Two students have won the first-ever annual Excellence in Foreign Languages and Literatures Award given by the foreign languages and literatures section (FLL). The 2001 winner of the $1,000 award is Alexandra Ianculescu, a senior in chemistry. The prize committee also recognized the accomplishments of mathematics senior Nicole Zacharia with a second prize of $500.
The prize is designed to reward an undergraduate who best reflects the FLL goals of achievement of proficiency in a foreign language and culture. More than 50 candidates were considered by the committee, composed of senior lecturer Gilberte Furstenberg, Assistant Professor Emma Teng and Associate Professor Margery Resnick, chair of the group.
"These students represent the highest accomplishments in foreign language learning including the ability to speak fluently, read broadly and fully participate in cultures that are not their own," the committee said.
The prize is to be used for travel to a country where the language studied by the winner is spoken. It will be formally presented on May 4 from 4-6pm in Killian Hall at the Bilingual Cabaret hosted for FLL majors, minors, concentrators and students considering one of these options. New York singer Elizabeth Hodes will sing Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich selections, and there will be a chocolate buffet at intermission.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 25, 2001.