Alumni Profiles

Meet a Few of Our Graduates

Photo of Tom MontanaroTom Montanaro, Class of 2010

  • B.A. in French

As a proud graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, I fervently believe SUNY Plattsburgh has the most impressive Foreign Language and Literature Department. Moreover, I had the utmost pleasure to have Dr. Jean Ouédraogo, the chairman of the department, as my academic advisor, professor, and mentor. He and its entire faculty have been a great influence in further pursuing my passion to learn and have engraved an indelible mark on my life.

The dedicated faculty of the Foreign Language and Literature Department has devoted their time into shaping me into a true foreign language connoisseur. The professors’ diverse cultural and educational backgrounds afford students a unique and complete pedagogical experience that enriches students by providing a solid and complete multicultural foundation.

Because of the faculty's approachability, enthusiasm for their discipline, and willingness to serve students, I was motivated to go beyond all expectations in my major as well as my other courses. Plattsburgh’s close proximity to Québec offers a unique perspective on the Francophone world. Additionally, I was provided numerous opportunities to explore multiple foreign languages such as Spanish, Russian, German, Arabic, and Chinese.

SUNY Plattsburgh’s caring and knowledgeable faculty offer students a solid foundation with an array of languages, which have equipped me with a healthy global perspective.


Diana Gaston, Class of 2013

  • Minor: French
  • Major: Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management
  • Hometown: Rochester, NY

I liked the program for the variety of classes offered, and the friendliness, intelligence, and availability of the staff. I also liked SUNY Plattsburgh’s proximity to Canada, particularly Montreal! You could easily take a day trip there (or stay overnight) for a taste of French immersion close to home.

Reading novels by authors outside of France and Quebec in FRE334 - La Francophonie was fun. I also really improved my French speaking in FRE316 - Conversation avancee. I enjoyed my time with both Marie Cusson and Jean Ouédraogo, as their diverse cultural backgrounds were able to assure that my French education was well rounded.

Anyone considering pursuing a major or minor in French should definitely go for it! Or at least take a few classes to keep up your fluency.

Photo of Kristine AkeyKristine Akey, Class of 2010

  • Substitute Teacher, Peru Central School District (NY)
  • Major/minor: B.A./M.S.T. Combined Program Spanish & French Adolescence Education
  • Hometown: Plattsburgh, NY

I loved the variety and the diversity of the courses available in the foreign language program. There are history, literature, film name it, they have it! I even had the opportunity to perform a play with my classmates in Spanish in front of 100 people in Hartman Theatre.

Studying foreign language helped me to improve my critical thinking skills as well as communication skills. The foreign language department emphasizes both written & oral communication as well as cultural education. My confidence and abilities have grown exponentially due to my experience with the foreign language department. I couldn't have asked for a better experience!

The study abroad programs with SUNY Plattsburgh are phenomenal. I really enjoyed the challenging courses combined with the cultural experience. SUNY Plattsburgh afforded me the opportunity to study In Nicaragua, France, and Quebec which granted me fluency in the language. I highly recommend this to all students.


Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

For more information about the modern languages and cultures program at SUNY Plattsburgh please contact:

Dr. Fernando Iturburu
Office: Champlain Valley Hall 312
Phone: (518) 564-3832

SUNY Plattsburgh
Department of Modern Languages and Cultures