reported by our students and the transformation of Glendon's international exchange program&rdquo;, commented Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts.</p>
<p><img style="float: left;" src="" alt="" width="300" height="187" /></p>
<p class="image_caption">Left: L-r: Fran&ccedil;oise Boudreau, Louise Lewin and Fran&ccedil;oise Mougeon</p>
<p>&ldquo;I was completely taken by surprise, when I learned that I would receive this great honour&rdquo;, said Lewin. &ldquo;It is the highlight of my career. The reasons for according me this award &ndash; the new programs, the collaborations with France and other activities &ndash;were simply a result of my passion for the French language and culture. It was my great good luck to emigrate to a province of Canada which believes in bilingualism and French culture. I was also incredibly fortunate to be working in Glendon&rsquo;s environment, which allowed me to pursue these passions, to work for the Francophonie and for bilingualism.&nbsp; Today, the Ontario/Rh&ocirc;ne-Alpes student exchange program boasts 75 students per year in both directions. I have just created new branches in this program, including a summer internship component in the fields of engineering, science and the health sciences, and a new language program which will be offered in August in Rh&ocirc;ne-Alpes, France. I accept the great honour that the government of France and its Minister of Education have awarded me with immense pride, especially in the presence of my colleagues and members of my family.&rdquo;</p>
<p>Originally founded in 1808 by Emperor <a href="">Napol&eacute;on</a> to honour eminent teachers and professors of the University of Paris, the Ordre des Palmes Acad&eacute;miques was formally established as a chivalric order in 1955. Today, the Palmes Acad&eacute;miques recognizes the accomplishments of individuals in France and elsewhere, working in the fields of education, research and technology, who have distinguished themselves by their significant contributions to one of society&rsquo;s most essential missions, that of educating the young. It is also awarded to individuals making major contributions to the expansion of French culture throughout the rest of the world. Decisions on nominations and promotions are made by the Minister of Education. The Palmes Acad&eacute;miques is among the oldest and most prestigious civil distinctions awarded by the government of France today.</p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" alt="" width="500" height="352" /><br /><span class="image_caption">Louise Lewin wearing her medal</span></p>
<p style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</p>
<p style="text-align: left;"><a id="about" name="about"></a><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">About Dr. Louise Lewin&rsquo;s Career at York University</span></strong></p>
<p style="text-align: left;">Since 1970, when Louise Lewin came to York University, she has functioned in various academic, leadership and administrative positions. She has worked as professor of French for students and adults and as director of the French as a Second Language (FSL) teacher qualifications program, as required by the Ontario Ministry of Education. She was coordinator of York University&rsquo;s Faculty of Education from 1981 to 1982 and from 1987 to 1990. She was director of the language program in Glendon&rsquo;s French Studies Department from 1986 to 1988; associate dean of York University&rsquo;s Faculty of Education from 1988 to 1991 and acting dean of the Faculty of Education in 1990. Other positions held by Lewin included coordinator of Glendon&rsquo;s distance education program and coordinator of Project Toronto for Glendon (1986-87), a special recycling program for North York and the Toronto District School Board.<br /><br />Lewin has produced numerous articles, publications in learned journals, book chapters and lectures at academic conferences. She has created new courses and programs for York University on a wide range of topics including second-language learning, teaching techniques, issues of accessibility and of the environment. She has been an active participant in numerous university committees and launched new groups to enhance campus life, promote the arts and provide safe space on campus.&nbsp; <br /><br />In 1997, Lewin was the first person to be appointed Associate Principal Student Affairs in a newly reconfigured position reporting to the Principal of Glendon, and held this position until 2009. <br /><br />In this, as in every position she held, she was an energetic innovator and a pioneer of numerous activities which she gathered into her portfolio, notably alumni and communications, recruitment and liaison, structuring of donships and residence life, and establishing partnerships with high schools to promote recruitment. Lewin oversaw student financial services including scholarships, bursaries and financial aid and worked closely with York&rsquo;s Keele campus administration. She collaborated with the Glendon College Student Union (GCSU) on issues concerning student clubs and activities. She was also responsible for resolving issues of student discipline and plagiarism. The Glendon Athletics Centre, the Counselling, Career and Disabilities Centre and Cultural and Artisitc Affairs were also under her direction. <br /><br />As Associate Principal Student Affairs, Lewin coordinated Glendon&rsquo;s international exchanges, in a 14-year, mutually valued collaboration with York International, extending new bilateral agreements with several universities in France, Belgium, Switzerland, as well as the Universit&eacute; de Montr&eacute;al and all of the Francophone universities in Canada outside Quebec.<br /><br />As of July 1, 2009, building directly on her Glendon expertise, Lewin took on her current position as Academic Director of the <a href="">Ontario / Rh&ocirc;ne-Alpes Student Exchange program</a>, housed on the Keele campus, enabling her to continue her contacts with students and their study-abroad activities.<br /><br />Lewin holds an Honours B.A. from York University (1973); an M.Ed. (1976) and Ph.D. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (1999). <br /><br /><em>Article submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny</em></p>

Published on April 13, 2011