School of Languages, Cultures, and Race clinical associate professor of French receives promotion

"Sabine Davis headshot."After 18 years of dedicating her work to the French section of foreign language studies at WSU, Clinical Associate Professor Sabine Davis, earned a promotion to clinical professor.

“Her case for her promotion was outstanding. She truly deserved it,” Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo, director of the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race (SLCR) and professor of comparative ethnic studies professor, said.

Promotions for clinical faculty are earned on the basis of merit and evidence of their accomplishment while at WSU.

Davis contributes not only to the French section in SLCR but to the entire school because she is an engaging participant who works to make sure the school has what it needs, Lugo-Lugo said.

“She’s also very caring about her fellow faculty members, and always makes sure they are taken care of,” Lugo-Lugo said.

According to her student evaluations, Davis’ students love her, and she loves her students too, Lugo-Lugo said.

In addition to her outstanding work in the classroom, Davis has a significant interest in curriculum development. She has always been interested in understanding how the school works and what can be improved to create a better student experience, she said.

To that end, she contributed to the creation of a second major in French for the Professions in which ten students are currently enrolled. She also developed the new minor studies program in French for Design and Merchandising for students in fashion and design who also have studied French.

Only one student is currently enrolled, however, Davis hopes to work with the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Textiles faculty and advisors to get the message out to students.

Most impactful has been her Capstone course “French Culture Through Wine,” which is offered in the spring and attracts over 60 students from all WSU campuses.

All of the languages offered by the school are important, and French is a significant part of our linguistic history, whether we speak French or not, Lugo-Lugo said.

“In the case of French, it provides a bridge between the Roman languages and the Germanic languages,” she said.

Before Davis joined the WSU faculty, she worked in business. When she came to Pullman, she first went into teaching high school.

Then a position for a French instructor opened, and Davis took it. But, because she followed a nontraditional teaching path, she felt unsure of what her place was at the university, Davis said.

“With the support of a lot of colleagues, and recognition that I was doing a good job, I thought, well, maybe I can try and apply for a promotion,” Davis said.

Davis was thankful for her colleagues who have been supportive over the years. Joan Grenier-Winther, French professor, gave her opportunities to grow and do different things, instead of being just a French instructor, Davis said.

Another memorable person who encouraged Davis to have faith in everything she did was Kelly Ward, WSU vice provost for faculty development and recognition who died last year.

“She basically told me you’ve got to believe in yourself, and if you feel like you’ve done a good job, then you should apply for promotion and just do it,” Davis said.