Franco American Women's Institute Directory

Directory List:

Amy Bouchard Morin

Trudy (Gertrude) Chambers Price

Kim Chase

Rhea J. Côté Robbins

Antoinette Hilda Couture Théberge

Anita Germaine Durette Parent Arsenault

Victoire Gagnon St. Germain Daigle

Annie Giroux Côté

Rita Gray Chappell

Sadie Kendall

Lucille Labranche Gosselin

Lanette Marie Landry Petrie

Kristin M. Langellier

Lucie LeBlanc

Ida Marquis Roy

Marie Thérèse Martin

Yvonne Merau Ross

Barbara A. Ouellette Ouellette

Deborah Ouellette Small

Bonita Parent Grindle

Linda Parent Campbell

Maureen Perry

Elise Pooler Lambert

Rita St. Germain Côté

Rhea St. Germain Gray

Ginny Sands

Christine Théberge Rafal

 If you wish to be listed in the directory, please send us a biography, résumé, or description of yourself or any femme you would like to see listed. Send it to the address below. Merci! 

BIOGRAPHY - Yvonne Merau Ross

My paternal Grandmother Marie-Louise Pelletier I never knew, but I have memories of her through my Father Roger Merau. She was a tall, handsome woman, brown-haired and blue-eyed, who bore Marcel, Bertrand, Roger and a daughter Lucienne. Her youngest son "Bertrand" was killed in WWI, just moments before the Armistice in 1918.

 She not only was the housekeeper and bottle washer, she managed to run a tiny store in her home, a "Mercerie," crammed full of the prettiest of laces, the finest of cloth and the sharpest of needles. She had had excellent taste, as I noticed when I visited my Grandfather Ursain Merau when I was a teenager.

 His home was in the beautiful Loire Valley, In Reuilly, Indre, the small village of his birth. He had not had to go very far to find himself a wife as my Grandmother was from the nearby village of Vatan.

 My maternal Grandmother Emilie chevalier was born in Sens (Burgundy) and I only know she had one brother. My Grandfather Louis Lesain was born in Pre-en-Pail (near Alencon) in Normandie. They lived in Paris where they owned a butcher shop at the then big market near the Madeleine Church. My Grandmother bore seven children, lost twin girls in infancy, and Edmond, Alice, Leopold, Germaine and Louis I survived. Leopold died as a result of being gassed in WWI. Uncle Louis always called P'tit Louis, was a successful jockey who won the Grand Prix in the Beirut, Lebanon thoroughbred race in 1936. He was small, mischievous, funny and my favorite Uncle. He had joined the French Resistance during WWII, and was deported by the Gestapo to DACHAU Concentration Camp. He died there December 24, 1944. He was only 36.

 My Mom Germaine Lesain was born in Paris April 30, 1902. She was a very pretty woman, she had dark brown hair, hazel eyes, a gorgeous smile and flawless skin she had inherited from her Mother. She also was a very courageous and ambitious woman.

 She and my dad, Roger Merau, were married April 20, 1920. Mom was 18 and he was 26. Dad and his best friend went into business rebuilding war devastated Eastern France. They lived in Villers Bretonneau (near Amiens in the Somme).

 When I was five and my brother Bertand four, they went bankrupt. The lost everything, furniture, linen, silverware, the best of their clothing. This is the way bankruptcy was handled then, and with never another chance of going into business again. All they had were the clothes on their back and two sick kids.

 Tante Lucienne gave us shelter in her summer home in Villa Draveil, near Paris. We went to live in a tiny wooden house with only a kitchen and one bedroom with freshly white washed walls. It always felt damp and strange there.

 Dad got a job in Paris in a woodworking shop where he alternately worked as a carpenter and a cabinet maker. Mom was not so lucky, she only found jobs as a barmaid, houseworker, and nurse's aid.

 I told you she was spunky. At the age of 36, she finally fulfilled her life's dream. She joined the School of Nursing at the Salpetriere Hospital in Paris. She did this after her full day shift. This was her daily grueling schedule, up at 6:30 AM, riding her bike through the woods to the Sanatorium in Champrosay, when done there, riding her bike to the R.R. station in Juvisy (25 miles total). She then got on the train, and went to her R.N. classes, took the train back and again biked another 8 miles into the night getting home. She never missed a day and studied until 2 AM.

 She kept this routine for two years and graduated First in her class. She enjoyed a varied career, but never as rewarding as when she was chosen as "Nursing Supervisor" of the Neurosurgical Ward in 1958, a 120 bed wing at the Salpetriere. It was at that time the only such facility in Europe. She held that position until she retired in 1963.

 When we lost my only brother Bertrand in the War at the age of 20, I was in shock and I did not get to know the depth of my Mother's and Grandmother's courage until later on. They suffered such horrendous losses in their lives. My Grandma had lost 2 sons and 2 grandsons in WWI & WWII. My cousin Jean, 20 (Tante Alice's son) had been deported as "a Slave Laborer" to Berlin. He was killed there in an American Air Raid on that city. My Mom had lost her only son, two bothers, and her nephew.

 They did not fall apart. Was it because they loved my Dad and I so much, they wanted us to be able to bear our Losses without weakening by needing some of our strength. I will never know, but I will forever admire and love these exceptional women.

 I was married to Densil L. Ross on December 15, 1946 in Vigneaux, France. He was an American G. I., I was a translator at the Camp where we met. I came to the USA March 22, 1946. We had three children, Bertrand, Suzanne, and Roger.

 There is a lot of similarity between my Daughter and her Grandmother. She inherited her good looks, ready smile, bubbling personality and heart of gold. She is married to Richard Schroeder, they are the parents of John (a geologist), Danielle (an international business major), and Erica (an actress in NYC). Mom, Dad and kids all have blue eyes, looking at them is like seeing all the shades of a Spring sky.

 Suzanne, like her French Grandmother and myself, is a Nurse, and we are very proud of the fact that we are now three generations from two continents dedicated to that most noble profession.

You can contact Yvonne by writing in care of her name to the Franco-American Women's Institute, 641 South Main St., Brewer, Maine 04412-2516

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BIOGRAPHY - Lucie LeBlanc

I was born and raised in Canada, and have had the privilege to learn songs from my mother which she in turn had learned from my grandfather. Many of these songs originate from France and were transmitted from generation to generation.

