Director & Faculty

Our Faculty is specially chosen from teachers and researchers in some of the world’s leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, King’s, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, the Sorbonne, Universitat de Barcelona, Universidad de Salamanca, and St Andrews. Every year our faculty is full of Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholars, enabling enabling our students to work with an array of elite academics.

Our creative and workshop courses, meanwhile, are taught by fully-fledged professionals – acclaimed, award-winning writers and poets, filmmakers, photographers, and actors – all selected for their talent, their varied experiences in their disciplines, their enthusiasm, and above all their ability to inspire our students.

Led by these outstanding individuals, and operating in small, seminar-style classes, our courses immerse students in subjects about which they are passionate while helping them uncover the spectacular sites and cultures in which they are living.

L'Académie de Paris Director

Director, Patricia Gilbert 

Patricia holds an LL.B. from University of Western Ontario and a J.D. degree from Villanova University Law School, as well as a B.A. in French from University of Waterloo and an M.A. in teaching from Rutgers University. After eight years practicing family law, Patricia changed careers and moved into education. 

She has been a classroom teacher in French and English for more than 10 years, first at Moorestown Friends School in New Jersey, then Princeton Day School, and now at St. Mark’s School in Massachusetts. For the past six years she has been Dean and Executive Coordinator of L'Académie de Paris and became Program Director in 2015.

L'Académie de Paris Faculty


Dr. Elise Aru

BA, MA University of East Anglia, PhD, University College London

A published author, Elise taught at University College London for five years, specializing in French language and translation seminars. She completed her PhD on the creative and ludic translation of surrealist poetry. Her most recent publication is a translation of Delphine Grass’s poem Coming to London With No Ears.

Dr. Mikael Bastien

BA Université François Rabelais, MA, PhD Université Paris Descartes Paris 5, Ecole Normale Supérieure

Dr. Bastien is an Assistant Professor at the University François Rabelais, in Tours, France. He currently teaches courses on Linguistics, Cognitive Psychology, and Statistics, while conducting his own research on sustained attention and consciousness. Dr. Bastien is the winner of numerous awards and grants, including the Arthur Sachs Fellowship award from Harvard University.

Dr. Magali Boudissa-Vanderheyden

MA, PhD Université Paris VIII

Dr. Boudissa-Vanderheyden teaches Art History and Civilizations for the University Paris VIII, the Ecole de Communication Visuelle, and the Ecole International de Marketing et du Luxe in Paris. Her own research focuses on semiology, the language of images, and comics.

Dr. Gwennaëlle Cariou

BA Ecole du Louvre, MA Ecole du Louvre, MA Université Paris 7, Denis Diderot, PhD Université Paris 7, Denis Diderot

Dr. Cariou completed her PhD at the Université Paris-Diderot on the history of museums in the United States, especially museums devoted to African-Americans. She has degrees in art history, museology, and the history of museums from the Ecole du Louvre and in American civilization from the Université Paris-Diderot. She teaches American history and art history for several universities, including Paris-Diderot, the Institut Catholique, and the Université de Versailles. She is also an art lecturer and has worked with a number of museums and galleries.

Dr. Marie-Hélene Carpentier

BA Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, MA, DEA Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, MPhil New York University, PhD Université de Paris VII

Dr. Carpentier is an experienced French pedagogue and an accomplished academic. She has taught for many prestigious institutions, including EDUCO, the Council on International Educational Exchange, Sweet Briar College, and École Internationale Bilingue – The Victor Hugo School.

Leslie Cauquais

BA Université de Caen Normandie, MA Université de Vincennes à Saint-Denis (Paris VIII)

Leslie is a filmmaker who has been creating content for the media group Société U-Koncept, in Paris for the past three years. She taught French as a foreign language while living in Spain and discovered how much she enjoys the interdisciplinary nature of teaching languages, and bringing her passion for film into her French courses.

Dr. Elizabeth Churchill

BA Boston University, MAR Yale University, PhD, MA University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Churchill is a scholar in religion. She completed her doctorate on Christian literary and theological attitudes towards arriage in medieval France. She is a lifelong Francophile, and has devoted several summers in Paris to the pursuit of research fellowships at the Bibliothèque Nationale. Dr. Churchill regularly teaches university courses on topics including religion and literature, spiritual autobiography, and world religions.

Dr. Sophie Creyssels

BA, MA Université Montpellier II, PhD, MD Université de Montpellier

Dr. Creyssels is a neuroscientist based in the thoracic and vascular surgery ward of Arnaud de Villeneuve Hospital in Montpellier. She has particular expertise on intracellular trafficking in neurons. Dr. Creyssels is also an experienced pedagogue, and has taught courses on biology and on consulting and treating patients in psychiatric clinics.

