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French prof. dies after long illness

Shoggy Waryn was instrumental in boosting digital technologies for use in classrooms

Shoggy Waryn, senior lecturer in French studies, died at his home Tuesday. He was 53 and had been battling colon cancer.

Waryn was on medical leave this semester but taught at the University in the fall.

The Department of French Studies announced his death in a press release and email Wednesday.

A native of Dijon, France, Waryn came to the United States following completion of a DEUG — a French bachelor’s degree — from the Universite de Dijon in 1981, a Licence-es-Lettres in 1983 and a Maitrise in American Studies in 1985. He earned a PhD in film studies from the University of Iowa, according to his University research profile.

Waryn was employed in the French departments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Ohio State University before coming to Brown in fall 2001. He taught a range of French language courses and helped coordinate the Brown-in-France study abroad program.

An avid lover of French cinema, Waryn served as director of the Providence French Film Festival from 2005 until his death and was planning this year’s festival up until a few weeks ago, said Lewis Seifert, chair of the Department of French Studies.

“He was an extremely energetic and dynamic person in and out of the classroom,” Seifert added.

Waryn was a strong proponent of integrating online tools into Brown’s classrooms, helping to introduce each of the University’s web-based learning management systems — WebCT, MyCourses and Canvas, according to the press release.

“He made huge contributions to Brown as a whole,” Seifert said. “He played a key role in making (Canvas) accessible for professors and students alike.”

A campus memorial service will not be held for Waryn in line with his request. Instead, Waryn hoped to have a traditional Irish wake in his honor, “with colleagues and friends” in attendance, Seifert said.


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