All good things come to those who are patient and hard-working. This is especially true of Chestnut Hill College’s Sister Mary Helen Kashuba. In 2019, Sister Mary Helen, DML, Professor of French and Russian, Chair of Foreign Language and Literature Department, was awarded the honor of "Commandeur" in the Palmes Académiques, the highest academic award one can receive outside of France. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony was delayed, but on Saturday evening, November 5, 2022, Ambassador Philippe Étienne of France invited a select number of guests to his official residence in Washington D.C.
“I was present to receive the decoration of Commandeur in the Palmes Académiques, an award that acknowledges service to France and its culture through exemplary teaching, scholarship, and leadership in the profession. It was an honor to be at such an impressive gathering and to receive recognition for many years of service,” humbly remarks Sister Mary Helen.
Ambassador Étienne spoke on the importance of teaching not only the language and its culture, but also diversity, peace, and justice. To this, Sister Mary Helen says, “Our goal is a better world, and I like to think that the palms I received attest to my efforts in bringing better communication and understanding to our ‘dear neighbor,’ near and far away.”
Sister Mary Helen participates regularly in local, regional, and national Foreign Language Associations, where she has also held major offices. Chestnut Hill College is overflowing with pride for Sister Mary Helen and her accomplishments.