The recipients will receive grants totaling $94,500 from The Rhode Island Foundation to support foreign language study abroad. Champagne will use the grant to study in China, studying Chinese at Shanghai East China Normal University.
Beatrice S. Demers spent her life teaching foreign languages, first to students in the Pawtucket public schools, then at URI for the last 30 years of her career. She was fluent in French, German, and Spanish, and studied Chinese and Russian in her 70s. She passed away in 2007, and in accordance with her will, The Beatrice S. Demers Fund was established at The Rhode Island Foundation. The fund provides for fellowships for Rhode Island residents and anyone who is a student at a Rhode Island college or university who wishes to pursue foreign language study. This is the second round of fellowships awarded under the endowment.
The 13 fellows, selected from a pool of 89 applicants, will receive awards ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.
The students will pursue studies in French, German, Chinese, and Spanish while enrolled in programs around the world, including those in Chile, Germany, Ecuador, China, and Spain.