I sing French-Acadian songs that not only serve as a reminder of my upbringing in a well preserved country and wooden area, with the memories of my mom and grandmother teaching me these songs, but I am also trying to preserve and continue the intergenerational link of our French heritage alive.

I am presently the lead singer in a popular local band called "Undercover." We are a three piece band, with its members consisting of Vernon Ouellette, music engineer and lead guitar player, Steve Helstrom, drummer, and myself as a public relations' consultant, guitar player, and lead singer. We play at different occasions, and perform a variety of songs. Our repertoire includes old and modern country music, and rock'n roll.

I performed French-Acadian songs at different occasions. I have had the opportunity to sing at the Maine Festival in Brunswick, with my mother and my band. I was also a singer (more specifically the House Band: me and Vernon Ouellette) during the Mardi-Gras Fiddle Jamboree at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, which Lisa Ornstein from Acadian Archives was hosting. I sang for kids that were in kindergarten up to the sixth grade, participants in the French Immersion Program. I was a host and performed French songs for people from different states participating in the Elderhostel program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. My voice can also be heard on the MPBN documentary "our stories" which has been heard statewide, and is a documentary about the Bouchard Family and ployes in the St. John Valley. Most recently I sang French-Acadian songs and played accoustic guitar for people representing the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Humanities Council in Presque Isle, Maine.

Recently, I have released a cassette which is entitled "Notre Héritage Français - Our French Heritage". My mother, sister, and myself can be heard on the tape, and we performed French songs that are from the St. John Valley, Quebec, and France. The cost of our cassette is $10.00 plus 55 cents sales tax, and $2.00 for shipping, for a total of $12.55. To order please call or write "Undercover Musical Services" at: 111 Market Street, Fort Kent, Maine 04743, telephone: (207)834-3613 or you can contact Lucie at her email address:

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BIOGRAPHY - Sadie Kendall

Sadie Kendall, formerly of Maine, whose grandmother was Franco-American, now residing in California, is the owner of Kendall Farms selling Crème Fraîche, Pasteurized Cultured Cream. She is also the author of The Crème Fraîche Cookbook. Crème Fraîche available from Kendall Farms, P.O. Box 686, Atascadero, CA 93422, Telephone: (805) 466-7271, Fax: (805) 466-7252 Also, the Crème Fraîche Cookbook pictured here can be ordered from Sadie Kendall, checks payable to Kendall Farms, $12.00 plus $2.00 shipping/handling.


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BIOGRAPHY - Marie Thérèse Martin

Marie Thérèse Martin is a charming and talented author who will bring you back to a time that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called: " Acadie, home of the happy". Her story about the Acadian Deportation of Evangeline will sadden and delight you at the same time. She looks at Acadian history thru the eyes of a woman who might have lived thru those troubled years. Much has been written by male historians but this ia a breath of fresh air that champions womanhood, and the important place of women in a paternalistic society. And if that isn't enough, she will teach you the secrets of Maritime Canadas' Acadian cuisine. A story of mouth watering lobster and fish chowders, along with many other delightful recipes still made by Acadian women living in the Pine Tree State of Maine.

 Write to schedule one of her fascinating lectures,
Marie Thérèse Martin
159 East Andover Road
Rumford, Maine 04276
or log on to her website at:

 Acadian Roots and Women

Or, you can contact Marie at her email address:

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BIOGRAPHY - Barbara A. Ouellette Ouellette

I have been in the University setting for twenty four years. My work at the University has involved student contact. My current position is as Administrative Associate in the Honors Program. In this position I have dealt with students mostly in their first and last years of college. I have come to know these students very well, and have advised and encouraged them both academically and personally. This is the part of my position that give me the greatest pleasure is the contact with the student population.

 I was born and raised in Old Town, Maine. My home was on an Island called French Island, which was a small community where everyone was like family. My ancestors were from Paris and Normandy, France, we have seven generations of ancestors who resided in Quebec, Canada before they came to the United States. I am a third generation United States citizen. My reclaimation of my French heritage has been a recent one. In the Spring of 1995 I took a course titled Franco-Americans of the Northeast: Introduction to an Ethnic Community. This past fall of 1996 I took Topics in Franco-American Writing (1946-1996). Both these course have whetted my appetite for learning more about my heritage. In May of 1996, I attended a five day Colloquium titled Cultural Identity in French America: Legacy, Evolution, an dthe Challenges of Renewal. During these five days I attended several presentations, some of which helped me to discover who I was and why my parents had chosen not to give me access to their first langauge, French. I also read a paper that I had written about my grandmother and her effect on my life. The desire to find out more about my heritage continues today with the Franco American Women's Institute group that I belong to. We are a group of women who want to teach others about where we have been, and where we want to go. I went to St. Joseph's Parachoial School, attended Old Town High School. I have just received my Associate of Science degree in Business Management, and am continuing on for a Bachelors Degree in University Studies.

You can contact Barbara at her email address:

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BIOGRAPHY - Ginny Sands

Iwas asked to describe my "Rainbow Studio," through which I self-published The Embrace of Life Cookbook, and Iris & the Sea Dogs (my children's coloring book on diversity). Since 1991, I have been attempting to bring more JOY, PEACE, BEAUTY, HOPE, and MAGIC into this planet through the Rainbow Studio. At this point, you might be thinking what a major undertaking that is! Well, I do this in many ways using all the creative skills I've learned along the way through life, along with my God-given gifts/talents. I've produced and marketed tow Maine Wildlife Posters (Loon Magic & Moose Mystique) to help connect people more with nature here in Maine. There's a lot of peace-bringing and healing in nature. I've taught "life enrichment" classes in Vegetarian Cuisine, Yoga, arts & crafts. I've also done countless commissioned projects for people from water color paintings, angel art, specialized decorated cakes, magic wand, and peace shield making, bread and muffin making to therapeutic cooking, seamstress work, jewelry-making, whimsical sign-making, and hat-making, colorful rock painting, and producing postcards of Maine, my beloved home state. I love working with color in all mediums and dimensions, plus I love to sing inspirational songs with my church choir. I sing from the heart. In fact, my Loon License plate reads HEART, and I strive to live from my heart through the Rainbow Studio!

The list goes on. The Rainbow Studio has been and is a treasure in my life, because it helps keep my spirit alive, and fills my life with passion and joy. This seems to spill over to all those around me. This Fall, I'll be teaching enrichment classes to the students of Dexter Regional High School--"Creative Cook Classes" and "Creative Design."

