Title: Professor Emerita
Company: Clemson University
Location: Clemson, South Carolina, United States
Mechthild Cranston, Professor Emerita at Clemson University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in language education.
Dr. Cranston grew up in Berlin, Germany and came to America in 1951 when she was 13. Her mother supported her studies and insisted that what little money they did have would go toward her education. The promise of seeking out and working toward a better life was fulfilled when the University of California, Berkeley offered her scholarships to attend. She started at the university when she was just 16 years old, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1958 and a PhD in 1966 from the institution. Because of the better life education allowed her to seek out, Dr. Cranston entered academia and focused on teaching languages. Growing up in Berlin, she was introduced to many different cultures and languages. Throughout her career, she has focused on teaching French and Italian to undergraduate and AP students.
In 1965, Dr. Cranston began teaching as an instructor of French at the University of California before becoming an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco. She worked for two years at the university before teaching at California State University in 1969. In 1970, she briefly worked as a visiting professor at Philips University in Germany. She returned to the States and from 1971 to 1977 taught as an associate professor of French at the University of North Carolina. In 1980, she joined the faculty at Clemson University, where she remained teaching until 2004 when she acquired the professor emerita status. She had taught French, Latin and Italian at the institution.
In addition to these positions, Dr. Cranston served as the president of the Southern Comparative Literature Association from 1991 to 1993. She was an editor for The Comparatist from 1983 to 1991 and has edited and author numerous other published works. These works include “Beyond The Book: Marguerite Duras Infans” and “Enfance Mon Amour La Reverie Vers Lenfance dans L’oeuvre de Guillame Apellinaire, Saint John Perse et Rene Char.” She has received many awards during her career but the highlight still stands as when French Council came to Clemson University to give her the Declaration of the Palmes Academiques. That’s a high honor established by Napoleon for people who have done outstanding service to French culture. It’s done by a committee, and one day you get a letter and it says you’ve been awarded the honor.
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