Seniors Receive French Awards

Studying French greatly impacted their lives.

Seniors Daniel “Trey” Weisbrod III and Hannah Jahner received awards from the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF).

Weisbrod received the Outstanding Senior in French Award. Only one person per institution can be nominated for this prestigious award made annually to a graduating senior. Jahner received the Excellence in French Award. Both awards are given to students who have demonstrated excellence in the study of French, as well as an exceptional commitment to the French language and the many cultures where it is spoken.

The AATF was founded in 1927 and has as its mission the promotion of the study of French language and French-speaking literatures and cultures at all levels. It recognizes the achievements of outstanding students and their teachers. The awards are given in hopes the students will continue the study of French through a career in teaching or another complementary profession.

“I was faced with a difficult decision in whom to nominate for AATF awards this year,” said Dr. Gay Rawson, chair of World Languages and Cultures and professor of French. “We had a lot of great French majors and minors this year, like most every year. In the end, Trey and Hannah rose to the top of my list.”

Rawson said that Weisbrod made an immediate impression on her, with his passion and advocacy for French, specifically, and languages and cultures in general. Weisbrod was involved in every opportunity the department had to offer: French Club president, office worker, tutor, studying abroad, small group conversation leader, Concordia Language Villages liaison, and more. He also connected with leaders from the other languages to help develop programming across world languages and cultures.

“During COVID-19, he made himself available to students to continue mentoring them and helping them be successful with French. His enthusiasm and energy are hallmarks that we will miss immensely,” Rawson said. “Whatever he decides to do with his talents, I know that he will be sharing his passion for the French language and Francophone cultures and shaping people’s lives.”

Weisbrod has applied to be a teaching assistant in France as part of France’s national program.

“The French program has taught me to look beyond what I can see on the surface and to think about the deeper layers of culture that lie beneath everything,” Weisbrod said. “It has also taught me to be an advocate for my passion and to defend the things that I care about. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I had not studied French at Concordia.”

Jahner was also a French Club officer, student office worker, department tutor, and more. She completed her majors in French and education and will be a K-12 French teacher.

“I am excited to know that she will be guiding K-12 students in the future,” Rawson said. “She is a dedicated advocate, a talented teacher, and a caring mentor who will make a difference in her students’ lives. We need her quiet leadership skills and competence as she gets a new generation of students excited about French and languages.”

Jahner’s favorite experience outside the classroom was studying abroad in Tours, France.

“I got to live surrounded by the language and culture I love,” Jahner said. “I chose to involve French into my life every day for the rest of my life. It has become part of who I am and I can’t imagine what I’d do if I had never studied French.”

Rawson said that Hannah and Trey were inseparable for much of their time at Concordia.

“They studied abroad in Tours the same semester,” she said. “They both have strong French language skills and intercultural competency.”