Honors College director brings travel experience to campus

Tera Stenhouse, Staff Reporter

Anne Cubilie’s life travels have taken her across the globe, from the Middle East to the political field in Washington, D.C.

Now the director of the Douglas Honors College (DHC), Cubilie joined the DHC in 2013 and came to Central from the United Nations, where she worked in humanitarian efforts and development policy at their headquarters and in the field.

For 10 years prior to her U.N. experiences, Cubilie taught at Georgetown University, diving into the issues of gender and human rights.

Cubilie took a sabbatical from Georgetown and spent a year for the U.N. in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She also lived in Cairo on and off doing human rights research.

“They needed someone to work on human rights with refugees,”  Cubilie said. “I was also looking for evidence of war crimes, and working especially with women.”

While in Afghanistan, Cubilie collected testimonies from women which she published in her book, “Women Witnessing Terror: Testimony and the Cultural Politics of Human Rights.”

“These women were incredibly generous, even though having such terrible experiences,” Cubilie said. “They would go out and get me gifts such as tea. They were very welcoming.”

Cubilie’s passion for helping others and creating awareness on issues started in elementary school.

“I was in elementary school in 4th grade, and I remember making a petition to have more quality food in the cafeteria,” Cubilie said. “I have always been aware of social justice issues and my parents were always supportive.”

Cubilie’s family experienced what it was like to have their country invaded twice during World War II while living in France. Cubilie said her interest in social justice issues came from the stories she heard growing up.

“My dad experienced having present living situations being unstable,” Cubilie said. “People can be abused by war, it happens across the globe.”

However, through all these experiences, Cubilie wanted to bring back the skills she learned and be able to provide her knowledge to students.

“I love Central, and the students and faculty here,” Cubilie said. “It is definitely more relaxed.”

DHC Academic and Student Success Coordinator Christina Denison works closely with Cubilie and met her when she came in for the DHC director interview.

“Anne is my boss and also a mentor to me,” Denison said. “We have lunch together almost every day, and she is more like family.”

Denison described how Cubilie has taught her so much especially with her ability to interact with people, from all of her experience at the U.N.

“She is a force of nature,” Denison said. “She knows when the winds need to be blown calmly, but also when there needs to be a mighty gust. She has taught me how to measure my words, how to phrase them, especially in difficult conversations.”

Ryan Anderson, sophomore musical theater major, is an office assistant at the DHC office.

Anderson said that he met Cubilie when he first arrived at Central.

“She has always acted as a mentor to me, and not just a boss,” Anderson said.

Anderson described how even though Cubilie has had a wealth of of these impressive experiences, she treats you just like anyone else.

“She is very approachable, down-to-earth, and yet still professional,” Anderson said. “She is very curious, and wants to help people with the things that they are also curious about.”

Anderson has learned many life skills from Cubilie, but if he had to narrow it down to the most important thing that he has gained from her, it would be to stay true to himself.

“She has taught me that apologizing is good, but never apologize for being you,” Anderson said.

Anderson and Denison also added Cubilie’s love for quirky science fiction is something very well known about her.

“She loves the old corny stuff science stuff,” Denison said. “She also just recently showed some DHC students the South Park movie. I would say Anne is not judgmental in any way.”