Published on September 1, 2015  

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.

Learn More About the Department of World Languages and Cultures

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.