SYA is pleased to announce that Lynée Connelly has been selected as The SYA France Class of 1974 Faculty Chair in Memory of Peter Greer and Charles Hamblet for the 2021-2022 academic year. She will take great care in implementing and exemplifying SYA’s mission this year.
Lynée made her way to Rennes in the fall of 2019 as an English Teacher and College Counseling Liaison for SYA France students. She remained with SYA throughout 2020, taking time to collaborate and plan for the year ahead with her colleagues across all campuses. During this time, she was also featured in this webinar series, helping to educate our community on the importance of faculty support funding through The Campaign for SYA.
Prior to the arrival of students in Rennes, Lynée took the time to introduce herself to our community. Enjoy getting to know her through our first Fast Five with Faculty feature.
SYA France English Faculty and College Counseling Liaison
SYA France Class of 1974 Faculty Chair in Memory of Peter Greer and Charles Hamblet
B.A. University of New Hampshire, M.A. SIT Graduate School, Ph.D. California Institute for Integral Studies
What drew you to teach at SYA?
A student approached me about working for SYA! I worked at a boarding school in Massachusetts for eight years and one evening during dorm duty, I noticed that a student had an SYA sticker on her computer. I knew that she had just returned from Spain so I asked her about SYA and her experience. She was so happy to share her life-changing year with me. At the end of her story, she looked at me and said that I should apply to teach for SYA. In her opinion, I was exactly the interculturally minded educator that SYA students’ needed. I looked into the position and waited two years for the right time to apply. SYA encompasses many of my own passions as an educator such as intercultural competence, language learning, literature, and travel.
What is your favorite material or lesson you teach and why?
The Cultural Inventory Project. I truly enjoy facilitating learning about identity. This project allows the students to form/re-form an understanding of themselves as cultural beings. Their awareness of their socially constructed self allows them to experience the time abroad in a more powerful way. Moreover, they are given the opportunity to reflect on who they are when they arrive and who they have become before they leave France (Cultural Inventory Project II).
What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
I find it very rewarding to engage students in critical thinking. In other words, I enjoy the interactions with students as they work through their own understanding of a text, an article, or a new experience and find meaning.
What do you hope for, for this generation of students?
I hope that they continue to think globally and reflect on how their actions can impact others in both positive and challenging ways. I hope that they continue to understand the interconnectedness of the world.
What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to? Why?
I am very fortunate to have had some wonderful experiences traveling. I did not grow up traveling, but as soon as I finished college I moved to Italy to live with my Italian friend’s family. In 2000, a tiny town outside of Venezia soon became my second home. I have cherished this connection with the Vignotto family for the last 21 years. In fact, in 2019 I brought my daughter and husband to spend Christmas with them. In this case, it is the people that make it my favorite place to travel to.
What does the honor of being named The SYA France Class of 1974 Faculty Chair in Memory of Peter Greer and Charles Hamblet mean to you?
Being a member of SYA’s faculty is a perfect position for me. I am able to expose students to many different aspects of literature, cultural learning, and reflection. It wasn’t until graduate school that a professor asked me what I thought about what I had just learned. Reflection is a very critical part of SYA for students and teachers alike. Being named The SYA France Class of 1974 Faculty Chair in Memory of Peter Greer and Charles Hamblet has given me the opportunity to reflect upon my position and presence in the classroom even more. I feel very honored to be recognized for my commitment to SYA and the growth of the students.