Emma hails from rural Minnesota, where she frequented her local library to the point where her parents actually threatened to return her literary spoils as a form of disciplinary leverage. And since her attempts to invent a secret language with her best friend in second-grade, Emma has pursued her knack for language and for literature conjointly. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2014 with degrees in French and Cello Performance (3.98 GPA), Emma spent a year in France teaching English to high school juniors and seniors, sharing with them her passion for language and culture. Having completed her Masters of Arts at Harvard, Emma is now in her second year of Harvard’s PhD program in French Literature, where she is also pursuing a secondary PhD field in musicology.
Emma’s exposure to the tutoring environment began at a young age in the context of private cello lessons. While in high school, she then began teaching cello lessons individually and volunteering with her local orchestra program. (Cue Darth Vader to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Episode IV: “When I left you, I was but the learner; now, I am the master!”) During college, she volunteered as a peer tutor in French in the Department of French and Italian, eventually overseeing and organizing all tutors in the program as well as weekly French conversation hour. A strong believer in one-on-one learning environments, Emma continued her work as a private tutor beyond her assigned teaching duties while in France during the 2014-15 academic year. As a Harvard Dudley Fellow in Intellectual and Cultural Events, Emma will also organize language tables and extra-curricular learning opportunities for her peers at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences starting in Fall 2016.
Emma especially enjoys working with students on their writing and foreign language verbal expression skills. She loves sharing interesting French tournures de phrase with students, but in any writing context she challenges them to think beyond clichés and to drive to the core of the idea they wish to communicate whether in essayistic, expositional, or creative writing. Having encountered many related fields with which the realm of French literature flirts, Emma is also at ease working in related subjects such as History, Philosophy, Art History, and Music. When she is not reading, Emma enjoys long bike rides, cooking, and brushing up on her Norwegian (which she initially learned in fragments from her great-grandmother while in elementary school and for which she later won two consecutive Outstanding Student awards at the University of Minnesota). Linguistically and otherwise, French and Norwegian tend to be in separate spheres, but then again, as with many other subjects, teasing out their points of mutual resonance has always been the most exciting challenge in Emma’s eyes.