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EXCEL Scholar Eui-Young Chon ’04 of Seoul, Korea is enhancing her already strong language skills this summer through scholarly work on a medieval French text, La nef des folles by Jehan Drouyn. Chon is assisting Olga Anna Duhl, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures.

“I am contributing to the compilation of the glossary, the annotation, and the index,” says Chon who is majoring in music and French. “This was a widely read book during the late 15th and 16th centuries, but was buried by the years after the short duration of its popularity. Professor Duhl and I are working on texts — a mixture of prose and poetry — by Sebastien Brant and Josse Bade, and the translator Jean Drouyn’s slight variation and personal addition to Bade’s original text.”

According to Duhl, her student is well suited for the task.

“She has incredible interdisciplinary skills,” she says. “She is a multi-lingual and multi-cultural student able to make many connections between disparate topics and disciplines. She also writes with great precision and critical clarity.”

For Chon, whom Duhl describes as “a profound thinker,” EXCEL offers a challenging combination of practical skills and intellectual growth.

“French language and literature have a special appeal to me, probably because of all the schools of ideas and artistic movements associated with France,” she says. “It is tough to write formally in French, and I am motivated to gain a mastery of the language through a variety of influences, including medieval French. I think the rhythm and inflections involved in reading French make the language suitable for literary explorations, in prose as well as in poetry.”

She adds: “I am learning French in the hope that one day I may be able to wield it as an expressive medium of my own.”

The EXCEL work also has implications for Chon’s other love and main academic interest, music.

“On the practical side, I hope to educate myself a little more about Europe through this research,” she says. “I have not yet been to Europe, but I would really like to study music there, especially in France and Austria. Since French is an official language for the EU and France is historically significant in the European culture, I’m at least making some preparation for my future dreams.”

The EXCEL work is one of many enjoyable experiences that Chon has had at Lafayette.

“Lafayette is small enough to accommodate the academic and personal needs of its students, but big enough to propel motivated students to compete with the nation’s strongest universities,” she says.

Chon is a program coordinator with the Landis Outreach Center and is a member of Lafayette Christian Fellowship, International Students Association, Le Cercle Francais, Asian Students Association, and the Physics Club. She is also a violin player in the String Ensemble and Quartet and an elementary student tutor.

At the 16th annual Multicultural Student Awards and Diversity Recognition Reception, held April 28, 2001, Chon received the Inspiring Student Leader Award, presented to a student who toils behind the scenes to make certain that student programs are successful, taking the initiative, accepting and carrying out responsibility, and completing tasks without fanfare.

Categorized in: Academic News