UPDATE: MU professor learns brothers survived Haiti quake

Friday, January 15, 2010 | 5:33 p.m. CST; updated 6:10 p.m. CST, Friday, January 15, 2010

COLUMBIA — An MU professor was relieved to receive word from her two brothers in Port-au-Prince.

Flore Zephir, an MU French professor and chair of romance language, said Friday afternoon that her brothers were alive. She had not talked to them, but learned they survived from her sister in Montreal. “No more details were given,” Zephir said.

Another MU professor, Valerie Kaussen, could be headed home from Port-au-Prince this weekend. Kaussen, an associate professor of French, is married to Carsten Strathausen, a professor in the MU German and Russian departments.

MU German professor Monika Fischer, who has been helping the family field requests for information, said Kaussen wrote in a Facebook post that she was trying to reach the airport on Friday to catch a flight out of Haiti.

Zephir and Kaussen are colleagues at MU.

“Please keep her in your thoughts,” Zephir said. “Let us all pray that she can find a plane to bring her home safely.”

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