Creighton University adjunct French instructor Jan Schneider Lund was awarded Officier of the Order of the French Academic Palms (Officierdans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques) by the French Ministry of Education through the French Embassy in New York on March 1.
Officier is the second highest rank in the order. In 1998, Lund was presented with the rank of Chevalier in this order and was the first high school teacher in Nebraska to be honored. The honor she received on March 1 is a promotion to the next highest rank. No other professor in Nebraska has attained the rank of Officier.
David Vanderboegh, Ph.D., head of French in Creighton's Modern Language department said, "This is a rare honor indeed, comparable to a lifetime achievement award. Very few French teachers are granted this distinction."
The Order of Palmes Academiques is one of France's oldest orders of Chivalry, instituted by Emperor Napoleon in 1808, and modernized in 1955 by the French Government. The Order of the French Academic Palms is the highest designation in teaching bestowed by the government of France. The order of the Palmes Academiques is given to individuals to recognize their distinguished contribution to academia, education and the expansion of French culture throughout the world.
Lund has been a member of the Creighton faculty for 10 years and has been a champion of French language and culture throughout her career, which began at Brownell-Talbot School in 1974, and continued later at Ralston High School for 21 years. During that time she led her students on trips to Quebec and France. She has won other awards for her teaching and scholarship on the topic of foreign language education, including Nebraska Foreign Language Educator of the Year (1985); Nebraska French Teacher of the Year (1996); and was finalist twice for Nebraska Teacher of the Year (1995, 2000). She was inducted into her high school alumni Hall of Fame at Abraham Lincoln in Council Bluffs in 2006. She is active in the Nebraska chapters of the American Association of Teachers of French.