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newsletter of the professional french masters program University of Wisconsin-Madison Volume 15, Issue 2

ALUMNI PROFILE Kathleen Poyser


PFMP alumna now in charge of national accounts for one of world’s best-selling champagne brands What do you do now for a living?

in this issue Alumni profile: Kathleen Poyser, National Accounts Manager for Laurent-Perrier USA


From the Director


Current students & alumni


A major part of my role is making sure we develop healthy, sustainable business for our target cuvées, such as the Cuvée Rosé.

I started with Champagne LaurentPerrier US on the finance and operations team. I moved into the Associate Brand Manager role and I have been the National Accounts Manager for over a year. As a supplier from outside the United States, we are required by law to sell to distributors who then sell to retailers and restaurants. I work with our distributor partners to manager our business in retail and restaurant and hotel chains. A major part of my role is making sure we develop and maintain healthy, sustainable business for our target cuvées such as the Cuvée Rosé.

How did the PFMP help you get there? The PFMP guided my career in many unexpected ways! During my internship with GfK Custom Research, I studied vodkas, champagnes, and liqueurs in Europe and the Americas for Pernod Ricard. This has proved a very useful base of knowledge. My first job out was in finance, through a fellow alumna. After four years, I decided to change industries. The PFMP enriched my language skills and gave me the

Kathleen Poyser (MFS 2010, business)

opportunity to work in a French environment, both of which my boss, the President of Laurent-Perrier US, later told me were two of the major things that set me apart from other candidates. (continued next page)

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(Poyser, continued from p. 1)

What are the biggest challenges in your line of work these days? Share of mind and educating consumers are two major challenges. Because of the structure of the three-tiered distribution system, we communicate the story and technical wine information to our distributor reps, who go to retail buyers and staff, who then present it to the end consumer. In stores or restaurants, the consumer can be overwhelmed by the amount of choices. The average American consumer does not understand terroir and why champagne can only be from the Champagne region. Online retailers provide information directly from the winery and interactive guidance from sommeliers. Those things help get the story and wine specifics to consumers to help them make informed decisions. Getting the right information to the right people is complicated but essential.

What do you hope your work will accomplish? Kathleen Poyser (MFS 2010) is National Accounts Manager at Champagne Laurent-Perrier US, where she is responsible for distributor and account management for chain retailers and hotel and restaurant groups. She holds the Advanced Certificate from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and has also completed the Masters in Champagne course from the French Wine Society. She lives in Philadelphia.

The PFMP will challenge you and help you incorporate your passion for French into a fulfilling career.

Laurent-Perrier has an extremely rich history. Led by the de Nonancourt sisters, it is the largest family-run house. The company is where it is today thanks to their father, Bernard, whose involvement in the French resistance during WWII is documented in Don and Petie Kladstrup's book, WINE AND WAR. He had the adage, "With quality wine and quality people, you cannot fail." Laurent-Perrier went from the hundredth to the fourth largest brand in the world—in the US, Laurent-Perrier is ninth. I hope to help grow the brand in this challenging market and make as many people as I can fall in love with Laurent-Perrier!

Any suggestions for prospective students considering the PFMP? The PFMP is a program that will challenge you and help you incorporate your passion for French into a fulfilling career. The academic year prepares you for working in a French environment and helps you focus your vision. The internship puts those skills to practice and is an experience that is not only personally gratifying, but sets you apart from your peers. The PFMP is an investment that will shape you in ways t hat you cannot anticipate!

Volume 15, Issue 2

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From the Director : Use Your French As we prepare to launch our twentieth consecutive year of operation as a master’s program, I find myself communicating periodically with two groups of program alumni working on very specific projects. One of them is the planning committee for “PFMP 20,” our weekendlong twentieth anniversary symposium and celebration that takes place on (and around) April 25th, 2020, in Madison. The other is a group of alumni on the verge of launching a campaign to raise funds for student scholarships. Both projects point to an impressive commitment, among our program alumni, to current and incoming students in the PFMP. And to the future of French outside the walls of academe. “Use your French” has been in these pages before. Our unofficial tagline for the past decade or so, it stems naturally from the work and communication style of our alumni and students, who so famously come to this program for that very purpose—finding a place and a way, at work, to use their French. This little tagline is illustrated in just about everything that happens around here. You can see it in all the “Current Students and Alumni” blurbs in L’ESSOR, and also in the Alumni Profiles that have come up so often in the many conversations I have with interested prospective students, colleagues, and other program stakeholders.

