Jeanne Kissner 1942-1999
This issue of Quebec Studies is dedicated to Jeanne Kissner who passed away
unexpectedly on February 19,1999.
Jeanne was born in New Haven, Connecticut and educated at Albertus
Magnus College (B.A.), Trinity College (M.A.), and the University of Connecticut
(Ph.D.). In the late 1970s, she joined the faculty at Plattsburgh State University,
working at the Center for the Study of Canada. By the early 1980s she had
become Associate Director of the Center. In 1997, she took on the additional role
of Director of International Projects. She was responsible for a variety of creative
programs and activities for students, professors, government officials, and business leaders including the Quebec Summer Seminar, the French Canadian
Institute for Language and Culture, the Quebec Winter Symposium.
Jeanne served in leadership roles in a number of international organizations. She was President of the American Council for Quebec Studies 1988-90; an
ACSUS councilor 1990-93; on the executive board of AATF for four years; cochair of the National Consortium for Teaching Canada 1992-96; a founding
board member of the Association internationale d'Ã©tudes quÃ©bÃ©coises in 1997.
During her career, she furthered understanding of and interest in Quebec
culture through various articles and presentations in Europe and North America.
Louise Beaudoin, Quebec Minister for International Affairs, paid tribute to
Jeanne's enormous contribution by saying, "Par sa curiositÃ©, sa conscience professionnelle, son sens de l'amitiÃ©, elle a contribuÃ© plus que quiconque Ã Ã©tendre
la comprÃ©hension du QuÃ©bec."
She is survived by her husband Fritz Kissner of Plattsburgh, NY; her son
and daughter-in-law, Erik and Debra Kissner of San Marcos, CA; her daughter
and son-in-law, Lara and Bryan Wilson, and their children Elisielle and Verreth
of Belmont, MA.
A Tribute to Jeanne Kissner
The recent death of Jeanne Kissner has suddenly deprived the international community of Canadian and Quebec Studies of a shining light and a moving force. Working with Richard Beach for over twenty years, Jeanne had helped
to make the Center for the Study of Canada at SUNY Plattsburgh a major player
in the field. Many members of ACQS are alumni of the Quebec Summer Seminar
or have participated in the Quebec Winter Symposium and remember how
much Jeanne contributed to the success of the Center's various programs and
activities. Jeanne's many accomplishments earned her the Prix du QuÃ©bec in
1994 and the Dormer Medal in 1995.
Our purpose here is not to list and praise Jeanne's professional activities.
We want to remember her spirit and keep alive the bonds of friendship that have
united us for many yearsâ€”since the early days of ACQS, of which Jeanne was a
founding mother. Knowing Jeanne meant more than having a merely professional relationship. Over the past twenty years we have supported each other
through traumas that were professional, like job searches and tenure, and ones
that were deeply personal, involving husbands, children, aging parents, and,
more recently, physical health. We have celebrated each other's triumphs and
QuÃ©bec Studies, Volume 27, Spring/Summer 1999