 In the RAINBOW STUDIO, the sky and the stars are the limit, and if you can dream it, you can do it!

You can contact Ginny at The Rainbow Studio, 200 Hancock St., Bangor, Maine 04401

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BIOGRAPHY - Deborah Ouellette Small

I am a part-time secretary at Robert B Thomson Honors Center at UMO. I am employed through the academic year. I started working at the center in 1986. There are about 200 students actively enrolled in this program. My main job is to be abailable for all Honors students if they have any questions or problems concerning Honors. It is a pleasure to be among young people who are so focused and excited about learning. Their thirst for greater knowledge has driven me to higher heights in my own journey in education.

 At the University of Maine at Orono, through CED, I have accumulated 41 credits. Two of the courses are in Franco-American Studies. I graduated from Old Town High School in 1973. I graduated from St. Joseph's School in 1969.


I discuss strong Franco-women in my family and how they courageously functioned in a patriarchal society. The value of caretaking sometimes silenced their own inner self. The burden of taking care of children, obeying husbands, and the Catholic Church stifled their unique voices, thoughts, and actions. What songs would they have sung and what songs did they sing instead?

You can contact Deborah at her email address:

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BIOGRAPHY - Ida Marquis Roy

I da Roy, famed folk singer of the St. John Valley, was born to Patrick Bourgoin and Alvine Marquis in Stockholm, Maine, on April 17, 1921. In 1929 the family moved to a farm on Flat Mountain in St. Agatha. There, Ida resided until she married on November 10, 1941 at the age of twenty, to Rosaire Roy, Sr. She and her new husband took residence in Little Black Lake where they bought a farm. There they raised a family.

 They later moved to Daigle, Maine where Ida's husband worked as a lumberjack. Ida was widowed in 1970 when her husband died of cancer. By this time, Ida had given birth to eight children, five boys and three girls. After the death of her husband, Ida and her two youngest children moved to Lille, Maine where they resided until 1986. After the departure of her last child, Ida took residence in Van Buren, Maine, where she now resides. Her children have blessed her with 19 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

 Ida believes she was born singing. Ida's father began this tradition in his family by singing Acadian songs from memory. With no other means of entertainment, Ida and her sister, Irene, performed for her family by singing and dancing the tap. Ida's love for music is apparent in her performance . She began getting recognition for her talent in 1972, when she sang at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. There, David Raymond from Frenchville and Roger Paradis from Fort Kent, taped her songs and encouraged her to keep singing her songs, for it preserved the Acadian culture.

 Ida has acquired over 8,000 songs. Along with her performance of Acadian songs, Ida paints, crochets, knits, sews, and does crafts to pass the time. She gets much satisfaction in performing for others. Ida also plans on writing more songs. She has written songs on values she believes in, such as the notch babies, who were born at the "wrong" time, and for this reason are made to suffer financially through lower Social Security benefits.

You can contact Ida by sending mail to 10 Marion Dr., Van Buren, Maine 04785-1301

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BIOGRAPHY - Amy Bouchard Morin

I was born and raised in Old Town, Maine. I married a man (Franco) who was also born and raised in Old Town. When we married we purchased my husband's grandfather's home (where his mother was raised), which was almost within sight of the home where my husband grew up. I had three children and when my youngest married he and his wife purchased his grandfather's home. So, the family homesteads stayed in the family and the ties stayed close.

 After graduation from high school I received a two-year diploma from Shirwood School of Music in Chicago. Because of my grades I was offered a full scholarship for the additional two years to receive a degree in Music. I gave instruction in piano for 13 years. I also substituted in Old Town's Elementary schools as well as in the Indian Island School during that time.

 I started working half-days at the University of Maine, in the Forestry Extension office, in 1974. And, in 1976 when the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit was formed, I moved into a full-time secretarial position with that Unit. I took the position of Administrative Assistant with the Canadian-American Center in 1983, where I remain today.

 My position with the Canadian-American Center has given me opportunities far beyond my dreams. The current director of the Center encouraged and supported my participation in the Quebec May Term (2-week immersion course), which gave me confidence in speaking the language of my ancestors, parents, and of my soul. Like most Francos, I was told by my French teacher that the French I spoke was not French, and I was ridiculed daily in front of my peers. That effectively tied my Franco tongue in knots, which the May Term untied. I then took the course "Franco-Americans of the Northeast" in which I learned about my history and my culture. What an awakening that was! As my final project, I researched Franco women's needle art using the work of the women in my family and my husband's family. I had a wealth of material to draw from, and this project led to more research. I was the first participant of the University of Maine/University of Angers (France) Exchange which included a staff/community commitment. (This is the first time either university included staff/community in any exchange.) While in France I searched for connections in the work designs and skills which have been passed down through the generations. I had absolutely no problem speaking French in France. I was told, "You sometimes use words that our grandparents used and that are no longer in use. But they are understood." And that "You North Americans are preserving our French for us!" Surprise, surprise, Parisian French is not the only "correct" French! Since my ancestors and my husband's came from western France (actually within 50 miles of Angers), I immediately found the similarities. When I went to the Brittany area, I found the differences. On my return I prepared a slide presentation which was presented April 30, 1997 in the Women in the Curriculum Program, "Searching for Our Roots in France: Franco-American Women's Art and Heritage." I have already been asked to present this program to a French class at a local high school.

 I was also and interviewer/transcriber of The Islands and Bridges (French Island) Oral History Project in Old Town, Maine. The group collected approximately 40 interviews which were transcribed and bound into a book with over 600 single-spaced pages. The group received an award from the City of Old Town and from the State of Maine Legislature for its work on this project. The interviewers were asked repeatedly, "When is the book coming out? I want to buy one for my family." We were only funded to produce 12 books of literal translations which would be used for research. But, the group enjoyed working together, and even though the project for which we received grant money was completed, we decided to continue working together to produce a book about French Island in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We needed to have a formal name in order to receive non-profit status, and we chose the name Nos Histoires de l'Ile (Our Stories of the Island). As a fund raiser, we have produced a recipe book which will be off the press in June 1997. The group (all volunteers) is currently working hard on the new book which will have a memorial page, over 200 photos, a copy of the 1920 census of French Island as well as an Island map of that time, and stories galore (many taken from the interviews).

