Japanese Studies Program Showcases Student Achievement with its first Senior Thesis Colloquium

Kayla Zanders: My research displayed Tanizaki Jun’ichiro’s famed opposition to modernism through a detailed analysis of his novel Quicksand. Using sources such as Alyssa Faison’s Modern Girls on the Go and Miriam Silverberg’s Erotic Grotesque Nonsense, I analyzed the key factors of Japan’s transition into modernism as they related to the Modern Girl, as well as the reception amongst Japanese citizens of the time, in comparison to Tanizaki’s portrayal to highlight his pessimistic view of modern life.

  The Zoom event featured presentations from five students. William & Mary’s Japanese Studies program was proud to host its first Senior Thesis Colloquium on Thursday, April 30. The hour-long Zoom presentation, originally slated to occur on campus, featured the research of five seniors who are members of the inaugural cohort of the Japanese Studies… Read More

Japanese Studies Celebrates First Majors!

Graduates, family, friends, and guests on Zoom

William & Mary’s Japanese Studies Program proudly honored the first cohort of students in its new major, as well as other students who have exhibited exceptional academic excellence, during a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16.  The students celebrated their milestones with peers, William & Mary faculty, and 35 guests, including included family and friends. Mr. Yosuke Sato,… Read More

Italian Studies Graduates 2020

Italian Studies 2020

Congratulazioni to our Italian Studies graduates: Tianyi Vanessa Cai (Art & Art History Major, Italian Minor) – recipient of the Italian Studies Book Award Tyler Cox-Philyaw (History Major, Italian Minor) Kathryn Donati (English Major, Italian Minor) Marisa Lemma (Government Major, Economics Minor, Italian Honorary Minor) Zoe Nelson (Government Major, Self-Designed Italian Major) – recipient of the MDLL Outstanding Achievement… Read More

Congratulations German Studies Class of 2020!


We salute our two German Studies graduates Manasi Deorah and Kelsey Marshall! Both of them embody the best of MLL: double majors (Sociology and International Relations, respectively), considerable experience living abroad (Scotland and Germany/Austria), and a commitment to giving back through teaching and advocacy. Kelsey is the recipient of this year’s German Studies Book Award,… Read More

A Special Commencement for Italian Graduates

Cheers Italian

By Prof. Monica Seger This year’s spring commencement was, like so many things right now, quite different than usual. Rather than gathering on campus with friends and colleagues from throughout Modern Languages and Literatures for a department-wide ceremony, students and faculty in Italian Studies celebrated from afar with a Zoom commencement of our own. Just… Read More

Italian Senior Spotlight: Zoe Nelson

Zoe Nelson

Zoe Nelson (Government Major, Self-Designed Italian Major ’20) shares her experience in the Italian Program over the past four years. In bocca al lupo per il futuro, Zoe! «The Italian Department’s smaller size was a fantastic fit for me, as it allowed for me to form meaningful individual relationships with other Italian Studies students, along with all of… Read More

Italian Senior Spotlight: Tianyi Vanessa Cai

Vanessa Cai 1

Tianyi Vanessa Cai (Art & Art History Major, Italian Minor ’20) shares with us her special relationship with Italian language and culture. Grazie Vanessa! «Being a violin player and a fan of the virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, I registered for an Italian class when I entered college hoping to learn more about the language and its culture…. Read More

Margot Baden Receives 2020 Japanese Book Prize

Margot Baden

Margot Baden, the Modern Languages and Literature Book Prize winner for overall excellence in the Japanese Studies program, has displayed exemplary academic and extracurricular achievements. A Japanese Studies and International Relations double major, she strives to deepen her understanding of Japanese culture, history, language, and politics. Ms. Baden decided to pursue Japanese Studies after participating… Read More

Brian Donahue named Chinese Studies Outstanding Graduate


A hearty congratulations to Brian Donahue, who has been chosen as Chinese Studies’ outstanding graduate for the class of 2020! Brian majored in Chinese Studies and minored in biochemistry. Between his sophomore and junior years he participated in the William & Mary study abroad program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He also studied Chinese Language at Shaanxi Normal… Read More

Congrats to the Chinese Studies class of 2020!

Chinese Studies Graduation Zoom Celebration

The Chinese Studies program is delighted to announce that eight students graduated from the major on Saturday, May 16th: Carleton Anderson, Brian Donahue, Michael Giovanniello, Carolin Helmholz, Erika Marr, Gabrielle Ramirez, Williams Song, and Jack Toll. Another seven students earned a minor in Chinese Studies: Camden Cathell, Sarah Chen, Laura Chier, Samuel Fortune, Sophial Luwis,… Read More

Congratulations RPSS Studies Class of 2020!

2020 RPSS Graduates

Congratulations to our amazing Russian and Post-Soviet Studies Class of 2020! We are so proud of you! Молодцы!

Award Reception for RPSS Graduating Seniors

RPSS Award Reception

On April 17th, 2020 RPSS program held a Zoom reception to recognize graduating seniors and their accomplishments. Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Russian and Post-Soviet Studies awards, Modern Language Excellence Award, ACTR Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award—PSRSLA, and Fulbright Scholarships! Robin Bradley — RPSS Excellence Award Catherine Green — RPSS Excellence Award Reid… Read More

Congratulations to RPSS Major Grace Kier

Grace Kier

Grace Kier ’20 is among a select group of 12 students nationwide to receive a prestigious 2020-21 fellowship to the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP). Congratulations, Grace! So well deserved! Full story…

Congratulations to French and Francophone Studies Major Kristen Popham!

Kristen Popham ’20 (double major in French and Francophone Studies and Government) has been awarded the prestigious Lord Botetourt Medal, which was established in 1772 “for the honor and encouragement of literary merit.” The link to the full story can be found here: https://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2020/wm-to-honor-faculty,-staff,-students-during-virtual-ceremony.php#bot Congratulations, Kristen!! Bravo!

Graduating Senior Awards – Outstanding Achievement Award in Hispanic Studies

Becca Paulisch

This year’s MLL Outstanding Achievement Award in Hispanic Studies is awarded to Rebecca Paulisch and Johanna Weech. This award acknowledges an outstanding graduating Hispanic Studies major with a strong record of achievements in the program. Rebecca served as a mentored undergraduate research assistant to HISP faculty, and managed to combine her literary and cultural interests… Read More

Graduating Senior Awards – Howard M Fraser Award

Foto - Philip Grotz

The Howard M. Fraser Award has been awarded to Philip Grotz. The award is in memory of Prof. Howard Fraser, a distinguished specialist in Latin American Literature and culture and is given to a graduating Hispanic Studies major who has made significant achievements in research and service. While studying abroad in Cádiz, Spain, Philip researched… Read More

Graduating Senior Awards – Merritt Cox

Sabina Valery ('20)

The Merritt Cox Award has been awarded to Sabina Valery and Caitlyn Whitesell. This award commemorates Prof. Merritt Cox, a distinguished specialist in 18th century Spain. It is awarded to a graduating Hispanic Studies major who has achieved an outstanding level of academic excellence in Hispanic Studies, and will pursue a graduate degree in the… Read More

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