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Biologist/storyteller: Fran Oguss Stallings

Aug. 01, 2017
Category: Recognition

Fran Oguss Stallings PhD’70 switched fields after teaching at Kent State (OH) and a postdoc at University of Wisconsin (Madison): she became an environmental storyteller! She travels nationwide and overseas, sharing her stories and training educators, park rangers, and parents. When she met traditional folkteller Hiroko Fujita in Japan, they started exchanging stories in what became twenty years of bilingual performing on both sides of the Pacific. Fran has edited four collections of Fujita-san’s authentic folktales in English translation and the most recent two, How to Fool a Cat: Japanese folktales for children and The Price of Three Stories: Rare Folktales from Japan (both from Parkhurst Brothers Publishing) have won awards. Both received Storytelling World Honor Awards; Price also received the Anne Izard Storytelling Award.

Meanwhile, Fran continues to train environmental educators in the art of “telling science like a story.” Her regular columns, each pairing a traditional folktale with a current eco episode, appear in The Environmentor e-newsletter published by Oklahoma City University. She also contributed audio recordings of solar eclipse legends to a website put up by the Lunar and Planetary Institute in preparation for the August 21 total solar eclipse.

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Jeffrey Vande Leest ’75 retired June 30, 2021.

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