 Following is a list of my activities to date (May 1997):

 Co-editor, Nos Histoires de l'Ile, (Book of transcripts of the Island and Bridges Project) 628 pp. (Fall 1995)

 October 1995 presented paper "Un project d'histoire orale dans une communaute Franco-Americaine," Les Ameriques Francaises, 48e Congres Annual d'histoire de l'amerique francaise, Universite d'Ottawa

 May 26, 1996 presented paper, "Franco Women's Art: Skills learned at Mamans Knee" and Chaired a Round Table, "French Island's Oral History - Nos Histoires de l'Ile" a the Cultural Identity in French America: Legacy, Evolution, and the Challenges of Renewal Colloquium in Bar Harbor, ME.

 May 31, 1996 first participant of the UMaine/UAngers Exchange. Two weeks in France doing research on women's art/handiwork

 August 1996 Organized and presented program at the French Island Community Center re: Nos Histoires de l'Ile for the UMaine Farmington historical geography class

 April 22, 1996 Presented Nos Histoires de l'Ile program to HTY 210, History of Maine class (UMaine)

 April 30, 1997 Slide presentation for the Women in the Curriculum Program, "Searching for Our Roots in France: Franco-American Women's Art and heritage"

 9 articles published in Le Forum

 Co-organizer and member of The Old Town Community French Club (members for ages 20 to 87)

 You can contact Amy at her email address:


Nos Histoires de l'Ile livre de cuisine

A Collection of Recipes from French Isalnd in Old Town, Maine

The above collection of approximately 150 recipes from French Island in Old Town, Maine is now available at for $7.50 (hand delivered) or $10.00 (which covers postage and handling). This collection is a compilation of recipes used in the late 1800s and the early-to-mid 1900s.

 Many of these recipes have stories that go with them. You can find a recipe to make soap - (that's right, soap to clean), as well as soup to eat. There are recipes for boudin, corton, root beer, mincemeat, white perch chowder and rabbit pie, as well as delicious cakes, cookies, pies, and much more. All this in a spiral bound format on antique white paper with "old" pictures on the cover and section dividers.

 The proceeds from this cookbook will go towards the cost of producing another book (in process) with stories taken from oral interviews with people who resided on French Island during this same time frame, at least 200 pictures, maps and U.S. Census, as well as a history of the Island, and more.

 Nos Histoires de l'Ile is a non-profit group working to preserve the oral, living-history of these Franco-Americans.

 To order or for more information contact Amy Morin at: Tel. 207/581-4220

 You can contact Amy at her email address:

mailing address:
Canadian-American Center
154 College Avenue
Orono, ME 04473

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BIOGRAPHY - Trudy (Gertrude) Chambers Price

Trudy (Gertrude) Chambers Price was born in Island Falls and grew up in Caribou, Maine. She graduated from Caribou High School and earned a B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Maine at Orono. After a (very) short teaching career in elementary education, she and her family operated a dairy farm for 23 years in Waldo county. She has two sons and three grandchildren. For the past eight years, she has worked at Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance in Brunswick. She is currently Book Service Director. Although, she is one-quarter Franco-American, those roots have laid dormant until she recently met a cousin with whom to share them. Her collection of farm stories and newspaper columns (working title: The Cows Are Out ) will be published in late 1997.

 Trudy writes to us: I am Gertrude "Trudy" Chambers Price. I was born at Island Falls and grew up in Caribou. I am in my fifties. I am the granddaughter of Sophia (St. Germain) Chambers, born at Wallagrass. She left with her sister Eupheme, "Phoebe" when they were about 14 and 15 to live in Smyrna Mills and work as domestics. They met and married brothers and seemed to want to leave the French and the Catholic part of their lives behind. The French language was not spoken in the home and the children (one was my father) were not brought up Catholic. I have very strong memories of my mémère and since I met my "new" cousin, the memories have surfaced in such a rich way. I want to write about them and share them with other Franco-American women. I look forward to discovering a part, one-quarter, of me that has been in the dark for all my life. It is exciting to think of myself as a Franco-American woman. I look forward to meeting and sharing with others.

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I am a second-generation Franco-American mother of two. I have written a book of historical fiction/mixed genre on Franco-Americans in Vermont and I am currently seeking an editor and/or publisher. I am editing a collection of oral histories/stories of "M*m*res," particularly those who worked in the textile mills, and welcome contributions from women who have written about their mothers or grandmothers or who have collected their oral histories.



1992* M.A. Bilingual Education, specializing in Computer Assisted Instruction, University of Massachusetts/Boston
1983 * B.A., French/English, University of Vermont


*French, 7 - 12 (2-06) (State of Vermont)
*English, 7 - 12 (2-05)
*Bilingual/Multicultural, K - 12 (3-39)


1992 - Present
*Freelance Writer (Vermont Magazine, Vermont Life, Teaching K-8, Negative Capability),
Grant Writer for ActFANE (Action for Franco-Americans of the Northeast)
1987 - 1992
Peoples Academy, Morrisville, Vermont
* French Teacher, Secondary levels I - IV
* Computer Applications Teacher
* Computer Coordinator (1987 -1991)
* Second Languages Coordinator (1990 - 1991)
1985 - 1987
Franklin and Highgate Public Schools
* Bilingual Specialist
* French Teacher, grades K - 6
* Educational Software Developer
* Computer Coordinator
Community College of Vermont, Franklin County
* Computer Applications Instructor
1983 - 1985
Pine Ridge School, Williston, Vermont
* Remedial Language Tutor
1981 - 1982
Vermont Council on the Arts
* Field Researcher, Franco-American Folklore

You can contact Kim at her email address:

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BIOGRAPHY - Kristin M. Langellier

Born in the Midwest to a large French Catholic family, Kristin M. Langellier came to understand and appreciate her Franco-American roots only after she moved to Maine in 1980, largely as a result of meeting and talking with Franco-American women.

 She is Professor of Commication and Women's Studies at the University of Maine where she teaches courses in narrative, performance studies, communication theory, and women and communication. She has co-edited a volume of Franco-American women's writings and is a member of the Franco- American Advisory Board. Her research includes studies of family storytelling, personal narrative, breast cancer narratives, and quiltmaking. She is former editor of Text and Performance Quarterly, and Mark and Marcia Bailey Professor at University of Maine, Orono.

 Langellier presents curriculum materials and projects based in Franco-American women's writing and storytelling, particularly the first anthology of Franco-American women's writings, I am Franco-American and Proud of it/Je suis franco-americaine and fiere de l'etre (edited by Rhea J. Côté Robbins, Kristin M. Langellier, Lanette Landry Petrie, and Kathryn Slott) [see link].

