Emeritus Professor in the French Department, University College Cork and Adjunct Professor of French at University College Dublin
Grace was awarded the Honan Scholarship and an Entrance Scholarship to UCC where she studied French and Irish, graduating with a double first class honour. She won the French Government scholarship to l’Université de Caen for the academic year, 1972-73. She was awarded her doctorate from l’Université de Lille (‘mention très bien avec les félicitations unanimes du jury’). Grace has published on Franco-Irish relations from the medieval to the modern period, on language issues and on women’s writings. She has published and edited a number books and has presented over 200 research papers at venues such as the Sorbonne, the Collège de France, the French Senate (Palais du Luxembourg) and Harvard. She has been involved in making a number of TV documentaries with RTÉ and the BBC and for many years was a member of the UCC Board of Women’s Studies. She was the Head of the Department of French from 2006-08 and UCC’s first Vice President for Teaching and Learning 2008-2012.
During her career at UCC, Grace has served on numerous UCC committees, including as elected member for several terms (c. 14 years) on the UCC Governing Body. Grace has been involved in Teaching and Learning initiatives since the early 1980s, from the UCC Teaching Development Unit to more recent initiatives inspired by the Teaching and Learning Scholarship at Harvard and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In 2002, she was one of the first recipients of the President’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching at UCC. She was also, until her retirement in 2012, Director of NAIRTL, the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning as well as overseeing the operation of UCC’s Centre for Adult Continuing Education. In France, Grace is an invited member of the international jury of the IDEX/ I-SITE initiative (a major part of the French government’s Investissements d’avenir programme) at the ANR / Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Paris, a Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of Sorbonne-Universités, Paris (a multi-institution cluster which includes Paris-Sorbonne Université, l’Université Pierre et Marie Curie, l’Université de Technologie de Compiègne, INSEAD, le Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, le CNRS, INSERM and IRD; 2014 -19). She has been an invited member of institutional review panels for the AERES (Agence de l’Evaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Supérieur), the HCERES (Haut Conseil de l’Evaluation de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche), Paris, and for the EUA (European University Association, Brussels). In 2012, she was appointed Chair of a national initiative on innovative teaching in French higher education at the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, Paris (the IDEFI initiative, budget c.150 million euro), and in 2015 was appointed Chair of an initiative on innovative technology in French higher education at the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, Paris (the IDEFI-N initiative, budget 12.3 million euro). Grace was awarded the highest distinction bestowed by the French state, the Légion d’Honneur (promotion 14 July 2015) as well as the Palmes Académiques, and is an invited member of the Irish Board of the Légion d’Honneur (French Embassy, Dublin), as well as Vice-President of AMOPA Irlande (the Irish branch of l’Association des Membres de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (French Embassy, Dublin).