By Olivia Covington
Simone Pilon, associate professor of French, will leave Franklin College at the end of this academic year after working 13 years at the college.
Pilon will take a new position as the chair of liberal arts at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
“It was the right opportunity at the right time,” Pilon said.
While a professor at Franklin, Pilon has also worked as the head of the college’s study abroad programs. She also created and oversaw the development of the Intercultural Honors Experience.
“I’ve really liked the freedom to try new things (at Franklin),” Pilon said. “It’s amazing the number of things I’ve done here.”
Even though the Berklee College of Music is also a liberal arts college, Pilon said it has a completely different atmosphere than that of Franklin.
“It’s very different. It’s urban, and there’s no real campus. It’s more like offices on top of Starbucks,” she said.
She also said she thinks Berklee’s students, who are largely contemporary music majors, will have very different personalities than Franklin students.
Pilon said she wants to make this transition now because waiting for another opportunity to arise could make it harder to try something new in the future.
“I’ve loved my time at Franklin College. I’ve met wonderful people and had terrific students, and I hope to stay in touch with them,” Pilon said. “(But Berklee) is a wonderful opportunity to do different things and learn new skills.”
Pilon said she is looking forward to living in a cosmopolitan city and attending the cultural events and opportunities that Boston offers. She also said she is looking forward to learning about the Berklee College of Music and getting to know her new students.
Sarah Shroyer, who is the off-campus studies advanced programs assistant, said she thinks Franklin College will lose an asset to the study abroad program when Pilon leaves.
“She’s fantastic to work for, and she’s very knowledgeable about study abroad,” Shroyer said. “She’s passionate about the benefits of study abroad.”
Shroyer said the college should look at Pilon’s departure as an opportunity to further develop the study abroad program.
“This is a really good opportunity for Franklin College to use as a transition to emphasize study abroad. (Pilon) does a really good job of encouraging students to study abroad, and this is an opportunity to grow the program more,” Shroyer said.
The college will use this faculty change as a way to restructure the study abroad and French programs. Pilon said the college will hire two new faculty members to replace her – one to teach in the French department and the other to oversee study abroad.
Like Shroyer, Franklin College students say they are sad to lose a devoted professor.
“Dr. Pilon has encouraged me to reach out of my comfort zone more than any other professor. She has indirectly encouraged me to tack on French as a third major,” said junior Emily Winship.
Winship said Pilon is the reason she will be studying abroad next fall.