 Kristin M. Langellier
University of Maine
Department of Communication and Journalism
5724 Dunn
Orono, ME 04469-5724

You can contact Kristin at her email address:

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BIOGRAPHY - Elise Pooler Lambert -- February, 1911-2000

MY DAY: By Eleanor Roosevelt

It took only two hours and 10 minutes from the field at Melbourne to the field in Sydney, but we were above the clouds most of the way, so I was glad we had seen the country on our previous flight.

This has been an easy day, because we did not begin our rounds till we had fortified ourselves with a very good lunch at the hotel.

At 2 o'clock the Press came, and though I thought all the questions that could be asked had been asked they thought up some more, an still seemed full of them when I was told that we had to go to our first engagement.


 We visited first a Red Cross officers' club, with was crowded with young fliers down on leave from New Guinea for a few days of rest, then on to a club run by the Americans in Sydney with the help of their Australian friends.

We spent a half hour at the club run by the Red Cross for army and navy nurses, and they gave us a cup of tea.

There are times when I think the work is a very small place, and at other times it seems very large. This afternoon was one of the occasions when it seemed small, for one nurse looked up and said, "Say hello ["What's new in] to Poughkeepsie for me, Mrs. Roosevelt." I found that she had been at St. Francis' Hospital there, and knew my sister-in-law who is on the hospital board.

'What's New' Part of Her Fame... Back in the United States since March 30 after 13 months of enduring the hardships of war in the South Pacific are Lieutenant Elise Pooler, for two and a half years, night supervisor at St. Francis' hospital, and Lieutenant Margaret Soule, her close companion the last 24 months.

After several months of duty as members of the Army Nurse corps at Tilton General Hospital, Fort Dix, the nurses were shipped to an evacuation hospital in Australia in March 1943 and the next month saw them in Melbourne with the same outfit. Finally, a short time later, the staff of the evacuation hospital and its equipment were sent to Port Moresby, New Guinea, and it was there that they experienced the bloody Buna campaign....

Although Lieutenant Pooler has won a presidential citation for her work, she passes it off with typical modesty and prefers to talk about "the boys out there." Even though the Japanese were only 32 miles away and things were not exactly going our way...Sporting her presidential citation and her oak leaf clusters she ill soon leave for a hospital in California to resume her duties.

Despite her unselfish service she believes she is best known around these parts for asking Mrs. Roosevelt in Sydney, "What's new in Poughkeepsie?"

Army Nurse Already Serving When Pearl Harbor Bombed

By Rhea J. Côté Robbins, Brewer

 First published in Bangor Daily News, Midweek section, December 6, 1989

 Elise Pooler Lambert decided in 1941 to become an Army nurse because she knew she would become seasick on the oceans if she enlisted as a Navy nurse.

She enlisted for one year. That was before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After Pearl Harbor, Lambert, like the other nurses, were in for the duration of World War II plus six months.

Lambert was trained in a three-year registered-nurse program at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Boston. She graduated in 1932 at the height of the Depression.

On May 8, 1941, Lambert was sent to Tilton General Hospital at Fort Dix, NJ. for her first assignment. Eighteen nurses arrived that day. The hospital was just being built. The nurses were housed in a bare wooden building in rooms which contained a bed, chair, and bureau. For entertainment, there was a day room with a record player and a few records.

After Pearl Harbor, the Army asked for volunteers for overseas service. Lambert volunteered, and in January 1942 she was billeted in a hotel in New York City, the port of embarkation. She was given a number for herself and a shipment number for information on her destination. That was all she was given.

After the Normandy burned in New York Harbor, Lambert thought she was meant to be shipped out on that ship because she was sent back to Fort Dix until March.

One Sunday morning all overseas personnel were told to pack because they were to board troop trains which would take them to the port of embarkation. Lambert had time only to call her mother. On March 4, 1942, Lambert sailed from Brooklyn in a fleet of five ships with no idea where the she was going.

The ships zigzagged on the seas to avoid detection. The troops could only guess where they were bound.

At this early state of the war the ships and troops were not ready for combat. There were no uniforms and not enough fresh water on the ships. The troops had to wash in salt water and were rationed drinking water. Fresh drinking water was taken on when the ships pulled into a secret base in Bora Bora.

The troops learned of their destination when they were required to learn about Australian currency. Lambert, the Army nurse who wanted to avoid the Navy and oceans and seasickness, had spent 41 days on the seas when the ship docked at Melbourne, Australia.

The nurses were billeted in Melbourne. They worked at Royal Melbourne Hospital and helped set up an hospital at Brisbane for American and Australian armies.

Lambert did not see casualties from the war when she was billeted at a seaside resort on the Gold Coast. She was told to enjoy the luxury while she could because the nurses eventually would get closer to the front and see more actions as well as war casualties. Meanwhile, they were outfitted with uniforms which consisted of culottes and short sleeved shirts, later changed to long slacks and long sleeved shirts because of the treat of malaria. In spite of the precautions, Lambert had malaria several times. To keep in shape, the nurses marched every day.

Lambert then received orders to move on to New Guinea. She spent her first Christmas there during the rainy season. In December 1942, Lambert was one of 52 nurses in a medical and surgical team who saw many causalities as the advancing army chased the Japanese out of Port Moresby, New Guinea, during the Buna Campaign.

The nurses took over a Catholic mission. They were housed in one building, and surgery was set up in another. They slept on cots beneath mosquito nets.

At first there was no running water. The nurses were rationed a helmet full of water to clean themselves and their clothes. Showers were installed later. This was an evacuation hospital, a tent outfit, near an airstrip. A 750 bed unit grew to a 1,000 bed unit. There were air raids every night.

After almost one year at Port Moresby, Lambert moved to Dobodura which had better accommodations such as wood framed buildings covered with heavy paper with window openings.

Lambert's mother had sent her marigold seeds. Plants grew almost overnight in the heat.

They took casualties as they came. Sometimes they worked 24 hours at a stretch. After the casualties left, they were given a day or tow off.

Because of their living conditions, there was a lot of sharing among the nurses. They grew close, and always found a way to have fun. Lambert made many friends and kept in touch with them during the years.

