A graduate of Wellesley College, Dr. Thorndike earned her master’s and doctorate in Romance Languages from Harvard and taught French language, culture, and literature for a decade at Wellesley. Subsequently, while Assistant Director of Government Resources at Tufts, she represented university grant seekers to the Federal Government and assisted them in developing fundable projects. She and Irving Spitzberg completed a year-long study of the contemporary American university for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It was the basis for Carnegie's special 1990 report Campus Life: In Search of Community.
Dr. Thorndike has written about cross-cultural literacy, foreign language pedagogy, and contemporary French literary theory. She wrote an introduction to French Studies, Comment peut-on être français? (published by Holt Rinehart, 1982), and, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, created accompanying videotapes used in universities and colleges comparing French and American culture. Her research on the American university was published as Community on Campus by the State University of New York Press in 1992.
As a faculty member, Dr. Thorndike evaluated students and colleagues. She served for four years on the Admissions Board of Wellesley College. Dr. Thorndike is an expert in comparing cultures, including their educational and work systems. She co-founded The Knowledge Company and acted as its Vice President from 1989 to 2001. She currently acts as Senior Consultant, assisting in formulating policy and procedures and reviewing educational credential evaluations.
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