Hannah Vaught: French Studies

Hannah Vaught: French Studies

When senior Hannah Vaught finished her semester abroad in Dijon, France, she knew that she wasn’t ready to leave Europe. So, she decided to extend her stay and take classes at the Worrell House in the Spring. 

“I thought maybe I just love abroad,” Vaught said. “But then I applied for a Richter scholarship for that summer in France. So I stayed abroad for two months into summer, and I thought to myself maybe it’s not just abroad. It’s France.” 

For Vaught, those four months in Dijon paved the way for her love affair with the language and culture of the country. When talking about the experience, she recounted adventures and stories with excitement. And, as the program was wrapping up and arrived on its last day, she recalled sitting in a cafe with professor Sally Barbour. While reminiscing, they both ended up crying. 

“It was her last semester and we were both sad,” Vaught said. “But that’s when I realized how much [Dijon] meant to me and … I really think that that was an ‘aha moment’.”

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Vaught’s passion and deep admiration for everything “France” doesn’t end with her abroad experience, but continues when she talks about her past courses and relationships with faculty. She fondly recalled courses with Professor Veronique McNelly from her freshman year, and spoke with fervor about her senior seminar course with Professor Kendall Tarte. 

This positivity is reciprocated by the French Studies department, which Vaught served as an ambassador for her senior year. 

“Vaught is a topnotch French Studies major, a truly thoughtful student in class and out,” Tarte said. 

Further, Vaught is currently the president of the French Club, of which she has been a member of since freshman year. 

“I find her to be incredibly engaged as a student ambassador. She often goes above and beyond for others. I recently spoke with one of my FRH 153 students who mentioned how much she is helping him with his French,” professor Corinne Mann said. “He also mentioned that she was holding a virtual French club meeting that day to which he was planning to go. I am absolutely thrilled that Hannah has reached this student.” 

On top of her French major, Vaught also has an interdisciplinary major focusing on politics, philosophy and education. During her academic career at Wake Forest, Vaught has often tried to combine her linguistic pursuits with her other areas of interest. This came to fruition when she received a Richter Scholarship to conduct research in France for her interdisciplinary major. 

Outside of French Club, Vaught is also a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and has participated in the Collegium Music Concert with professor Stewart Carter every semester that she has been on campus. 

For Vaught, Wake Forest has been a stepping stone into living life as a global citizen. After graduation, she plans on narrowing down her interests and ultimately pursuing a graduate degree in France. And, when Vaught is ultimately able to make her way back, she will most definitely be chez elle.  

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