Lambert was overseas until 1944 when rotations began. She then was sent to New York, and from the Separation Center, she was sent to Camp Beale, CA. She again saw casualties and German prisoners.

Later she moved to Barnes General Hospital in Vancouver, WA where she saw more casualties who were coming back to the States to hospitals nearer their homes.

When she returned to the United States, her scrapbooks and photo albums were taken by the censors and returned later with certain parts of photos blacked out.

Once custom started during the war was a "short snorter." A short snorter was a collection of paper money gathered from as many parts of the world as a person could garner, signed by the person from whom they received the money and taped together in one long piece. Lambert's short snorter" had money from many countries.

When Lambert enlisted in the Army the chief of the nursing corps was a major, and there were seven captains in the entire Army nursing corps and a few lieutenants. Most of the nurses were second lieutenants.

 Since Lambert enlisted during peacetime, she was not commissioned as an officer, but was given rank of second lieutenant when she was sent overseas. That was done so that those like her could give orders.

Lambert was commissioned into the Army when she arrived in Port Moresby and she received a $10 raise. In two years the nurses were given no promotions. When they were given promotions, the promotions did not follow the nurses when the returned to the United States.

The nurses came back as second lieutenants. The nurses who had remained stateside fared better than the nurses who had been shipped overseas. The nurses stateside were promoted to captains and majors. Lambert feels this was not right.

Lambert has attended reunions held for the 52 nurses with whom she served during World War II. The reunions are often held in Boston. These women have kept in touch for over 50 years.

Elise passed away October 21, 2000.  She is sadly missed.

LAMBERT, Elise C., 89 
 BREWER - Elise C. Lambert, 89, wife of the late Daniel E. Lambert, died Oct. 21, 2000, at her home in Hampden. She was born Feb. 23, 1911, in Stockton Springs, the daughter of Waldo H. and Cynthia (Bennet) Pooler.
 She was a member of the first graduating class of John Bapst High School in 1929. In 1932, she earned her RN at St. Elizabeth's Hospital School of Nursing in Brighton, Mass., and did post-graduate work at the Brady Maternity Hospital in Albany, N.Y. She continued at the Brady in the delivery room until 1933. She then became night supervisor at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. In May of 1941, she enlisted in the Army Nurses Corps and was station at Tilton General Hospital at Fort Dix, N.J. From 1942 until 1944 she served proudly in Australia and New Guinea with the 10th Evacuation Hospital. She received the Distinguished Unit Citation with two Battle Stars, as well as the Asiatic Pacific and American Campaign Ribbons. She made many lifelong friends during this time.
 After returning to the states, she served at military hospitals in California, Washington, and Utah. She was honorably discharged in 1946. She returned to New York, where she met and married Dan. With Dan, she returned to Maine in 1949 and raised a family. She continued her nursing career in the delivery room of Eastern Maine General Hospital from 1951 until 1955, at which time she moved to the 860th Medical Group at Dow Air Force Base. She continued there until the base closed in 1968. She then became night supervisor at St. Joseph Hospital, retiring in 1972.
 She had a long history of volunteerism. From 1959 to 1989, she was a volunteer organist at St. Teresa's Catholic Church in South Brewer. In 1979, she began volunteering at Timberlands Animal Hospital in Old Town, in the cat shelter. From 1986 until mid-1999, she volunteered at St. Joseph Hospital and in 1996 she received the Mother Angela Award. She was the president of St. Teresa's Sodality for eight years. As a veteran, she was a member of the Daniel E. Geagan Post No. 98 American Legion in Brewer. For 50 years, she made her home on the River Road in Orrington. She loved cooking for and entertaining her family and friends. She loved all animals, especially her cats.
 She is survived by three daughters and one son-in-law, Cynthia and Theodore Berenson of Boston, Mass. and Rancho Mirage, Calif., Margaret Lambert of Smithfield, R.I. and Maureen Peterson of Rumford; and a sister, Mildred Miscall of Sandy Point.
 Friends may call 1-3 p.m. Tuesday at Kiley Funeral Home, 69 State St., Brewer. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Teresa's Catholic Church, South Brewer, with the Rev. Joel Cyr, pastor, celebrant. Interment with military honors will be in Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Augusta. At her family's request, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Animal Orphanage, P.O. Box 565, Orono, ME 04473, or to St. Joseph Hospital "Continuing Campaign", care of St. Joseph Healthcare Park, 900 Broadway, Bangor, ME 04401, or to St. Teresa's Sodality, care of Janet Tourigney, 25 Tibbetts St., Brewer, ME 04412.

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BIOGRAPHY - Annie Giroux Côté
- 29 janvier, 1885 - 1962 -

Buried in St. Francis Cemetery in Waterville, Maine, her children are: Violet, Henrietta, Ethel, Elsie, Clement, Louise, G. Raymond, Yvonne, Margaret "Daisy," and Roland. Annie was adopted by her aunt and uncle after the death of her parents. Her father fell through the ice crossing the Kennebec River and her maman died two weeks after Annie's birth "from a broken heart" at the loss of her husband. She inherited her aunt and uncle's home at 227 Water St. That house is still in the family's possession as well as the house adjacent to it, which was deeded to a son. Her great-grandson lives there now. The land and houses have been in the family for over 100 years. Annie was a woman who loved to cook fancy foods such as cream rolls, elaborate cakes and more. Her recipe for biscuits is still used in the family. She was bed-ridden for two years at the end of her life and was taken care of by her daughter-in-law, Rita Côté. She had been a communicant of Notre Dame Church, Waterville and a Dames des Ste-Anne all her life. Her passion was her flower gardens.

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BIOGRAPHY - Victoire Gagnon St. Germain Daigle
- le premier janvier, 1883 - 1964 -

Buried in Wallagrass Cemetery, Wallagrass, Maine, her children are: George, Eva, Empy, Elva, Frank, Romeo, Reginald, Harold, alphonse, Leo Paul, Blanche "Queen," Rhea, Rita, Lucia, Jean d'Arc and two still born children. She was a cook for several winters working with her husband, M. Damas Daigle, in the lumber camps contracted to Pinkham Lumber in the Allagash. Rhea and Rita were the "cookies." Victoire was widowed with nine children under the age of 15 during the Depression. She kept her family together and lived long afterwards. Later in life, she enjoyed her "histoires" on the TV in the afternoons. She was an expert seamstress, knitter, and preserved foods to sustain her family. Her home in Wallagrass is still in the family. She always smelled of Wintergreen. She wore coats with a velvet collar and a white gauze scarf. She played the harmonica. Her sister went away to work in the circus. She is sadly missed to this day.

