Student Research and Awards

UNC Asheville is a great place to study modern languages. Through the study of language, culture, and literature, students examine questions of permanent human significance in relation to the individual and the local, and global community, as they prepare for a future career. The department offers a wide range of activities to enhance formal language study, and actively encourages travel and study abroad.

Below are a few examples of students' research and experiences while at UNC Asheville.

Undergraduate Research


Researching Guatemalan Authors

Hugh Browder, Post-Baccalaureate Teaching Licensure candidate, Spanish K-12Hugh Browder is researching the works of Guatemalan authors born in the 70’s who began publishing after the signing of the peace accords in 1996. During the primary part of his investigation, he has focused on the novelist and essayist Ronald Flores (Guatemala, 1973). Flores’ work addresses the connections between literature, culture, history and politics in his native country. Hugh is interested in the perspectives and narrative strategies employed by this generation of authors in their engagements with and representations of the evolving concepts of identity and nation in the period since the closure of the internal armed conflict.

Senior in French Receives Prestigious National Award

Emily O'Brien in ParisEmily E. O’Brien, daughter of William O’Brien and Elizabeth Carr, Silver Spring, Maryland, was one of the four winners of the 2010 Joseph Yedlicka competition, sponsored by Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society. In summer 2010, Emily spent seven weeks in Paris, studying French language, literature, and civilization at the American University in Paris.

Emily received her BA in French and Art in December 2010. Her exceptional academic performance in French also earned her the Travis Bradley Award for excellence in French at UNC Asheville. She exceled in art as well, an interest that she pursued by participating in the student art group Art Front and interning with Arts for Life, which placed her at the children’s hospital at Mission Hospital in Asheville. She also devoted considerable time to volunteering in projects to restore post-Katrina New Orleans.

The Yedlicka scholarship allowed Emily to discover Paris, central to her interests in things French and art. Teaching, or the creative life as an artist are the two paths she is considering taking after college. Dr. Cathy Pons, Professor of French and Moderator of the ETA PSI chapter of Pi Delta Phi, nominated Emily for the Yedlicka scholarship, with a supporting letter from Dr. Sandra Malicote, Professor of French at UNC Asheville.