french & Spanish
University Honors Student
Questions for student:
Where are you from?
I am from Québec, Canada.
In a few sentences tell us about your honors thesis! How would you describe it to someone not in your academic field?
My Honors Thesis was on Francophone literature. I compared two French-language novels, one from France and the other from Québec, and analyzed how smells are used as descriptors in the texts. I looked at how smells separate social classes in these two texts. For example, the novels both used smells such as trash and sweat to describe the lower social classes and smells such as flowers and perfume to describe the upper social classes. I was able to prove that smells can have a strong impact on a novel and that they really do differentiate social classes.
How did you choose your mentor, and what do you recommend students interested in starting an honors thesis look for in a mentor?
I chose my mentor, Dr. Aimée Boutin, because I had taken a course with her the previous semester and because I had met with her multiple times during her office hours. I knew that Dr. Boutin would support me during the project and also knew that her expertise in the field would help me create a strong project. When looking for a mentor, I recommend going to professors that you know. The professors who have had you as a student will be best able to guide you and will know your work ethic. I also recommend picking a mentor that has knowledge of the subject field of your thesis. It is always helpful to have a mentor that knows your research field well and can guide you to new sources of information. You want to make sure that your mentor believes in your project and has the time to help you reach your desired outcome. With a great mentor, it is truly an enlightening experience!
What are your plans after you graduate from FSU?
After I graduate from FSU, I will be starting a PhD in French Studies in the fall at Brown University. My hope is to become a French Professor and it is thanks to my Honors Thesis work that I fossilized my passion for French and Francophone literature.
Professor - French, modern languages & linguistics
Questions for mentor:
What motivates or inspires you to mentor undergraduate students?
I genuinely enjoy mentoring undergraduate honors students and create opportunities for them to realize their own potential. By serving as a role model, I provide the students with insight into what researchers, university faculty, and professional women at FSU can achieve.
What do you think characterizes a good mentoring relationship between student and honors thesis mentor?
The mentor’s role is to create a supportive context that enables students to develop their own research and writing abilities and perform at their best. By modeling the values of intellectual vitality, hard work, reliability, and academic honesty, the mentor can develop the mentee’s self-confidence and independence of mind. In a good mentoring relationship, there is shared trust and intellectual energy that is rewarding for both parties