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BIOGRAPHY - Rhea St. Germain Gray - 1919 -

BIOGRAPHY - Rita Gray Chappell - 1941 - 1995

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BIOGRAPHY - Rita St. Germain Côté, 1919-1982

Letter to her granddaughter, Bridget T. Robbins

January 7, 1981

Hi Honey,

 We were so happy to hear from you, but also sad to hear you were sick. I sure wish you are feeling better by now. Hope Ben and Jesse and mommy and daddy didn't get sick too. I had a cold but it went away quick. We got about four or five inches of new snow again. Even though I love winter I don't like e it to be below zero. That's too cold. We were so happy to have you all around the Holidays. It would be very sad and empty without any of you to make us all happy. We love you all very much andmiss you so much too.

 I haven't sewed you new zipper yet because it hasn't come, but will do it as soon as I get it. Wish you didn't live so far away. We could visit you more often. Well we have two birthdays to go to this week. Suzanne's Friday and Sabrina's Saturday. It's lots of fun to go to Birthdays. Well will close now and say hi to everyone and also kiss everyone for us including Cindy and Danny.

 Love ya big,

 Mémère and Pépère Côté

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BIOGRAPHY - Rhea J. Côté Robbins

Rhea J. Côté Robbins was brought up bilingually in a Franco-American neighborhood in Waterville, Maine known as "down the Plains." She attended Waterville High School and graduated in 1971. Her maman came from Wallagrass, Maine in the northern part of the state and her father was from Waterville. Tracing the family tree back, on both sides of her parents, she found that in Québec their people settled in close proximity to each other and on a further search into their origins in France, she discovered that in the 1600s they lived within ten miles or less of each other and that at least three of the branches of the original settlers came over on the same boat. She has spent many years researching the origins and visiting the hometowns of these people in Canada and France.

 She attended the University of Maine at Presque Isle, 1980-1982, graduating with an A.A. degree with a concentration in Art. In 1982-85, she attended the University of Maine on a bilingual education scholarship. This was in part funded by a federal grant in recognition of the Franco-American population which exists in the State of Maine. After teaching public high school briefly, she worked as editor of an international, bilingual socio-cultural journal entitled, Le Forum, formerly known as Le F.A.R.O.G. Forum, at the Franco-American Center from 1986-96. She has had the luxury and opportunity to spend much time contemplating what does it mean to be Franco-American and female in the U.S. She has made contact with many people across the country who are also interested in this cultural group. She traveled to Louisiana to compare the progression of the culture within a different milieu. Although not federally recognized as a minority, the French-speaking population in the U.S. is one of the larger immigrant groups that make up the cultural heritage of this nation. Taking Canada into consideration, we are one of the largest cultural groups on this continent. She has traveled to Canada and France to visit the hometowns from where her ancestors emigrated.

 She has presented on many panels, in classrooms, assisted in publications, conferences, television appearance, rallies, advocacy meetings to make known the French Fact as it exists. She worked in the academic setting, and helped to create and design courses which will reflect this population more accurately. With three other women, she editied an anthology of Franco-American women's writings, I am Franco-American and Proud of It, taken from the twenty-plus years of publishing in Le Forum. The book is about the conditions in which the Franco-American group exists as well as the writing about what it means to be Franco-American and female in the 1990s.

 She has written a creative nonfiction book entitled, Wednesday's Child. This book 1997 winner of the Maine Chapbook Award is about a female growing up, living in, trying to leave her cultural self behind, and then returning to the Franco-American cultural group which exists in the Northeast, and more specifically in Waterville, Maine. The book addresses what has been asked of her in order to be present to this cultural group of people located in a specific geographic area of (the Northeast) Maine. As a girl/womanw, who or how has she been asked to be? What has been asked of her? The book is written from the perspective of a contemporary woman who is also a historical person. This is a book about how we are more our historical self while we are in the present. How she is more of her past than she is of the present moment when it is in the present moment that she now exists? What is, or is not there, to reflect her reality and the reality of the Franco-Americans? This book is about the female self and her formation through the many individuals and institutions around her. Through story and cultural filters, the book illustrates family, friends, religion, health, alcoholism, superstitions, beliefs, values, song, recipe, story, coming-of-age, generations, motherhood, language, bilingualism, denials, sexuality and what constitutes a cultural individual in a society that will not always allow that person full access or realization to who she is. But she does it anyway.

 She is currently working on a book of literary criticism on Grace de Repentigny Metalious, author of Peyton Place and other books on Franco-American women's experiences. She received her Master of Arts (in Liberal Studies) degree from the University of Maine in May, 1997.


Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance Chapbook Competition, Winner, 1997
Steve Grady Endowment Fund for Creative Writing, First Prize, 1995
Emerging Artists, Danforth Gallery and University of New England, 1990-91
Maine Artists...The Next Generation, Sumner School, Washington, D.C., June 1990
Interactions, Solo Show, EMTC Library

 You can contact Rhea at her email address:

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BIOGRAPHY - Lanette Marie Landry Petrie

My name is Lanette Marie Landry Petrie, a 54 year old woman, born and raised in Bradley, Maine to Franco-American parents, attended public grammar school and Catholic high school. I have been employed at the University of Maine for 27 years. I came to the University shortly after high school graduation as a clerk typist in the Accounting Office. I was then married and stayed at home as a full-time mother until 1972 when I went back to work at the University in the Mailroom. When my children were grown, I returned to office work in Human Resources as a secretary transferring 2 years later to the Employee Assistance Program (a counseling/referral service for employees). As secretary at the EAP I have spent countless hours supporting, encouraging, hugging, laughing with, crying with, celebrating with over 200 clients each year.

 A few years ago I started taking college courses, the first being Written Critical Expression, followed by two Woman Studies courses and two Franco-American Studies courses. I am presently taking Couple Conflict from a multicultural perspective out of Human Development and am thinking seriously about a Bachelor of University Studies degree. I also have a religious studies certificate from St. Joseph's College in Standish, Maine.

 I am second generation French born in the United States on the Landry side of my family which traces its roots to the Poitou region of France with the first Landry arriving at Port Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1630. My generation is the first not to speak French. My mother's family, Pelletier/Guay, has been in the U.S. for several generations, again mine being the first generation not to speak French.

