SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College senior and Chapel Hill area student Bevin Herrmann-Bell (309 Birch Circle, Chapel Hill, NC 27517) was urged by her French professor, Dr. Catherine Schmitz, to enter a writing contest sponsored by the French Consulate of the Southeast in Atlanta. She did so, never thinking she might actually win.
Think again. Now, after tying for first-place in the contest, Hermann-Bell is busy planning for an all-expense paid two-week trip to Roussillon in southern France.
“To win this competition is truly an honor,” she says. The competition asked participants to incorporate 10 French words chosen by a committee into a writing piece between 10 and 25 lines on a given theme. The pieces, all of which were written in French, then were evaluated and winners were selected. Before her trip, Hermann-Bell will travel to Atlanta with Schmitz to accept the award at a reception.
Hermann-Bell, a French and intercultural studies major, has been studying French since childhood. “I love learning about foreign cultures,” she says. “As we increasingly find ourselves coming into contact with different cultures, the ability to speak a language and understand the culture becomes an invaluable resource in diplomatic mediation.”
While she felt confident in the piece she submitted, Hermann-Bell didn’t think she would actually win. “I’ve never really won anything like this. When I actually received the letter in the mail, I was with Dr. Schmitz. Needless to say, she was very excited and we made a bit of a commotion in the dining hall.”