Scholarship and Awards

Scholarships and Awards Group 2024


View all 2024 Award Ceremony Photos

For questions, contact Dr. Jelena Colovic-Markovic

Department of Languages and Cultures Study Abroad Awards

The West Chester University Department of Languages and Cultures Study Abroad Awards program provides up to $12,000 in assistance every year. Undergraduate majors in French, German, Russian and Spanish who are seeking their initial study abroad experience as part of the Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Cultures are eligible to apply for awards of up to $3,000 in each of the four languages above.

Consideration in awarding funds for study in one or more of the above four languages will be given to the students’ stated goals, the students’ financial need or otherwise (to meet major requirements and / or professional standards), and their academic performance to date.

The awards must be applied to costs for summer, winter, a semester or full-year programs of study abroad, including tuition, room and board, transportation, books and fees.

Students must submit a transcript of all undergraduate study, a letter of their goals, two letters of recommendation, and the cover application. At the end of study abroad program, successful applicants are required to submit a report detailing the expenditure of the funds and their academic and personal growth.

Students going abroad or planning to go abroad are also encouraged to apply to the WCU Foundation Study Abroad award.

2023-2024 Recipients of the Study Abroad Awards:

  • Katrina Fleckenstein
  • Blake Gault
  • Siah Potts

Upon completion of a study abroad program, award recipients are required to submit a report detailing the expenditure of the funds and their academic and personal growth. The reports are submitted electronically to the Student Services Committee Chair.

Language Scholarships

A number of Language Department Scholarships are awarded each year. Qualified students are selected for the following scholarships through the Department of Languages and Cultures.

We offer five scholarships and two awards each year to meritorious students in recognition of their achievements in the study of languages.

The Mary-Ann Reiss Foreign Studies Award

Mary-Ann Reiss was an Assistant Professor in the WCU Department of Languages and Cultures, 1975-1992, teaching German and Spanish, and supervising student teachers. The author of many articles, reviews, and papers on language learning and literature, she added this generous gift to her years of service as a kind colleague and dynamic teacher. The Mary-Ann Reiss Foreign Studies Award is issued from a trust fund established by Mary-Ann Reiss, and awarded yearly to one or two students. Financial need may be considered, but focus is on the requirements below.

Recipient requirements:

  • Candidate must be Language major planning to participate in a Study Abroad language program, with preference given to those planning a career in teaching.
  • Personal Qualities: responsibility, motivation, maturity, seriousness of purpose.
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA, at least 3.25 in the major or minor.

The Alexander Von Humboldt Scholarship

This scholarship was established in honor of German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), the founder of Plant Geography and the preeminent scholar of his time. He explored much of Latin America, collecting and cataloging the flora of the New World.

Recipient requirements:

The recipient must be an outstanding undergraduate Language major planning to participate in a Study Abroad language program.

The Alfred D. Roberts Language Scholarship

The late Dr. Alfred D. Roberts, whom this award honors, received his undergraduate degree in Modern Languages from Ursinus College in 1949 as Valedictorian of his class. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in French from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Roberts served as professor of languages at WCU (1959-1988), founding the Language Department at WCU, and serving as chairperson (1962-1974). In addition, Dr. Roberts founded the Junior Year Abroad program in 1963, and was president of the Faculty Senate (1969-1970).

Recipient requirements:

  1. The recipient must be an outstanding Language student, who may or may not be a Language major or minor.
  2. Candidates must have at least a 3.00 GPA.

2023-2024 Recipients: Fatoumata Toure

The Celia C. Esplugas Hispanic or Minority Scholarship

Dr. Celia Esplugas, who has established this award, completed her B.A. in ESL in her native Argentina. She received an M.ED and an M.A. from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and her Ph.D. from The University of Toledo, Ohio. She served as professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures from 1990 to 2009. She taught Spanish and culture courses cross listed with Women's Studies and Comparative Literature. She served as Spanish Coordinator and chaired various departmental and university-wide committees, as well as advising students who participated in study-abroad programs. She has published nationally and internationally.

The recipient must be a Hispanic student majoring in any language. In the absence of a qualified Hispanic major, the scholarship will be awarded to a deserving minority student of any ethnic group majoring in a foreign language. If no major meets the stipulated GPA requirements, the scholarship will be awarded to a student pursuing a minor who meets these requirements. The recipient must use the scholarship money (a) to participate in a study-abroad language program, with preference to programs in Argentina and in International University Studies (Seville, Spain), or (b) to defray expenses of his/her language courses, e.g., purchasing books, attending a conference, etc. Candidates will have a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least 3.25 in the major or minor. Candidates will be in the third or fourth year of their undergraduate studies. Candidates should demonstrate outstanding academic ability and leadership potential. Candidates should demonstrate active involvement in the Hispanic/minority community, including community service and plan to continue their contribution to the Hispanic/minority community in the future.

2023-2024 Recipient: Kyree Hammond and Leslie Sanchez

The Department of Languages and Cultures Honorary Awards

The following Department of Languages and Cultures awards are issued each year to outstanding students in the languages noted below. The decisions on these two awards are made independently by the appropriate faculty. 

The Braidotti-Lombardi Award

Dr. Erminio Braidotti taught Spanish, Italian, Latin, and Latin American Culture at West Chester University from 1978 to 2013. Dr. Braidotti established this award to honor the memory of Joe and Tillie BRAIDOTTI, who provided for his education in the United States; and Dr. Ronald LOMBARDI, one of the founding faculty members of the Department of Foreign Languages (now Languages & Cultures), who gave him the opportunity to start his 35-year teaching career at WCU. This cash award is granted each year by the Department Faculty to a student or students in their junior or senior year who have demonstrated marked proficiency in Italian and/or Spanish.

2023-2024 Recipients: Jadan Forren

The Ethel M. Staley Award

Dr. Ethel M. Staley taught French at WCU from 1930 to 1952. Each year the French Language section selects an outstanding student to receive an Ethel M. Staley certificate of excellence and cash award. 

2023-2024 Recipient: Aleksandra Ivanskaia

French Ram Scholarship

The French Ram Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding French student. Preference is given to a student studying French as a major or minor, or enrolled in a French course at the 200 or 300-level.

Departmental Teacher Education Recognition

2023-2024 Students Recognized: Calyx Castel Akuvi Geraldo

The Department of Languages and Cultures TESOL Award

Eligibility: Graduate students in the TESOL MA or TESL Certificate Program with a 3.7 GPA or higher. Must have completed 3 TESOL graduate-level courses (9 credits) at WCU.

The recipient will receive up to $500. This funding may be applied towards the cost of tuition, supplies (e.g., books), or travel.

To apply, please email Dr. Colovic-Markovic ( the following:

  • Department of Languages and Cultures TESOL Award Form;
  • A copy of a WCU transcript showing courses taken and GPA (unofficial is sufficient); and
  • A statement of purpose letter (400 words maximum) that describes your interest in TESOL, why you think you deserve the scholarship, and your future plans after graduation. You may include other information that you believe is relevant to the selection committee's appraisal of your candidacy.

Awardees will be notified via email by mid-March.

Awards will be formally given at the Departmental Awards Ceremony in Spring 2023

2023/2024 Recipients: 

Alexis Shulski

Molly Floyd

Contact Dr. Jelena Colovic-Markovic ( if you have questions.

View/Download the TESOL Award application