Our alumni are among the most active alumni communities I know of—they present in undergraduate courses I teach and in graduate-level networking projects PFMP students do in Career Strategies class before heading to their internships. They mentor students and sometimes even each other. Those living and working in France or other Francophone countries even take interns from their old program sometimes. “Vive le réseautage PFMP!” said one alumnus at a recent advisory board meeting—”Long live PFMP networking!”—and he wasn’t the first to launch this enthusiastic phrase. It is both a descriptor of how the PFMP works and a constant call to action. Action is what our alumni are all about, as our students will tell you. To a person, they are all a little bit world traveler, a little bit specialist, and a little bit pioneer. And a little bit mentor: one recently told me, “Wow, there has really been an uptick in students contacting me!” — a testament to her own visibility as a success in her field, but also a sign of interest, among recent students in her area in particular. Every year is different—one year we are heavy in international educators, the next in emerging marketing professionals, the next in NGO-bound development workers. But regardless of their fields, these Masters of French Studies all have one goal in common: to use their French.

PFMP alumni present in undergraduate classes, mentor students and sometimes even each other.

Alumni help us develop French for the professions outside academe.

PFMP alumni abroad : Melanie Kathan in Montreal (left), John Brunner in Paris (right).

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Current Students & Alumni Sarah Moore Allen (MFS 2009, media/arts/cultural production) continues to grow her positive parenting website,, now with readers on six continents. She also works for international bestselling author, Elizabeth Pantley, as her Blog and Social Media Manager. Sarah lives in Seattle.

Kerith Brand with Motreal-based novelist and member of the French Academy, Dany Laferrière

Jessica Dean

Lisa (Parisi) Blazevic (MFS 2006, business) has left the financial services field and now teaches English as a Second Language at Moraine Valley Community College and the College of DuPage. Lisa particularly enjoys interacting with the diverse groups of students and learning about their cultures. Kerith Brand (MFS 2007, affaires européennes) est attaché aux affaires culturelles et universitaires pour le Gouvernement du Québec au Mid-Ouest. Elle vit à Chicago.

Ayant terminé son stage à la Fondation Québec Philanthrope, Duncan Brown (MFS 2019, business) est producteur chez Travelzoo à Chicago. Dans son rôle, il s'occupe de la rédaction du contenu que de la gestion des clients dans le domaine hôtelier aux États-Unis et à l’étranger. Suite à son stage à Redbridge DTA à Paris, Daniel Christensen (MFS 2018, business) a pris un poste de Junior Pension Analyst chez Alliance

Benefits Global (ABG) Rocky Mountain à Salt Lake City (Utah). Amanda Czapla (MFS 2008, international education) works in human resources support in the Global People Services department at Rolls Royce. Among her other duties, Mandi supports RR's large contingent of employMandi works in the ees in Canada, whose Global People labor laws differ from Services department those in the United State. In this capacity, at Rolls Royce. she adds, "My French “My French is is always needed!" She lives in Indianapolis. always needed!” Jessica Dean (Certificate, Business 2014) recently started a new position as software developer for Pay Tel Communications in Greensboro, NC. She works with international clients and participates in local French tables. Last year, she traveled to Burgundy with friends and delighted in acting as interpreter along the route du vin. Meredith Daugherty (MFS 2015, business) is currently the Associate Editor at Amanda Czapla BloodHorse, the oldest continually-operating Thoroughbred magazine in the United States. Covering all aspects of racing, breeding, and sales, she reports daily on the state of the Thoroughbred industry around the world. Diplômée en russe et français de Beloit College (BA 2016), Natalya Donchenko (éducation internationale) a vécu deux ans en France—d'abord comme fille au pair, puis assistante d'anglais au sein du programme TAPIF, en banlieue de Paris. (continued on page 5)

Volume 15, Issue 2


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Lynn Dosch discovers the Roman ruins in Vaison-la-Romaine, France. “France is making huge progress in accessibility,” says Dosch. “I’ve been impressed.” PFMP international education alumni Jamie

Natalya s’intéresse particulièrement à l'éducation internationale et à ses liens avec le développement international et fera son stage cette année à l'Université Savoie Mont Blanc. Retired French teacher Lynn Dosch (Certificate 2005) spent two months this spring living in Sarrians, France, about 15 miles from Avignon, and travelling in the region. Originaire de la Chine, Shunqi Ge (éducation internationale) a obtenu son BA en français de Widener University (BA 2018) avant de s'inscrire au PFMP. Le domaine de l'éducation internationale l'intéresse surtout parce qu'il lui permet de partager ses propres expériences, dans un cadre professionnel, avec d'autres étudiants internationaux. Kristen (Barron) Gron (MFS 2011, international education) is a research grant adminstrator in the School of Education at Durham University (UK).

Adler (College of Wooster) Chris Fulglestad In May, Jenna Holt (MFS (UT-San Antonio) and Kerry Strader (Miami 2017, international University of Ohio) at the Forum on education) will be leaving Education Abroad gathering. Middlebury Institute of International Studies's recruiting team to join Colorado College as the Assistant Director of Admissions for Marketing and Communications.

