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The University of Alabama

UA Students To Gain Valuable Experience at Cannes

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A handful of University of Alabama students will receive hands-on, industry-related experience at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

Students from the College of Human Environmental Sciences’s restaurant, hotel and meeting management program were selected to participate in Marche du Film, Festival of Cannes, study abroad program, 2013. The students, who will be working primarily in the American Pavilion, will host press panels, coordinate exclusive hospitality events throughout the festival and assist A-List celebrities. They will have complete, unlimited access to all activities associated with the American Pavilion, said Dr. Lorie Tuma, assistant professor and director of the Cannes study abroad program.

In addition to gaining valuable experience in their areas of interest, the students will also earn six credit hours for participating. Tuma will meet with the students on a daily basis to discuss what they learned, what they didn’t learn, the challenges and how to work through them.

Selected students not only had to go through a judicial review for the University and meet certain requirements, they also had to interview with the American Pavilion, Tuma said.

“We needed to ensure that students had the potential and ability to go abroad for 18 days under extremely stressful conditions and be successful,” she said. “And they needed to be a good fit for Cannes.”

The students selected for the program include Rebecca “Becky” Foster, of Fairfield, Conn.; Layne Michelle Sanders, of Dothan; Anna Catherine Guarisco, of Birmingham; Michelle Sue Agee, of Hurst, Texas; Kristen Nichole Saban, of Tuscaloosa; Amy Shepard, of Orlando, Fla.; Margaret Owen Norton, of Gainesville, Ga.; Christine O’Rourke, of Houston; John Ralph Anthony III, of Fort Myers, Fla.;Caroline Mullins, of Melbourne, Fla.; William Sayres Harbin, of Tuscaloosa; and Wesley “Clay” Welch.

Some of the students are available for interviews either before or after the trip. For those students’ contact information, call or email Kim Eaton at 205/348-8325 or


The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.