Shakespeare teacher Donna Clovis certainly has an interesting life.  She used to work for ABC and has used her connections to take her students to see famous actors like Orlando Bloom on Broadway.

To add to her background, Clovis teaches at Franklin University,a liberal arts school in Switzerland, over the summer..  About 400 undergraduates attend the college, which is located in the Italian-speaking city Lugano, in southern Switzerland.

In college, Clovis majored in English, journalism, performance, and studio art in media.  She graduated with a master’s degree from New York University and a doctoral degree from Columbia University Teacher’s College.

Clovis cited interviewing Holocaust survivors in Germany as one of her proudest accomplishments.  Her interviews and photos are stored in the archives of the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. In 1999, The Trenton Times nominated her for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.

Clovis teaches a course called “Visual Culture and New Media” at the school.  “My course considers the examination and analysis of New Media in sociological approaches to images in our society,” Dr. Clovis said.  “Students will consider the role New Media plays in our lives.  We study the philosophy of the image in film, video, the web and the internet.”

. Clovis enjoys not only the course, but also the country in which she works.  “I love teaching there because the Alps are so beautiful and there is a slower pace of life,” she said.  “The food is excellent!  There is a great lake nearby with a beach.”

Here students are usually high school seniors and college undergraduate.  The course is open to anyone in the world, though since the college is American, its primary language is English.  Also, the classrooms are pretty small, so the students get a lot of attention and support from teachers.

According to Clovis, her students really enjoy her course and  love working together.  On a daily basis, they have reading to do for classwork.  They also write essays, give presentations, and complete a final project.

Clovis’ students say that she is a very captivating teacher.  “She’s very relaxed and I don’t feel like I’m  in a cutthroat environment, so it really encourages learning,” junior Sid Vashit said.”  “She finds different ways to teach Language Arts which is enjoyable and creative.”


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