Heather A. West, Director of Samford University's Critical Languages Program, has been named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight of the Order of Academic Palms) by the government of France. The honor recognizes those who have rendered eminent service to French education and have contributed actively to the prestige of French culture.
West founded the Samford in France program in 1996 and has coordinated the study abroad experience for many students in Grenoble and Paris. Since 2012, she has worked closely with the French Consulate in Atlanta to host teacher workshops at Samford. Also in 2012, West began serving as executive director of the Alabama World Languages Association.
West also has been named Contest Administrator of the Year by the American Association of Teachers of French. For four years, she has led Alabama’s participation in the AATF’s Grand Concours National French Contest for K-12 students.