Centenary College student wins French language scholarship

Célia Chemeni, Mr. Vincent Sciama (Consulate General), Marissa Ramsey, Mr. Nicolas Torres (Attaché of Cooperation for French), and Audrey Gibson at the awards ceremony.

SHREVEPORT, LA — Marissa Ramsey, a sophomore French major at Centenary College, was honored recently as one of three winners of the Donald Hoffman Memorial Scholarship from the French American Chamber of Commerce-Gulf Coast Chapter and the Consulate General of France in New Orleans. The award recognizing Ramsey’s work as editor of Centenary’s French language newspaper, Le Tintamarre, was presented at a reception in New Orleans on November 30.

“I am so grateful to have been chosen to receive this grant by the French American Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of France in New Orleans,” says Ramsey. “It is of the utmost importance that Centenary students engage not only on our campus and the Shreveport-Bossier area, but also take advantage of opportunities like this to engage in the broader state of Louisiana.”

The Hoffman scholarship is named in memory of Donald Hoffman, the founder and first president of the Gulf Coast chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce. The scholarship was created to support projects related to French language and Francophone culture created by Louisiana university students and young professionals. Ramsey presented Centenary’s Le Tintamarre, the nation’s only student-run French language newspaper and the last remaining French language newspaper in Louisiana, as her project. Ramsey will use the scholarship funds to help pay for the printing and distribution of more than 4,000 copies of Le Tintamarre for businesses, schools, and French organizations across Louisiana.

The scholarship application process included an online submission and a 30-minute interview conducted in French. Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy, assistant professor of French and Francophone studies at Centenary, brought the scholarship program to Ramsey’s attention and encouraged her to apply.

“Centenary’s French department encourages me to pursue my passion for the French language and gives me so many opportunities to engage with the French world,” says Ramsey. “As a student in this department, I make it my primary goal to work the hardest that I can to ensure that this department and its students thrive. With each edition of Le Tintamarre, my French improves as I read through each article and lay out each page. I also realize that the work I do is bigger than myself and even Centenary. This newspaper gives students across Louisiana access to the French language in easy to read articles while educating them on the Francophone world in their state and beyond.”

The awards ceremony was held at the residence of the Consul-General of France in New Orleans, Vincent Sciama. Sciama presented the award along with Nicolas Torres, the consulate’s Attaché of Cooperation for French, and Eric Belin, president of the French American Chamber of Commerce. Centenary sophomore Audrey Gibson and French exchange student Célia Chemeni accompanied Ramsey to the awards reception to represent the Centenary French department.

Visit centenary.edu/French for more information about French language and culture at Centenary College.


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