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Dr. Triplett, Professor of Foreign Languages and Director of International Programs, American with an International Perspecti

August 3, 2006

Dr. Frank Triplett was born in Rhode Island. With a father in the U.S. Navy, he moved around a lot. Most of his high school career was spent in the Aloha state of Hawaii. After graduating high school in Rhode Island, he went to Ricker College in Maine. His summer vacations were spent at home, however, by this time, home was Malta, on the Mediterranean.

 

During summers he traveled to England, Paris, Switzerland, and Italy. His mom has family in Greece, so he also spent some time there.

After college, Triplett lived in Vietnam for three years where he met his wife. There he taught at Thaoi Ngoc High School in Long Xuyen, Vietnam. Then he moved back to Hawaii and was a teacher there for 10 years. He first came to Ohio for graduate school at the University of Cincinnati where he got his doctoral degree in French.

After earning his degree, he began teaching at Muskingum College. He joined the faculty at Mount Union in 1993 and since coming to the College, he has made numerous trips to France, including a sabbatical teaching at the University of Pau. This was in 2001, at the time of the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center.

'When I first found out I was shocked,' Triplett said. 'My wife had the TV on and she called me. It was frightening. I thought my country was at war and that we might be refugees overseas.'

At the time he was teaching 37 students, so he had them make evacuation plans of where to go if France were to be attacked. 'We would go to Spain by bus to the Navy base,' said Triplett.

After a month had gone by, he said, 'I felt safer in France than I would have in New York. The French were really understanding and supportive. My wife and I had eaten on the top floor of the World Trade Center not too long ago and I thought to myself 'the people who worked there must be dead.' It was an uneasy feeling.'

When asked about his experiences abroad, Triplett said, 'No country is better or worse. It helps you develop a sense of balance.'

Triplett travels at least two to three times a year. His wife of 37 years likes to travel as well. In 1997 they went to Russia together. After many experiences traveling, Triplett strongly advocates our study abroad program. 'What happens in the world affects us. We're connected to the rest of the world. We can't live in isolation.'

Triplett says that study abroad is something every student could benefit from, no matter what their major. 'If you graduate with the same major abroad, it looks better on your resume. Companies like that extra experience.

'It doesn't cost much extra to study abroad. The school cost is the same; the student only has to pay for a plane ticket,' he said.

On a more personal note, Triplett adds, 'When you study abroad, you can function more effectively as a citizen. You get to look at both sides. You learn how to be resourceful. Students that study abroad finally understand that they can make a difference in the world.'

Triplett has the ability to speak in five different languages, English, French, German, Spanish and Vietnamese. He has been teaching French at Mount Union College for 11 years and for the past 16 years, he has been teaching for a summer program in Pau, France through the Universities Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC).

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