Gayle Levy, Honors Program Director

Honors College Staff Spotlight: Dr. Gayle Levy

Honors College Director, Dr. Gayle Levy, has been on staff with honors for 13 years. Read further to learn more about Dr. Levy!


1.    What courses do you teach at UMKC?

I teach all levels of French language, literature, and culture. Additionally, I team-teach an Anchor 2 class entitled “Nazi-Occupied Europe and the Holocaust” with Dr. Drew Bergersion from the History Dept.

2.    Of the classes you are teaching in the fall, which class are you most excited about?

I love teaching all my classes! I guess I am most excited to teach my Intro to French Literature in the fall. For many of the students this will be their first real foray into the world of French literature and I love to be their guide. Can I tell you about a class I am really excited to teach in Spring 2019? It is a class on Napoleon, conceived in conjunction with an exhibit that will open at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in October. The exhibit is called Napoleon: Art and Court Life in the Imperial Palace. I am looking forward to analyzing the way 19th-century French authors depicted the myth of Napoleon, both the private man and the public figure, in their work and I can’t wait for the students to do public presentations in the exhibition itself!

3. Where did you receive your educational background?

I got my BA at UC-Berkeley, my MA at The Johns Hopkins University and my Ph.D. at Duke. Go Blue Devils!!!!

4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I spend a lot of time with my family—my two sons and my husband, the novelist Whitney Terrell. I love travelling, going to museums, cooking, seeing live theater, and watching movies. I also love reading, of course. For the past year or so I have been reading Harry Potter out loud to my youngest son—what a wonderful experience! I spend lots of time shepherding my sons to sports events. There’s a lot of gymnastics, soccer, and baseball going on. My entire family and I love to travel to France. And I like biking, although I don’t make the time as much as I’d like.

5.  What is the best advice you would give to a college student? ‘

Study Abroad! Do some research! Go talk to your professors in their office hours! They love to talk to you and you can ask them questions about their work and life as well. Taste a little bit of everything as college is the perfect moment to engage in new experiences and experiment with different ideas.