University of Southern Mississippi French instructor Keltoum Rowland will be recognized as the Honorary Consul of France to the state Thursday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. at a special ceremony in the Thad Cochran Center, where her first duty in her new role will be to honor four World War II veterans.
Rowland will award the rank of knight in the Legion of Honor, an award created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte to honor service to France, to three of the veterans and to the widow of another. The event, sponsored by the L'Association Francaise de USM (French Association of USM) will be held in Ballrooms I and II and be followed by a reception.
Honorary Consuls of France in the Southeast United States, a voluntary position, relay the Consulate General of France in Atlanta’s actions and messages in their respective cities.They are qualified to protect and represent French citizens in their jurisdiction and, depending on the French government’s mandate, may also be able to perform certain administrative services such as delivering identity cards, verifying signatures and birth certificates, among others.
"I’m very honored to have been nominated to serve and help the French community in Mississippi,” Rowland said. “I look forward to strengthening our cooperation in the fields of culture, business and science."
A Southern Miss alumna and native of France, Rowland holds a Master of Arts in Teaching Languages from Southern Miss with a dual emphasis in French and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)`. She coordinates the lower level French program (FRE 101-202) for the university’s Department of Foreign Languages and also teaches upper-division courses in conversation, culture, and reading. She is faculty adviser to the French Association.
Rowland has presented at the Mississippi Foreign Language Association and at the Southern Conference on Language Teaching, and has also served as president of the American Association of Teachers of French for the state of Mississippi.
“She is so deserving of this and I know she will do an outstanding job with her duties, especially in honoring these veterans at this special event,” said Southern Miss sophomore Ashleigh Ladner of Slidell, La., who is president of the French Association.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at 601.266.4964.