Virgile Demoustier

BA Université Paris-IV Sorbonne, MA L'Institut d'études politiques de Paris

Virgile is the Assistant to the Europe Bureau Chief for "The Washington Post." His academic background is in international affairs, and he is an expert in sustainable development and environmental risk management. In the past he has worked as the Social Media Manager of Citroën Argentina , and as a sustainability specialist for the French utility Suez Environment.

Dr. Choralyne Dumesnil

BA Université Paris Dauphine, MA, PhD Sciences Po, Paris

Dr. Dumesnil teaches anthropology at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, and serves as a legal consultant on the Commission for the Abolition of Female Sexual Mutilation. She has particular expertise on intellectual property law, violence towards women in different societies, and on gender stereotyping and its detrimental impact on daily life. Dr. Dumesnil's research has taken her all over the world – from rural India to the yards of Harvard University.

Saga Esedin Rojo

BA, MA École du Louvre

Saga hails from Tenerife, and she moved to Paris in 2013 to study at the École du Louvre. Her research centers on fashion and textiles. She worked with a conservateur at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs to complete her theses on the use of animal fur in modern fashion, and on Spanish high-heeled shoes from the 13-15th centuries.

Marie Garet

BA Université Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne, BA, MA Ecole du Louvre

Marie's research focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the history of photography. She is a professionally certified art lecturer and guide in Paris for all of the city’s major museums, historic neighborhoods, and exhibitions.

Paul Laufer

Diplôme de Recherche Plastique Université de Genève, Diplôme d'Art Visuel Université de Lausanne

Paul is a professional artist based in Paris. He holds degrees in the visual arts from Geneva University of Art and Design, Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne, and Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. He also has the rare distinction of having studied with the famous lithographer Raynald Métraux. In the past, he has worked at Michael Woolworth Publications in Paris as a printer and an editor. He regularly contributes to contemporary art fairs around Europe, including ArtBasel, ARCOmadrid, and FIAC Paris. Paul's recent projects have taken him around the world - from the Taizé communities in the slums of Bangladesh, to the wild western deserts of New Mexico.

Claire Potter

MA, Ecole de recherche en psychanalyse, Denis Diderot, Paris Université VII

Claire is an award-winning writer and poet who lives in London. In 2006, she won an Australian Young Poet’s Fellowship and published her first chapbook, "In Front of a Comma." In 2010, a full-length collection entitled "Swallow" was published and short-listed for five Premier’s Literary Awards. Her work has been translated and awarded numerous prizes, the most recent being first place in the Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2015. Claire has taught critical theory, creative writing, and literature, and led poetry workshops in France, the U.K., and Australia.

Emma Strangwayes-Booth

BA Nottingham Trent University; Diploma Fine Art Camberwell College of Art

Emma is a multidisciplinary artist and illustrator. Born in Johannesburg, she is a graduate of the Contemporary Arts program at Nottingham Trent University. Her work has been shown internationally, including the Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, the ASideBSide gallery, London, the Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York and the See Exhibition Space, Long Island NY and as part of a pop up exhibition at the Louvre in Paris. She has created cover art and illustrations for the novel Gag, by Melissa Unger and Dawn of the Algorithm, by Yann Rousselot as well as the literary magazine, Paris Lit Up.

Eve Tribouillet

BA Université Paris Dauphine, MA Ecole des Métiers de la Communication (EFAP)

Eve earned degrees in Economics and PR in Paris and worked as a financial PR consultant. Her love of cooking led her to move into high-end catering and food design. After interning with several great French chefs, she started her company, "Le festin d'Eve," in 1997. She believes that cooking is an adventure and that one should always explore new tastes and not repeat a recipe twice. Eve is a published author of cookbooks and recipes for magazines and has worked on many culinary performances that combine the visual arts with cooking.

Pierre-Antoine Vettorello

BA, MA Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp

Pierre-Antoine manages and designs for his own fashion label. His garments seek to mix precision and creativity, poetry and drama. "Vice" magazine has praised them for their "intriguing peeks into a fantastical world." He trained at the Royal Academy in Antwerp and has worked with an array of famous designers, including Zac Posen in New York. Pierre-Antoine regularly gives lectures on fashion history in museums across Europe.

Danielle Voirin

BS DePaul University, Chicago, BacPro Ecole Supérieure de Photographie et d'Audiovisuel (EFET), Paris

Danielle is a professional photographer. She holds degrees in psychology from DePaul University, and in photography from Columbia Collage Chicago and EFET in Paris, where she is currently based. She shoots interiors, travel, and editorial projects, as well as portrait commissions. Artist residencies have taken her to Halsnoy, Norway, The Full Moon Theater in the south of France, and 59 rue de Rivoli in Paris. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in Buenos Aires, Paris, Venice, New York, Norway, Michigan, and Ohio.