Barbara Jedele (MFS 2015, international education) is the advisor and coordinator for internships in Europe, Oceania, Canada and Central Asia at the UWMadison International Internship Program. Over the past 11 months she and PFMP student Emmeline Prattke (international education) have maintained organizational procedures, coordinated a diverse portfolio of internships, advised students and taught online internship courses through two overlapping maternity leaves in a three-person office. Melanie Kathan (MFS 2014, media/arts/cultural production) has moved from Avignon, France, and now lives in Montreal, where she continues to work full-time as a freelance translator, editor and writer. Ashley Koerner (MFS 2012, international educatin) has left her advising position at The George Washington University and is now the new International Student Advisor at the Colorado School of Mines. She works with incoming

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international students, scholars and professors on visa compliance, programming and acculturation. Danielle Leuker (MFS 2019, business) has just finished her PFMP internship at Team Créatif, a Paris-based design agency specializing in branding and packaging, and graduates in May. This summer Danielle will return to Team Créatif as a Junior Account Manager. Originaire de l'Ohio, Katlyn Miller (business) a fait ses études en français et affaires internationales à Muskingum University (BA 2018). Jordan Milliken (2008 media/cultural arts) works as a bilingual speechlanguage pathologist in Lincoln, Nebraska. This year she will serve on a districtwide team to help conduct bilingual assessments of students of diverse cultural backgrounds for potential special education verification. Lisa Prather (MFS 2016, business) is a Campaign Manager at National Council for Behavioral Health, a non-profit member organization that consults with, provides training to, and advocates for mental and behavioral health centers, clinics, and organizations across the U.S. She lives in Washington, DC. Emmeline Prattke (education internationale) fait actuellement son stage au sein du Service aux Etudiants à HEC (Hautes Etudes Commerciales) Montréal. Having just completed her internship at Paris Wine Company in April, Shannon Reader (MFS 2019, business) has accepted a job at McCarus Beverage Company, a wine distributor based in Charleston, South Carolina, as the South Carolina Administrative Manager. MBC, a client of Paris Wine Company is a start-up founded in 2013. She will start her new position in August. Mary Roth (MFS 2009, media/arts/cultural production) is now Operations Manager with Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR), where

Kathleen Poyser celebrates the 30th anniversary of the restaurant Auréole in New York, with a colleague and chefs (L-R) Charlie Palmer, Daniel Boulud, and Frédéric Simonin.

she has managed youth and adult arts programs for 10 years. She is now in charge of outreach and marketing, human resource functions and equity initiatives and provides strategic leadership to the agency's 75 full-time staff and over 2200 part-time employees. Abby Rue (MFS 2018, business) has accepted a position as a Frenchspeaking Client Partner at Garter, one of the world’s top IT advisory and research firms. She will be assisting French-speaking executive clients with strategy and implementation of Gartner’s services at their office in sunny Fort Myers, Florida.

Shannon Reader

Taylor Steinbruegge (MFS 2019, media/arts/cultural production) fait son stage chez Federation Entertainment, une boîte de production et distribution des séries télé (Le Bureau des Légendes, Marseille) à Paris. Elle travaille dans la communication et le marketing des séries.

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Brooke Talley (education internationale) fait actuellement son stage au sein du Pôle international de l’Université de Bourgogne, à Dijon. Cassandra Tant (MFS 2017, international education) is now the Program Coordinator for shortterm summer programs at the Centres d’Echanges Internationaux in Saint Malo, France. She is currently organizing classes, cultural activities and host family placements for over 250 international high school students coming to France this summer. Diplômée en français et psychologie de Gustavus Adolphus College (BA 2017), Tatianna Thurik (business) a enseigné l'anglais dans les écoles primaires en Charente Maritime avant de venir au PFMP. Elle s'intéresse particulièrement à l'industrie agroalimentaire, ce qui la poussée à créer son propre blog culinaire binlingue, Elle fera son stage cette année à La Fermière, entreprise agroalimentaire spécialisée dans le yaourt et les desserts, siégée à Aubagne. Alicia Valle-Guerrero (éducation internationale) a fait son son stge au sein du Service aux Etudiants à HEC (Hautes Etudes Commerciales) Montréal et termine sa maîtrise ce semestre. Melanie Walters (business) a obtenu son diplôme en littérature française et études internationales de l'Université du Michigan à Ann Arbor (BA 2018). Elle s'intéresse au marketing du cinéma, particulièrement à la distribution et à l'acquisition de contenus audio-visuels. A graduate of UW-Madison in Political Science and French, Emma Wasserstrom (international education) worked in various study abroad offices on campus before beginning her studies in the PFMP this spring.

TOP: Brooke Talley (L) with international student friends at the Université de Bourgogne BOTTOM: Alicia Valle-Guerrero (L) with HEC Montréal colleagues and students at their annual “course de Noël”

“The PFMP was one of the very best things I’ve ever done.” -Sarah Allen (MFS 2009)

L’ESSOR Newsletter of the Professional French Masters Program

Professional French Masters Program University of Wisconsin-Madison 618 Van Hise Hall 1220 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706

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