 In 1994 I was invited to go to Anger, France as a community representative in the University of Maine delegation attending an international conference on Franco-American's of the North East. In 1996 I presented at the second Franco-American International Conference in Bar Harbor, Maine.

 What is Franco-American art?

 This project was developed to answer the questions; What is art? What is Franco-American art? How would anyone know it was Franco-American? and What art was I brought up with?

 I answered the first question, What is art? defining it as "that which someone appreciates enough to display where they could look at it often, and others could see and appreciate it as well." I went to my mother's house and photographed what she appreciated enough to hand on the walls. Framed there were mementos of her life lived and most precious possessions, her family.

 This project could be used as a jumping off place for research and discussion about culture and diversity, women's creativity, and any number of topics.

You can contact Lanette at her email address:

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BIOGRAPHY - Antoinette Hilda Couture Théberge

Mémère to Christine Théberge Rafal and grand-mémère to Marisa Rafal.

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BIOGRAPHY - Christine Théberge Rafal

Research Associate Education Development Center


BA, with distinction and honors, (linguistics) 1988, Stanford University
MAT,1989,Tufts University
EdD, 1994, Harvard University Graduate School of Education


- 1989-1990: Teacher of English, Kingswood Regional High School, Wolfeboro, NH
- 1990,1991: Teacher of Written Expression, Wolfeboro Camp School, Wolfeboro, NH
- 1991-1992: Research Assistant in writing instruction, small group discourse, and collaborative learning, Harvard Graduate School of Education
- 1991-1994: Research Consultant in science education, Educational Technologies Department, Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA
- 1993: Teaching Fellow, Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods, Harvard Graduate School of Education
- 1994-1995: Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Performance Assessment, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ
- since 1995: Research Associate, Center for Children and Families, Education Development Center, Newton, MA


- 1984 Presidential Scholar, United States Commission on Presidential Scholars
- 1988 Greenberg Award, Linguistics Department, Stanford
- 1990 Roy E. Larsen Fellowship for Academic Merit, Harvard


- 1993, Advanced Doctoral Grant, Harvard


- American Educational Research Association

Professional Activities

- Reviewer for Science Education


- 1994 "Attitudes Toward Catholic Schooling Among the Irish and Franco-Americans in New England." Serialized in Le Forum of the University of Maine, Orono.
- 1996 "From co-construction to takeovers: Science talk in a group of four girls." Journal of the Learning Sciences, Vol. 5, No. 3, 279-293
- 1997 "Preterit had in the narratives of African American preadolescents." (With John R. Rickford) American Speech, vol. 71.
- Under revision. "Discourse patterns, pedagogical work and differential participation: A case study drawn from sixth-grade science lessons." Accepted to Linguistics & Education.


- 1989 (as C. L. Théberge) "Preterit had in the BEV of Elementary Schoolchildren." (with John R. Rickford), Paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation-XVIII, Duke University, Durham, NC.
- 1993 (as C. L. Théberge) "The boys all scramble through: Some gender issues in sense-making conversations." American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta.
- 1994 (as C. L. Théberge) "The development of sense-making as a way of knowing and talking: A modest longitudinal study." (with Donald M. Morrison and Elaine Crowder), American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans.
- 1994 (as C. L. Théberge) "Sense-making Conversations and Student Epistemologies." (with Donald M. Morrison, Denis Newman and Elaine Crowder), American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans.
- 1994 (as C. L. Théberge) "Changing how we measure change: Assessing students' science talk." (with Donald M. Morrison and Elaine Crowder), New England Educational Research Organization Annual Conference, Portsmouth, NH.
- 1995 (as C. L. Théberge) "Discourse patterns, pedagogical work and differential participation: A case study drawn from sixth-grade science lessons." American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco.

Invited Talks

- 1997. "Did she or didn't she?: Franco-American Women and Parochial Schools." Panel presentation and discussion, University of Maine at Orono.

You can contact Christine at her email address:

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BIOGRAPHY - Anita Germaine Durette Parent Arsenault

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BIOGRAPHY - Bonita Parent Grindle

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BIOGRAPHY - Linda Parent Campbell

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BIOGRAPHY - Lucille Labranche Gosselin

Lucille Labranche Gosselin was born in Lewiston, Maine to Bertha Michaud and Alfred Labranche. She graduated with honors from St. Mary's Grammar School, St. Dominique's High School and St. Mary's School of Nursing/Radiology. Lucille married Jean Paul A. Gosselin, also of Lewiston. They had four children: three sons and a daughter. Lucille is bilingual (French and English) and has published numerous works.

BIOGRAPHY - Maureen Perry

I believe that all people--certainly all women--are creative. The differences in creativity merely lie in how the creativity is channeled. The women in my family demonstrate a wide variety of ways in which creativity can be channeled.

 Mémère Callette, my mother's mother, channels much of her creativity into her cooking, gardening, and knitting. Thanks to her use of these talents, I associated late Summer/Early Fall with the drinking of homemade tomato juice and Winter with the sporting of hand knit sweaters (my favorite Winter sport).

Mémère Perry, my paternal grandmother (a woman of Franco stock despite the Anglo name), was an able seamstress before her eyesight diminished. Luckily for me her eyesight still allowed her to sew my Spring dresses when I was a child. My mom had worked as a dance studio accompanist in her youth. Though she long ago forsook the piano for career and family, she occasionally still plays when she thinks nobody is listening. Now she channels much of her creativity into management. her managerial skills made it possible for Mémère Callette to appear on the cover of the Dunkin Donuts merchandise catalogue, a catalogue distributed to Dunkin Donuts franchises worldwide. She remains silent, though, about whether she'll leave her job as business manager for Holy Cross Parish to manage my grandmother's budding modeling career.

As for myself, I can barely keep a houseplant alive, let alone raise tomatoes as does Mémère Callette. I also cannot knit and can barely cook. As for my sewing skills, Mémère Perry has no competition. My biggest musical accomplishment is serving as a librarian for musicians at the Boston Conservatory, and my mom's managerial skills only transferred to me to the point where I can balance my checkbook. My creativity goes into my writing, chiefly poems in French and essays in English, and my librarianship. Nonetheless, I can say that I have had wonderful teachers in the ways of creativity.

You can reach Maureen at:

 Maureen Perry
P.O. Box 230397
Astor Station
Boston, MA 02123-0397

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