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April 12, 2023

SVSU student receives national award for proficiency in French

Portrait of student with blue jacket

Saginaw Valley State University student Samantha Chew has been honored with a 2023 Outstanding Senior in French Award by the American Association of Teachers of French. The award recognizes senior-level students who have demonstrated excellence in the study of French as well as exceptional commitment to the French language and the cultures where it is spoken.

A Midland resident, Chew began studying French in high school.

“It has always been a goal to learn another language and eventually become bilingual,” she said. “I knew French was one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, so when the opportunity to study French presented itself, I took it!” 

Chew will graduate in May with a double major in international business and French. She currently works as a program analyst intern for the USDA and will continue in that capacity through the summer.  

As a member of SVSU’s Global Foundation Scholars, Chew was able to complete a study abroad experience at Université Grenoble Alpes. 

“Being a member of the Global Foundation Scholars helped me find my niche as a first-year student and discover how much I love learning about new cultures, which eventually helped me to declare an international business major,” Chew said.  

Chew is a student of Julie Foss, SVSU professor of modern foreign languages. She also is a member and officer of SVSU’s French Club, a member of Alpha Mu Gamma foreign language honor society, and has received the Le Détroit Award, a French business scholarship awarded by the French American Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Chapter. 

Being recognized with the Outstanding Senior in French Award was an honor for Chew. To be eligible for recognition, students must be a non-native speaker of French, have completed three years of formal French instruction, maintain and “A” average in French and a “B” overall, and participate in extracurricular activities. Only one student per school is honored. 

“Learning French has been a passion of mine for the past four years,” she said, “and it is great to be recognized for all the extracurricular time that I’ve put into it. I am grateful to Dr. Foss for encouraging me and for all the support she gives to her students.”