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Professor/Interim Chair

University of Central Oklahoma (405) 974-5864 Modern Languages, Lit, Cultural Std LAS 252D , Box 96


Catherine Webster, Ph.D., is a professor of French.

She served as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 2016 to 2021. Prior to that, she led the UCO Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultural Studies for three years as department chair. Webster has held positions in a variety of student affairs roles, including dean of First-Year Students at Barnard College and assistant director of New Student Orientation at the University of Kansas.

Born in New Jersey, she grew up in Connecticut, not far from New York City, which became her home at 17 years old and where she lived, studied and worked for more than 20 years. Her academic career, which includes faculty and student affairs roles at various colleges and universities, let her live in Lawrence, Kansas; Paris, France; and Asheville, North Carolina, before moving to the Oklahoma City metro in 2006.

Professor Webster lives in downtown Oklahoma City with her husband, Bill Dycus, son, Thayer Dycus, and two rival cats. Her daughter, Meredith Dycus, graduated from college in New York City (the apple did not fall from the Big Apple) and currently works at Walt Disney World. In her spare time, Professor Webster practices Bikram Yoga and is a member of the Irish Music pub band, Whiskey and Pie.

Education and Certifications

Ph.D. in French, New York University, 2005

-- one year of doctoral study at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, and Universite de Paris X (Nanterre)

M. A. in Student Personnel Administration, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1991

B.A. in French, Columbia University, 1987

Classes Taught

Spring 2023:  Elementary French II, Intermediate French II, Leadership and Social Justice

Fall 2022:  Broncho Blueprint, Elementary French II, Constraints and Creativity

Spring 2022:  Elementary French II, 20th 6 21st Century French Literature and Culture

Fall 2021:  Broncho Blueprint; Elementary French II

Summer 2019: Study Tour "Europe A La Mode"

Fall 2018:  Women and Leadership

Spring 2018:  Elementary French II

Fall 2017:  Elementary French II

Summer 2017:  Study Tour "Europe A La Mode"

Spring 2017:  Elementary French II

Fall 2016:  Constraints and Creativity

Summer 2016:  Study Tour "Marseille to Madrid:  Border Countries and the Camino"

Spring 2016:  French Phonetics and Contemporary French Literature and Culture

Fall 2015:  Elementary French II, Contemporary Conversations, and Success Central

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

Webster is committed to her scholarly "niche" -- Contemporary French and Francophone Studies.

In March 2019, she organized the 20th- and 21st-Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium at the Oklahoma City Skirvin Hotel.  Approximately 200 scholars came from four continents to share their work and exchange ideas.  

She has presented work at this Colloquium on subjects ranging from the French Cinema of the 1930s to films of the present day, with a special interest in the adaptation of literary works (including plays, novels, and graphic novels) for the screen.  She also regularly gives papers at the Modern Language Association Annual Convention.

Webster has published two articles:  one on the films of Fasian filmaker Fanta Nacro and the other on the work of Jean Cocteau. Two more articles will appear in 2023, one is a contribution to ˆReading with Jean-Luc Godard" and the other explores depictions of homeless and itinerant women in three French films.  In 2022, she also wrote a brief article for ArtDesk that described her self-designed course, Constraints and Creativity.

Honors and Awards

2022  Names one of 50 Women Who Make A Difference by the Journal Record

2021-22 College of Liberal Arts Prize for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

2017-18 Leadership OKC Signature Program Participant

2016-17 ELA Academic Leadership Fellow

2014-15 Educators' Leadership Academy Participant

2013 UCO Provost Award "Modeling the Way"

2012-13  College of Liberal Arts Faculty Member of the Year

2013 Modern Languages Department Faculty Merit Recipient for Outstanding Service

2013  Da Vinci Institute Fellow

2012 Oklahoma Humanities Council Community Leadership Prize

2010 UCO Vanderford Distinguished Teacher Award

2009-10  UCO College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teacher Award

2010 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend Recipient

2009 UCO Vanderford Engagement Award

2008-09  UCO On-Campus Faculty Research Grant Recipient

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