GouldSPOTLIGHT: Adam Leff

November 21, 2017

Name: Adam A. Leff

High School: Deerfield Academy

College/Grad School: Middlebury College (BA), University of Pennsylvania (MA), Pennsylvania State University (PhD-ABD)

What are your roles at Gould?
I chair the World Languages Department and teach a gamut of French courses and senior history electives such as American Myths, Global Migrations, and our Great Decisions course. I am also the head coach of the Cross Country Team and an assistant coach on the Cycling Team. I am the faculty advisor to the Academic WorldQuest Team (a foreign policy quiz bowl team that competes in the Maine state tournament) and to the French Club. On the weekends you can find me screening French films as part of our ongoing French film festival (this winter we are a site of an international online French film festival and will screen 20 films in 30 days) or teaching English and Citizenship classes at MEIRS (Maine Immigration and Refugee Services) in Lewiston. I live in Davidson dormitory along with Madame Leff and am the proud advisor to a gaggle of high achieving students!!

Adam and Gould students volunteering at the Maine Immigration and Refugee Services.

Proudest Achievement:
#A. Watching my XC teams climb the podium at New England’s knowing that my runners have learned how to accomplish anything they set their sights on in life!
#B. Watching as my wife was recently sworn in as an American citizen!

Last book I read:
How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle by Matt Fitzgerald
Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine by Katherine Besteman
I am currently in the middle of Journal of a Voyage to Nowhere by Charles Fenn

My soundtrack is:
Simon and Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Water (Favorite Song – The Boxer)

Movie I would recommend:
Algiers (Hedy Lamar and Charles Boyer)
The French Connection (Gene Hackman)
Any Hitchcock Film

Favorite food: Tofu – on anything!! Crêpes!! Cassoulet!! Paëlla!!

One word that describes me: Passionate!!

Best advice I ever received: When the best in the world are nearby, no matter the domain, make it a point to go and attend a performance/game/speech. You will always be able to take away something that you can use to improve yourself.

Adam presenting the French award at Commencement to his daughter Alexandra ’15

Why Gould?
Because it is an opportunity to develop many sides of your personality instead of specializing. Because Gould encourages excellence in all we do. Because those people who choose the Gould lifestyle are authentic and grounded!!

What’s the last thing you crossed off your bucket list?
I don’t have a bucket list – I prefer to squeeze all I can out of each day!

What are your interests/hobbies?
I love to cycle and run and have to do one or the other each and every day to feel grounded. I tried pursuing cycling as a living after college and instead found that living means choosing a lifestyle that incorporates these activities each and every day!

What is your spirit animal?
A combination of a cheetah (with its need for speed) and an Owl (that comes out all night long)

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