Staff in Paris

The Paris team is here to ensure that students get as much out of their time as possible. We supervise academics, find internships, manage housing, and organize various cultural activities.

Administrative staff

Renée Pontbriand, Director

Renee 2014

Renée completed her Masters in French with Middlebury College in Paris. She received her Bachelors of Arts in International Relations and French with Boston University and studied at the Université de Grenoble. With the program since 1991, she serves as executive manager of Boston University in Paris, bringing to bear experience in the Division of International Programs in Boston and in Grenoble. Her responsibilities span public relations, student services, communication, scheduling, budgeting, publications and alumni affairs.
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ibriere1Isabelle Briere, Program Manager

Isabelle completed her photography and darkroom studies at the Prairie View School of Photography in Winnipeg and her film studies at the University of Montreal, Canada. She also taught English as a second language in Tokyo & Paris. She is the housing coordinator and office manager. She has been with the program since 2006.

Brendon Bowdridge, Administrative Graduate Student

Brendon graduated from Boston University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations focusing on Europe and International Systems & World Brendon Bowdridge PortraitOrder. Fortunate for Brendon, he was able to spend 2 out of his 4 undergraduate years studying abroad in France! He participated in the Level 1 Grenoble Language and Liberal Arts Program, the Paris Internship program, and the Sciences Po exchange program. Aside from his work with BU Paris, Brendon is pursuing a MA degree in International Security through PSIA, the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po Paris.

Shannon Gilson, Academic Graduate Student

S Gilson

Shannon Gilson is a PhD candidate in French Literature and a Teaching Fellow in French at Boston University. Prior to arriving at BU, she completed her Master’s at Middlebury College, where her thesis analyzed the poetry of Paul Verlaine alongside musical arrangements of his poetry by Gabriel Fauré and Claude Debussy. At BU, her research interests include medieval literature, nineteenth century short stories, and psychoanalysis. Her dissertation focuses on the works of Théophile Gautier, Gustave Flaubert, and André Gide, where she examines the interplay of Medievalism and Orientalism as a means to negotiate the boundaries of alterity. Shannon also taught English for two years at a Paris university and has shared her time between Boston and Paris for the past eight years.


Emmanuelle Farhi, Associate Academic Director

emmanuelleEmmanuelle holds the degree of DEA (Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies, equivalent of the ABD in the United States) from the Université de Paris IV Sorbonne in American literature, as well as an MA from the same institution. She is a staff technical translator for a number of publishing houses, notably JC Lattès & Michel Lafon. She has taught at Simmons College and Susquehanna University, as well as Boston University in Boston. She has been an active member of the program since its inception in 1989. She was appointed Associate Director of Studies in 2010, teaches CAS LF 302 Living French in Paris: Accent on Writing and monitors the internship report.

Katherine Lakin-SchultzLAKIN-SCHULTZ

Katherine Lakin-Schultz completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University and holds a PhD in French Language and Literature from the University of Virginia. She has taught both beginner and intermediate level courses at UVA and BU, and spent two summers in Lyon, France teaching with UVA’s Summer Study Abroad Program.  In the classroom, Katherine seeks to impart an appreciation of the diversity and breadth of the Francophone world. Beside language teaching, her interests include Francophone African literature, Negritude, colonial history, and twentieth century French literature.  She teaches CAS LF 343 Paris in Literature during the summer internship program.

Daniel Lesbachesdaniel

Daniel is an art gallery connoisseur and art market professional with executive responsibilities at the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Lyon, in similar establishments in Berlin, and more recently at the Galerie du Jour Agnès B in Paris. He has managed the publication of catalogues as well as numerous exhibitions and understands the complexities of promoting contemporary artists and their works. His teaching career reflects the experience of a practitioner and man in the field. His principal faculty appointment is with Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts where he trains young prospects and career converts to enter the world of art marketing with knowledge of art as history and art as investment. His fix on the key period of 1905 to 1915 is particularly insightful and informs in part the seminar he is teaching at Boston University Paris. Since 2007, Daniel teaches CAS AH 356 French Contemporary Art.

Aïssatou Mbodj-Pouye


Aïssatou studied in Paris at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and earned a PhD at the University of Lyon II. After working at the EHESS (Paris) and at Zentrum Moderner Orient (Berlin), she is presently a CNRS Research fellow in anthropology, member of Institut des mondes africains in Paris. She has conducted fieldwork in West Africa, notably on literacy practices and documentary transactions in rural Mali, the topic of her monograph Le fil de l’écrit, ENS-Editions, 2013, as well as more recently on memory and science in Senegal. Since 2010, her main research project focuses on the experience of West African migrants in Parisian “foyers” since the 1960s.

Tricia MeehanTM Photo

Tricia Meehan earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Detroit, a Graduate Diploma (History and Theory) from the Architectural Association in London, a MA (French Cultural Studies) from Columbia University and a PhD (Architecture) from the University of Paris 8. Tricia is an Assistant Professor at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble and also works as an architectural and urbanism docent with Context Travel in Paris. She is a licensed architect and has practiced primarily in Boston. She has contributed to edited publications on La Défense and Marne-la-Vallée (both with Éditions Parenthèses) and an essay on Detroit will appear in 2015 (Éditions Université de Saint-Étienne). Focused on the 20th century, her research interests include architectural criticism, deindustrialization and urban transformation (France & USA), and public architectural policy in France. She teaches AH383, Paris Architecture & Urbanism.

Elisabeth Montfort-Siewert, Cultural Activities Coordinatormontfort

Elisabeth holds a DESS (Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées) from the Université de Paris III Sorbonne  in “la formation des formateurs en FLE”, which gives her the status of teacher trainer. She also holds a MA in French as a Foreign language from the Université de Paris X Nanterre and a licence de Lettres Modernes (the equivalent of a BA in Modern Literature) from the same university. She has extensive teaching experience including assignments at the Sorbonne, Otto-Friedrich-Universitat Bamberg (Germany), Central College in Iowa, and the University of Chicago’s summer program. Elisabeth has been with the program for over 20 years and was recently promoted to cultural activities coordinator. She teaches CAS LF 320 Living French in Paris: Practical Communication and Current Culture (level 2), CAS LF 342 French Society through Theater, Cinema, and Music (theater section) and monitors the internship report.

Olivier Rozenbergolivier

Olivier  is associate research professor at Sciences-Po (Paris), in the Centre d’études européennes. He teaches at Sciences-Po and the Université Paris II. He has a number of articles and books to his credit and focuses his research on legislatures in France and in Europe. He has edited publications on parliamentary roles (Routledge 2012), questions (Routledge 2012), debates (LGDJ 2013) and opposition (La Documentation française 2013) in English or French. He also studies the Europeanisation of the French political system. He bas been teaching CAS PO 240 Paris Politique since 2004.

Hanadi Sobh, Language Development Coordinatorhsobh1

Hanadi holds a Master’s in French as a Foreign Language, a special teaching degree earned at the Université de Paris X Nanterre and a licence de Lettres Modernes mention FLE. Her work for Boston University Paris, since 1999,  spans all of the course offerings with special emphasis on training students to prepare oral exposés, a key component of all classes. She teaches CAS LF 301 Living French in Paris: Accent on Speaking, CAS LF 342 French Society through Theater, Cinema, and Music (film & music section) and monitors the internship report.